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photo: Jerry Olson/Post-Bulletin

Some Amish in Minnesota will need a new outlet for their milk.  The last creamery in Minnesota to accept milk in cans–mostly provided by local Amish–no longer does.  I guess you call that an end of an era.

Milk is an important liquid in Amish America.  And surprisingly, a controversial one as well.

Some Amish farmers have gotten in trouble for selling raw milk.

Other Amish are ‘going organic’ to tap into a more profitable niche market, in the face of competition from big-time bulk producers.

Qualifying for organic status means not using any sort of pesticides on your farm over a certain length of time.  Though there’s probably more to it than just that.

Once organic, you get to charge more per pound of milk.  You may also feel good knowing it ends up in a fancy carton covered with encouraging all-natural, wholesome sales copy.

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photo:  Mike Wade/AP-TURE

A lot of people, vegans mostly it seems, aren’t happy with the dairy industry in general.  They find the practice of constantly impregnating heifers to be cruel.  They also dislike the idea of male cows being separated and slaughtered for veal.  It does seem a little nasty when you stop and think about it.

In any case cows don’t have a monopoly in the world of milk:  some Amish milk goats.  At least one milks sheep.  Apparently milk from goats and sheep is healthier, or higher in certain vitamins.

Milking time usually happens twice a day, most often at 12 hour intervals.  Usually around 4 or so.  Try not to bug a farmer at milkin’ time, he has his hands full.

Lazy farmers may get themselves in trouble:  unmilked cows may develop mastitis, or ‘go dry’.

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Milk is also a key ingredient in buttery, fatty, scrumptious Amish food.  Here is a sweet recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but bet these would go great with a glass of ice cold milk.  Credit to the Amish Cook:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Brownies

  • 1 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. white sugar
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 2 c. chocolate chips, divided

Beat butter, sugars and eggs until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients and most of the chocolate chips. Spread into 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

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