Country Critters Farm

By Julie Thibodeau, Country Critters Farm

Country Critters Farm, LLC is a small family farm that has been a part of Winchester for the past nine years, producing naturally raised meats.  This April we were licensed by the State of New Hampshire to create our own unique farmstead goat cheeses from the milk of our goats.

We offer many different flavors of fresh chevre in a variety of sizes.  In the near future we will be offering aged cheeses as well.  All of our goat cheeses are made from our own goats’ milk. Currently our fifteen goats produce fifteen gallons of milk a day! Of the twenty plus kid goats that were born recently, eleven are does which we plan to add to our milking herd, with a goal of having thirty milking goats in the future. Our goats enjoy being out on pasture and guarded by their loyal companions, Rose, Emma and Ana, three Great Pyrenees dogs.

All of our cheeses are available for purchase at our farm and at many farmers markets and retailers of local products throughout the area. In addition to a small retail area at the farm (open daily 9am to 7pm), we will be at the following farmers’ markets; Saturday Gilbo Avenue in Keene, Bedford on Tuesday, Peterborough and Derry on alternating Wednesdays, Cheshire Medical Center every Thursday (alternating between Claremont and Amherst) and then on Fridays we will alternate between Weare and Newport. For updates on farm happenings follow our Facebook page, or feel free to email or give us a call.

No two cheeses are alike; each cheese is special to the area it is made in.  We hope you stop by for a visit and try our cheese!

Country Critters Farm
240 Forest Lake Road
Winchester, NH 03470
(603) 239-8657

Raw Milk

Compiled by Laura Keir, Hannah Grimes Marketplace

Stonewall Farm educator Sarah Antel, showing a camper how to milk a cow.

February’s Localvore E-Newsletter included news and resources on the latest issues surrounding raw milk.  Whether you choose to drink raw milk or not, the regulations and business decisions concerning this local product are probably affecting local farmers and consumers including yourself.  Get informed and get involved!

In recent months, the controversy over raw milk has heightened with milk cooperative Organic Valley’s decision to prohibit its suppliers from selling unpasteurized milk to local consumers. The effects of this business move has rippled out to touch the Monadnock region. See the following articles:

Organic Valley Lays Down the Law on Raw Milk
By David Gumpert, Posted on Grist, May 25, 2010

Organic Valley started up in 1988 with a vision of being a different kind of milk cooperative, one that helped save small family dairies via promoting organic dairy products. Read more…

Raw Deal? Co-op Forces Farm to Stop Selling Raw Milk Locally
By Sarah Trefethen; Article from The Keene Sentinel, Published Jan. 31, 2011

Standing on a bale of hay at Stonewall Farm on a recent afternoon, 4-year-old Sara Dafeldecker laced small pieces of hay into her father’s hair as he talked about his family’s relationship with the farm. Sara has been drinking fresh-from-the-cow, unpasteurized milk from Stonewall Farm for her entire life, Kai Dafeldecker said.

Stay informed about raw milk issues in our state by checking out the Facebook page of the New Hampshire Alliance for Raw Milk (NH-ARM).

What’s Your Interest? Do You Drink Raw Milk?

Where do you stand in the controversy over raw milk? How do you feel about recent events concerning raw milk? Share your experiences and knowledge via email, Facebook, and Twitter.  If you drink raw milk, where do you purchase it? Please let us know so that we can compile a list of local places to buy raw milk as a resource to the community.  And be sure to check the Monadnock Localvore website for additions to this list of raw milk sites.

A Look at Flying Cloud Dairy

By Jan Sevene, Monadnock Localvore Project
Revised by Laura Keir

Flying Cloud Dairy
426 Hill Road, Alstead, NH 03602
William “Bill” Jahos
(603) 835-2519

The “Hill” in the address gives away its location. A quintessential New England farm, Flying Cloud Dairy is situated atop one of Alstead’s pleasing rolling hills, making a visit most pleasant.

Here, owner Bill Jahos milks thirteen cows – mostly Jerseys and one Ayrshire. They produce his quality organic raw milk. Sold in half-gallon glass bottles, it can be picked up at the farm and at a few other sites- Orchard Hill Breadworks in Alstead, Nature’s Green Grocer in Peterborough, and Hannah Grimes Marketplace in Keene.

“The farm does have cream and other farm products available, upon request,” he says.  Jahos encourages customers to inquire about other products. If you know what you want, he will tell you if he can fill the order.

Farming for twelve years, he has worked toward converting to organic. Today, the farm’s crops and livestock are all certified organic. But there is more. What makes Flying Cloud Dairy really stand out? Jahos eagerly answers, “My cows are 100 percent grass-fed. No grain. That is important to my customers.” The Flying Cloud herd grazes on pasture during the warmer months and eats baleage and dry hay through the winter. While the cows produce less milk than if they were on a grain diet, Jahos says, “It seems to me the cows are put here to eat grass….to add supplements just for production needs doesn’t fit into my philosophy.”

Support another local farmer, who works hard so that his customers can enjoy the benefits of healthy local products. Get to know Bill Jahos. Give him a call, visit the farm, and ask to be included as a regular on his list of well-cared for customers.

Raw Milk in the News

The Raw Milk Debate: Don’t Have a Cow
Posted on The Atlantic
By Barry Estabrook, April 12, 2010

A week or so ago I drank a cold, refreshing glass of a liquid the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says is “inherently dangerous” and “should not be consumed by anyone at any time for any purpose.” We’re not talking about kerosene, or even the hard cider I brew in the basement, but milk. More precisely, raw milk.

Where is Your Milk From? Website

Not sure where your milk is from?  Try this website.  Enter the code on your milk, yogurt, cream and other dairy products:

What to Do with Extra Milk

Posted on Mother Earth News
Mary Lou Shaw, December 22, 2009

A dairy cow is a great addition to the homestead, but even one cow can produce more milk than a family (and the calf) can drink. The home dairy provides such complete and delicious foods that you won’t want to waste the precious milk. Here are suggestions from a homesteading expert on how to use the extra milk your cow produces.