I was surprised to read that Van Peenen's Dairy in Wayne no longer has cows or bottles its own milk. Even today, the Dairy has an active network of home delivery trucks making early morning deliveries.
Freedom Hill Farm in Otisville, New York is one of the only distributors I encountered where you can be sure you’re getting milk from one farm.
Owner Rick Vreeland’s family was in the dairy business for over 35 years before they retired. At that time they were a commercial dairy with over 2000 cows.
"We got tired of it after that long, and stopped farming all together," Rick’s wife, Julie Vreeland said. "We missed it a lot. We kept looking at the barn and thinking it would be nice to have a small farm rather than a large one."
Today they have a New York State permit to sell raw, unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk to consumers. New Jersey does not currently allow farmers to sell raw, unpasteurized milk. Their other dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, which are required by law to be pasteurized, are processed on site in a dedicated room.
"Our intention was [initially] not to sell raw milk but to have a small visitor family farm that we could enjoy and that others could enjoy too," Julie said. "But everyone that came wanted to buy our raw milk."
The milk operation began with 20 customers, Julie said. Today the Vreelands have approximately 50 cows, 30 of which produce milk for over 700 customers, Julie said.