GLENFIELD — Blake Place, co-owner of Hidden Pastures Dairy, has one question for the north country: Got goat milk? If your answer is no, her Glenfield dairy can now help with that.
While she admits it may not seem like the best time to release a new product, restaurant closures instantly dried up the market for goat milk at creameries that use it to make higher-end cheeses.
“We had to do something,” Mrs. Place said.
She and her husband Andrew felt they only had two options. They could dump the milk their goat herd produces or they could pull the trigger on an idea they started to pursue last year but had set aside.
They opted for the latter, and as of Thursday, they began bottling their milk to sell directly to the public at their farm store. It is also being carried by Miller’s Meat Market in the town of Lowville and, ideally, in other retailers they work with in Lewis County and beyond as soon as possible.
Hidden Pastures was able to move quickly to make the bottling happen because they had already completed the most time-consuming legalities.
“Luckily, we had crossed the labeling bridge in May, getting it approved,” Mrs. Place said. “We just didn’t take that leap, but we’re taking that leap now.”
The bottling was done in Lyons Falls by the Black River Valley Naturals creamery, known for its full-cream, non-homogenized flavored cow milk and small-batch butter.
Although Hidden Valley is offering a competitive product, Mrs. Place said that the two businesses have a supportive relationship, working together and not against each other.
“We’ve worked together on many projects and our milks are totally different,” she said. “We have a mutually beneficial relationship, not a competitive one. We’re lucky to have them just down the street and that they were able to squeeze us in on such short notice.”
Because goat milk is different from cow milk and not something the average Lewis County consumer automatically looks for, the dairy is giving away free pints of the beverage with every purchase at its farm store while supplies last.
The milk is more expensive than traditional cow milk at $5 per quart, but it’s comparable to goat milk sold at large retailers locally and because it is locally produced, Mrs. Place said, it is also fresher.
If the naturally homogenized milk catches-on, the price will go down, but it will never get as low as cow milk, she said.
“It takes a lot of goats to make the same amount of milk as one cow,” Mrs. Place said. “One goat produces about four pounds of milk every day while a cow produces about 60 pounds, so it’s typically more expensive.”
According to various studies comparing goat and cow milk, the proteins in goat milk make it easier for most people to digest and absorb nutrients better. Some people with lactose sensitivity may not react as much to goat milk as cow milk because of slightly less lactose, however, there is lactose in all mammal milk.
Mrs. Place’s original plan was to deliver milk orders to doorsteps within a 10-mile radius of the farm, however, by 5 a.m. Friday she realized that it will be awhile before she can add that element to the plan.
The milk is also not yet available for purchase via the farm’s website, however, Mrs. Place said it will be added as demand builds and batches get bigger.
To learn more about or to order Hidden Valley’s goat milk, call 315-528-7050, visit the farm’s Facebook page or go to the farm store at 5115 Route 12, Glenfield.