It seems Amish will milk just about anything there is a market for. Lately I’ve even been hearing whisperings of Amish milking camels. Well, why not. So I wasn’t at all surprised yesterday to find an article on a Lancaster Amish camel dairy:
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Let’s get the obvious questions about camel’s milk out of the way first.
It tastes like skim milk, just a wee bit saltier.
And with regard to how you milk a camel: Very carefully, it turns out.
Camel’s milk has arrived in Lancaster County, courtesy of Little Bit, Twila and their herd, who can be seen grazing placidly in a pasture on an Amish farm in Upper Leacock Township.
A local Amish organic cooperative is operating a camel dairy here, milking the long-legged, one-humped animals twice a day.
Miller’s Organic Farm ships the milk all over the United States and even into Canada, for $10 a pint. It has about 100 customers who regularly buy camel’s milk.
Miller’s is one of about a half a dozen camel dairies in the nation, operating in states including Missouri, Michigan and Indiana. Like Miller’s, many of the dairies are operated by Plain Sect farmers.
Riding camels is probably easier than milking them, from how it sounds:
The animals can be a bit choosy and a bit stingy with their milk, says a Miller’s employee, Ben Stoltzfus.
Camels only can be milked while they are nursing a baby and they only will give up so much of their milk in a session, he says.
“A camel will allow milk to be withdrawn from their udder for only 90 seconds,” he says. “They have like a spigot on their udder, and if they choose not to give milk there is really not much we can do.”
So how does an ice cold glass of camel milk sound?
Camel photo: RaeAllen/flickr