2012 Through 2022
Evolving from a herd share 1 cow dairy in 2012 to a 2 cow dairy in 2015 and able to sell directly to the public without each person owning part of the cow thanks to Wyoming for passing of the Food Freedom Act. All the way to what you see now in 2022, still milking only 2 cows all winter and up to 4 in the spring, with three of our cows dedicated to nursing the calves.
As time changes, so do our policies.
2012 - Herd Share: You paid $100 and signed a cow share agreement. With this, each month you received your "share" in milk and paid what your milk cost in gallons.
2015 - The Wyoming Food Freedom Act made it possible for Diamond S to sell directly to the consumer without a cow share contract. You paid a $25 - $50 dollar bottle deposit, depending on the number of bottles ordered, and picked up your milk in 1/2 gallon milk bottles. The narrow mouth ones. Yes, they look cool and we loved using them! But because they weren't returned per agreements, we ended up with less than half of what we started with within a short period of time. Hence switching to the canning jars we use currently.
Updated Jar Policy in 2022 - Please read!
Because of the amount of customers NOT returning usable jars, Diamond S has to spend much of what would be profit and spent to improve our processes on more and more jars and lids.
So, when purchasing milk from Diamond S Raw Milk Dairy in 2022, here's what you need to know:
With the first pick up, bring double the jars. So say you order 2 gallons of milk per delivery, that's 4 - 1/2 gallon bottles. Bring 8 clean bottles with plastic lids(black fits best and leaks least). We use wide mouth, tall 1/2 gallon canning jars. Your bottles are mixed directly into all the other clients bottles and sanitized prior to filling each week. Bringing them back clean helps us but they are still washed and product names and client names put on fresh each week. Don't send odd sized bottles we don't have the room to store them nor the means to remember what size was yours if it's different.
Why do you bring double jars for your first pickup? Because you will soon take 4 full ones home with you. We will then have the bottles needed for next weeks pickup, and the cycle continues. We shouldn't run out of bottles this way! So please don't forget your jars ever... If you still have 1/2 of one bottle full of milk, don't waste it! Pour the remaining milk in another container and bring us back your jar.
We ask that you do your own bookkeeping. From being responsible for your jars each week to paying on time with your first pickup each month. Responsible customers make life managing a small dairy less stressful!
What happens to the jars if you cease to be a customer? If you purchase products from us for 6 months or more and then leave, I'm sorry you are out 4 of your eight bottles. If you have to move before you get to the sixth month and haven't broken any bottles we will return all your bottles. After six months keeping the extra bottles accounts for the breakage of bottles and/or lids.
Enough updates, time to order!
January 21st is the deadline for February orders! We do accept weekly orders with a Sunday deadline, however these orders are not guaranteed and are completely dependent on supply after the monthly orders are filled each week.
So, order now so you don't forget!
We have had several calls this week and one visitor who came for a day with interest in learning. Some have contacted us from out of town. Helping others is a fun part of what we like to do and we hope our blogs will help you with your journey until you, too, can visit us here in Hyattville.
Kefir - History
Thanks to another friend for sharing with me how Kefir arrived in the US from Russia in 1985. The book was written by their daughter Julie Smolyansky, who became the the CEO & president of Lifeway Foods Inc., the company her parents founded.
Because Kefir is one of the healthiest foods you can put in your mouth, we'd like to share again the making of Cattle Kate Dream Cheese, a delicious product made from Kefir. I hope this will help our new friend with one of her projects!
Kefir is such an important part of our diet, that we dedicate 1/2 gallon fresh warm milk, seven days a week to make kefir for our group of raw milk drinkers.
As you can see by the light over a basket, I've had to think outside the box to try and keep our kefir warm enough this winter. We have no wood stove in the dairy barn, no heat at all actually except the water that runs through the concrete floor.
Under all those hand towels is a gallon jar 1/2 full; fermenting the mornings milk.
Time to Drain
Each square of fine cheesecloth is filled with 1 quart of kefir.
About 1.5 liters of whey drained into the 9x13 inch pan from 1 gallon of kefir over 24 hours.
Ways I Use Whey:
Scraping & Salting
Time to scrape the sides after 24 hours of draining.
The salt will help expel more whey.
Ready to Drain Again
After the salt is mixed in, it's ready to hang and drain for another 24 hours.
After the second day of draining, it's time to make Dream Cheese!
Each ball is rolled in organic Italian seasoning and emerged into organic olive oil. Spread on rye crisps for a wonderful snack or lunch!
Let us know if you too are ready to make your own Cattle Kate Dream Cheese. Kits will be available soon!
Hope the first couple weeks in January 2022 have treated you well. Boy are we happy to have a few sunnier and warmer days this week!
We have a few housekeeping items to share, just to keep everyone on the same page.
Brrr! The recent cold weather took its toll on our milk production! Unless otherwise noted, there won't be cream available until the cows freshen closer to spring. This means limited butter and cheese making for the next few months.
We do have a few packages cultured butter left in the store so grab them up while you can!
Cheese is coming soon! We have wheels of Cowboy Cheddar ready February 1st, and Cactus Jack on March 2nd!
We are thrilled that orders continue to be even more organized and consistent through our online store. We continue to figure out ways to simplify monthly and weekly ordering, so you may notice some minor changes as you place your orders. This is just us perfecting and streamlining the process. If you have any problems or suggestions, please let us know!
No guarantee weekly orders will be fulfilled as our monthly orders are filled first.
While cash and check are overall still the preferred methods of payment, we have found Venmo to be the most convenient way for our customers to pay on time. Venmo is linked directly from our order page so you can get ordering and payment all done at once.
If you choose to pay by cash or check, remember payment is due the first of the month. If we don't receive payment by the first delivery of the months, your dairy will not be delivered until payment is received.
The below zero temperatures over the holidays were not kind to our Worland drop off location, as some of you found out!
During the winter months, it is very important you pick up your dairy products ASAP after delivery! The refrigerator can dip well below freezing in that location and, while your dairy actually freezes quite well, your bottles do not. When canning jars freeze, it causes anything from small stress fractures to potentially completely shattered glass bottles. Either way, it renders these jars not able to be used in the dairy any longer.
Claire ended up with several broken and several cracked jars as well as a frozen milk covered fridge to clean up a couple weeks ago at our Worland drop location. Not only is this sad for the waste of milk, but also because we rely on constant cycle of jars being returned and find we are again low on jars!
As just mentioned above, we find ourselves low on jars. Again!
Please remember that we strive to produce a premium product and part of this is storing and selling them in the best containers possible. Glass jars are not cheap and whenever we lose a jar for any reason it cuts into our small profit margin significantly.
Also, dairy jars should be used exclusively for dairy and exchanged back for continued dairy use. Jars and lids used to house other items, can end up with a dark film/stain on the inside which may make its future use for dairy items impossible.
When in doubt if your jar is still good to be used for dairy, be kind to your Dairy Ladies. Leave us good, clean, and unbroken bottles. Ball canning jars can be purchased at almost all stores in and around Worland including Big Horn Co-op, Bomgaars, Ace Hardware, and Blairs.
We are also trying to slowly switch to using Ball leak proof lids (see picture).
So if you see them next to the jars in the store, feel free to pick up wide and/or regular mouth lids to donate back to Diamond S to be used to keep your products fresh and your refrigerators clean!
Thanks All Folks!
Thanks for keeping up with the happenings of Diamond S Dairy, blessings to all!