Hello Neighbors & Friends of the Farm!
We are asking for your help so that Kiss the Cow Farm can feed our community better.
Specifically, we’re asking you to help fund two needed upgrades: A milking pipeline system and an on-farm creamery.
A milking pipeline system transfers milk from the cows to a cooling and storage bulk tank and will reduce labor to milk the cows by 75%.
An on-farm creamery will allow us to make products every day. We’ll be able to connect the bulk tank directly to the pasteurizer (using the milking pipeline system).
These improvements will reduce the physical labor as well as time to do our most common tasks -milking cows and producing dairy products. We’ll save thousands of dollars annually by having our own creamery instead of renting a facility. We will reduce our cost of production plus increase our capacity to make even more food. In short, Kiss the Cow Farm will become more sustainable, allowing us to continue feeding our community for years to come.
Milking Pipeline System
At the top of the list is a modern pipeline system to milk the cows twice every day. We currently use bucket milkers, which are leading-edge technology from the 1950s. This worked fine when we milked four cows, but now we’re milking three times as many. This infrastructure is antiquated, inefficient and now insufficient.
We can barely milk anymore because carrying the heavy buckets to the bulk tank throws our backs out. A pipeline system would take the milk from the cows directly to the bulk tank. The push of a button will clean the entire system automatically. It will considerably reduce labor -and allow Lisa and I to milk again. It will also enable us to efficiently milk more cows and thereby meet existing demand, feeding even more people.
Estimated Cost: $17,000, based on a quote from a Vermont licensed installer, plus a quote for a commercial hot water heater.
We feel blessed and very grateful to be able to use a shared commercial kitchen just down the road, but we have outgrown it. We could see the writing on the wall even before COVID blew the doors off demand for our products. Limited access to the commercial kitchen -especially during the high summer season- was causing havoc in our ability to produce enough product. Our immediate solution was to work around it. To accommodate a shared kitchen schedule, we would sometimes get up at 3:30 am or finished late in the evening. This has gotten us through but is not sustainable.
A second strategy has been to invest in equipment, including a larger pasteurizer, bottle filler and better ice cream maker, so that we could reduce the amount of time needed in the kitchen.
We start by filling 50 lb. milk cans with raw milk, load them into the car, unload them at the kitchen, then lift and pour the milk into the pasteurizer. When finished processing, we reload the car and bring all that weight back to the farm. Obviously, this is backbreaking and inefficient.
The idea is to renovate an unused bay of a 2-car garage into a creamery. The 10 x 30’ creamery will provide space for all the equipment, tables and sink. The push of a button will transfer the fresh, cold milk (using the new pipeline system) from the refrigerated milk tank to the pasteurizer. No more repetitive, heavy lifting!
Visitors and customers will be able to view the creamery from a new window in the Farm Store.
Estimated Cost: $31,500. This includes $21,500 to build out the physical space to federal and state regulations; $4,000 for a clean entry area and storage for packaging supplies; $6,000 for equipment, such as 3-bay sink, table, heat & AC, exhaust fan.
Still Have Questions?
We would be delighted to talk more about what we’re trying to do, why it’s important for our community, and ideas on how we can all benefit.
Stop by the farm, call, email or text. We’d love to hear from you!