Here are a few questions you may have about us.
How does your “schedule” work? We sell our milk on a pre-reserved, subscription basis. For example, you tell us that you want a gallon of milk a week, and we have room say on Friday for you. Each week on your day (Friday in this example), we will milk the cows and put a gallon of milk from that day in the milk fridge labelled with your name on it. With this system, you are never going to drive out to the farm and discover that there is not milk for you in the fridge.
What are your store hours? Our milk pick up is self-serve. When we give you a spot on the schedule, you will come out for a farm tour. After that, your milk will be put in the fridge each week. On your day, you may come any time that is convenient to pick up your milk. Feel free to say hello if we are around.
What size jars of milk can I buy? We bottle our milk in ½ gallon glass jars with a plastic lid. Thus, you can buy milk in ½ gallon increments. One jar is a ½ gallon and two jars are 1 gallon, three are 1 ½ gallons, etc.
How can I pay? You will get an invoice in your email once a month from us that will be your total for the month. You can pay online with a credit card, you can set up auto pay through our system or you can leave a check (made out to Cast Iron Farm) or pay in cash. Please note, that invoices are billed where 1 month=4 weeks. Every few months, your pick up day will have 5 weeks in it and those extra weeks are FREE. You will only ever pay for 4 weeks of milk in a month.
What is raw milk? Raw milk is milk as it comes out of the cow. It has not been heated or pasteurized with the intention of killing bacteria. Pasteurization came into general practice after some uninformed and unethical producers put out raw milk that was sickening and killing many in the 1800’s. Here at Cast Iron Farm, we have done a lot of training and research in clean milk practices and we follow strict protocol to ensure that our milk is safe and clean. That said, raw milk can have a chance of carrying very real, very harmful bacteria in it, (listeria, campylobacter, e-coli, salmonella, etc.)
Do you test your milk for safety? We send a sample to an independent lab at least once a month to check the bacteria counts in our milk. Our test results for the past many years are posted here for all to see. We are happy to answer any specific questions related to our test results and what they mean.
Do I pick up my milk on a holiday?: Since we milk the cows every day of the week, we have milk pick-ups available every day. When you sign up for milk, you sign up to get the milk that was milked the morning of your pickup day, even on Christmas and other holiday. If your pick up day falls on a holiday, the milk will be in our milk fridge on that day with your name on it for you pick-up whenever it is convenient for you.
What is your jar policy? Cast Iron Farm owns the milk jars. Currently, we provide these jars for your use free of charge. Please practice good jar etiquette. These jars circulate around our raw milk community. A jar you return this week will have another family’s milk in it next week. Please wash the jars after you have emptied them. The dishwasher is best. If you lack a dishwasher, please rinse them out well and allow them to dry before you put the lid on. Try to not forget your empty bottles at home. We realize that this happens occasionally, but please do not make a habit of it. If you break a jar or a lid, do not worry. If you break several, compensation is appreciated (the jars cost $3). Taking good care of the milk jars helps keep the cost of your milk down.
How do I get my milk home? Bacteria in milk grows incrementally faster as the temperature increases. The growth is slow in fridge temperatures, but as the milk is being transported, it warms slowly, and the bacteria grows more quickly as the milk warms. This contributes to lessening the shelf life of you milk. Pick up your milk as your last errand, and if you live beyond the Mcminnville area, or getting your milk is not your last errand, bring a cooler to transport your milk in. We provide ice free of charge in our creamery.
How long will my milk last? Our milk should last 10 to 14 days in the fridge without spoiling though we have had customers report using milk that is 3 weeks old. If it is going bad more quickly than 10 days this indicates a high bacteria count and you should let us know what you are experiencing. We will ALWAYS refund or replace milk that did not meet your highest expectations.
Do you milk goats or sheep? No we are not legally allowed to sell milk from more than one species.
Will you deliver milk to me? Oregon law requires that all milk be picked up on the farm. We cannot deliver milk.
Can I buy, butter, cream, colostrum? We sell whole, raw cows milk. We do not separate or skim the cream or make any products with the milk as it is simply illegal.
Can I come learn how to farm from you? We have assisted many other farmers start their raw milk ventures. We are happy to lend a hand and will happily give a tour and answer any questions. We do ask a $50 fee for this service to compensate for our time.
Thank You: We enjoy milking our cows very much, and we appreciate the opportunity to provide milk for our community. Thank you for supporting our farm and raw milk in Oregon.