Keeping a family cow

Today, with the plethora of different types of milk available at the supermarket I wonder what ever happened to the stuff my father used to milk by hand from the cows at his boarding school. That was real milk, the only kind you could get, unadulterated, straight from the cow that those boys drank for breakfast. Now days however, it seems big business has bastardized milk to the point I’m not sure if you can truthfully call the stuff milk any more. I find the situation very disappointing especially as law makers, in cahoots with big dairy companies have made the sale of real milk illegal.

Well have I got some good news for you. Get yourself some real milk by going directly to the source. Get yourself a family cow. But before you do, get yourself a copy of Joann Grohman’s book “Keeping a Family Cow”. This book is a practical guide to buying, feeding, breeding, milking, and generally caring for a dairy cow.

Even if you only have the slightest desire to milk your own cow, this book will convince you to take the plunge. Joann’s style is very straight forward, accessible and often humorous. The book is chock full of hard won information that I have referred to often in raising and milking my own cows.

This is how Joann summarises her book from the back cover;

The cow is the most productive, efficient creature on earth. She will give you fresh milk, cream, butter, and cheese, building health or even making you money. She will provide rich manure for your garden or land. Each year she will give you a calf to raise, sell, or use for meat. Every day she will enrich the quality of your life as you benefit from the resources of the natural world. Quite simply, the family that keeps a cow is a healthy family.

This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume and presented in the spirit of fun and learning.

You will find the book simply a delight to read, it is by far my favorite dairy book, a book I wouldn’t be without.


  • Chanel says:

    hi i dont have the space for a cow but would love raw milk. do you know where i might find in chch? thanks

  • This place is awesome, I like what you’re doing here. Keep them coming.

  • wynndy says:

    hi! found your website and love it. we’re traveling through the south island from 10/21 – 11/4 and are looking for sources of raw milk. we drink raw goat milk and can’t think of going to pasteurized on our trip! we fly into christchurch and head up to Arthur’s pass the first day. do you have any to sell and are you located on that side of Christchurch? any other good info or sources we’ll appreciate. thank you.

  • mooBlogger says:

    Hi Sam,

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the raw milk , it is something special isn’t it?

    It is quite difficult to find sources of raw milk. The big dairy farms are not interested and quite frankly many of them rely on pasteurisation to “clean up” their milk.

    I don’t know anyone in your area who can supply organic raw milk but you could try the “Your Place” forum on the website. I know there are some lifestylers from the Otago region who are milking cows and goats.

    Good luck with the search.


  • Sam Jary says:

    Hi (sorry, I can’t find your name!)
    My name is Sam and I’m the assistant winemaker and viticulturist for Quartz Reef, a 25ha vineyard in Central Otago currently In Conversion to Demeter.

    Recently, the winemaker Rudi and I went to the brilliant annual BD conference in Hawke’s Bay and drank raw milk from Hohepa. Amazing stuff! In time, we would love to get a couple of cows for the vineyard but in the meantime, I am looking for any source of organic raw milk in Central Otago and Andrew MacDonald thought you might be the man to ask!

    Keep up the good work – had a quick read of your blog and found it very inspiring (I really would like a Jersey cow!). Good luck with the Pinot too – if you’re ever down in Cromwell, come and try ours anytime.
    Kind regards
    Sam Jary

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