The honor system at work: raw milk sales at Dutchess County, NY’s Shunpike Dairy [classic article]

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Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

There was a time many years ago when much of Dutchess County, NY consisted of working dairy farms. Shunpike Dairy in Millbrook is really keeping up with all the traditions, old-school style! When you visit during daylight hours, there’s always milk available. The “store” doesn’t have set hours — you help yourself! It’s easily accessible from the main road. A cat guards the barn. All visitors, including “well-behaved children,” are welcome to enter the barn and meet the cows and calves. Milking time is 6am and 5pm if anyone would like to watch the cows get milked.

There’s a small room with a raw milk tap. You can’t get raw milk in Maryland, it’s prohibited by law. If you’re a green sort and keep your own Mason jars and other containers, you’ll save a couple of dollars. Otherwise, you pay the asked for fee (a couple to a few dollars, depending on the amount you get) and throw it into the jar. (The jars are extra.) Sometimes, they have unpasteurized cream in the cooler.

They also have little free sample cups! If you don’t have an immune deficiency problem, give it a whirl. It doesn’t taste funky or too fatty, like I thought it might. It just tastes like good old-fashioned milk. Though obviously, pasteurization has saved countless lives, many people say that the very process kills off flavor in things like milk and apple cider.

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