Day 10 12/22/04
It felt like a pretty standard day today. This morning while we were having breakfast, an English named Bobby knocked on the door. He was Albert’s feed supplier. He had bad teeth, thick glasses, a mullet and cowboy boots(1). He was talking to us when someone else knocked on the door. It was a man and a woman from the PDA (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture). They came to talk to Albert about his chickens. They said if you have over 3000 birds and you sell to retail stores, that you are required to have the PDA check on you. Plus, they’ve found manure on Albert’s eggs before, so they need to make sure they are being packed well. The man did most of the talking, he sounded kind of nervous. Bobby would stop them and ask questions even though he wasn’t the reason they were there. It seemed like Albert and Marie just wanted to enjoy their breakfast. The PDA-Holes left, Bobby hung around for a little bit. Albert really doesn’t want the PDA around, he doesn’t want them finding out about him selling raw milk and meat(2).
On all of Albert’s meat the butcher has to put “Not For Sale” on them. I think because he is either not USDA certified or Albert is selling meat that he is not allowed to sell. Albert said if he goes to the USDA butcher, there are only certain things they will let him have. They won’t let him have the hooves, the brain or other parts that a lot of people want now.
I helped Albert pack for about 4-5 hours today. They’re really busy. Marie wishes he would get someone else to take care of the cows so he wouldn’t be so stressed.
It was a beautiful night tonight, it smelled magical. It was autumn warm the whole day today and the night was crystal clear. I squirted some milk from the udder straight into my glass today and drank it. I think I like milk straight out of the cow best. I had some fresh Jersey milk today also, I like Jersey. I’ve been making this song in my head called, “Jersey Girl.” The Weston Price people would probably love it. It’s kind of a propaganda song. One of the lines is, “Cause Brown Swiss don’t give enough, and the Holstein gives way too much, Jersey Girl you’re the one for me.” In a deep country voice, “you really moooooooo-ve me, Jersey Girl.” Cheesy stuff like that.
I climbed the corn silo tonight after we milked the cows. I don’t think I was supposed to, but they didn’t know. It wasn’t scary. It was so beautiful tonight I had to. I had a great view, I was closer to the moon.
For breakfast I had scrapple, country ham, toast, sauerkraut, snacked on cheese and whey throughout the day, had green beans with ham mashed potatoes and hamburger meat for dinner.
2. Nearly every Amish and Mennonite farmer that I spoke with said the PDA (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture) has a history of harassing farmer’s who sell raw milk. Several months after I left Albert’s, I was told something very disturbing. The PDA was visiting Amish Church Bishops in the area, telling them to pressure raw dairy farmers to stop selling raw milk. The PDA recited passages from the bible that they felt showed that it wasn’t right to sell raw milk because it was against the law. I heard this independently from not only Amish, but other Mennonite farmer’s as well. I am told this is still happening to this day.