Monday, December 1, 2014

Milk cans

Last week we went to a MMPA (Michigan Milk Producers Association, our milk co-op) meeting.  I was talking to a milk inspector, and she mentioned 'can dairies.'  "What's a can dairy?" I asked.  She said, "Those are farms that are still delivering milk in cans."

What?!  I had no idea that people were still milking into cans.  We - and many farms - use these as decorative items.  Many of us have them around because our ancestors used them back in ye olde dayes, but now ... we have automated milkers.

I kept questioning her and questioning her.  She said that they milk into the cans, they have milk can trucks (just like they used to) that come and pick up the cans.  The milk is considered Class B milk, which mostly goes into cheese.  She said that some of the farms are Amish, (which made sense), but not all of them.      

I found this so interesting - people still milk into milk cans!  I asked other farmers about it, and they didn't know that either.

So, my decorations are also still-used tools.  Or my tools are decorations?

Ah, it's a fine line.  I have a wagon wheel and an old cow waterer, too.  Apparently I'll take anything once used on a farm and call it 'decoration.'


Not the best luck this week ... one of our team members was doing some plumbing work on his house, and his utility knife slipped and he cut his forearm open.  So badly he had to have surgery!  He had the surgery tonight and said that it went well.  He's such a nice guy - he told Kris that he'd come in before the surgery, but Kris assured him we'd be fine - just heal!

Then, one of our cows had to have surgery too!  She got cut by her ear, and it looked so bad that we called the vet to sew her up.  He put her under, sewed it up, and she's eating well today.  She looks fine, now.  But ... that's enough, everyone!  No more injuries this week.  ... I'm sure by writing about it that'll make it not happen.  

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Dad said...

Actually, no one ever milked directly into the milk can--they milked into a pail, if milking by hand, or later on (late 1940's or early 1950's) a vacuum milker. Then the milk was carried into the milk house and poured into a strainer (that had a filter in it) set atop the milk can. When full, the can was covered and placed in a bath of cold water to await daily pickup by the milk truck.

Carla said...

Did I make it sound like people milked directly into them? That was unintentional. I mean ... those would be some tall cows!

Unknown said...

Ok, it's three years later, but yes, it sounded like farmers milked directly into the cans. I spent my preadolescence milking our one milk cow twice a day.I could get nothing more than a pail under her!