NEW: Local milk from a grass-fed, all-Jersey herd
We're always on the lookout for great new products that meet the needs of our members and shoppers. So we were thrilled to discover Pure Eire Dairy, nestled in the heart of the Columbia Basin. Jill and Richard Smith raise an all-Jersey, 100-percent grass-fed herd for luscious and nutritious milk. Find it now at PCC Redmond, Edmonds and Issaquah, with other stores soon to follow. Now, meet the herd!
The ladies go for a stroll (All photos courtesy Dani Smart, ShoptheNorthwest.com).
Pure Eire (pronounce the Eire like "era," Jill says) is the culmination of the couple's dream to create a product they'd be proud to stand behind. Both hail from farming families (Jill's parents grew "everything from corn to hay to peas" in Othello, Wash.; Richard's parents emigrated from Ireland to Florida and ran dairies, a tradition he has carried forward).
"It was always our dream to have a little thing we could probably even do together into our retirement. This is how we want our kids to grow up," Jill says. For now, every drop of milk from the 180-acre spread is spoken for. But as the herd of 35 grows in the future, the Smiths hope to add butter and farmstead cheese to their offerings.
WARNING: Cute alert.
A wee little calf.
What makes this milk special? Jersey cattle are one of the world's oldest breeds and produce a milk easily described as decadent. Dairy from grass-fed cows is high in nutrients, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a beneficial fatty acid which has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties and helps inhibit the formation of body fat. Pure Eire's milk is free of antibiotics and added hormones, is vat pasteurized, and is non-homogenized (which helps it retain its farm-fresh creaminess). Through careful pasture management, the herd munches grass even in the winter months.
"We milk our cows just once a day," Jill says. "The lower stress our cows have, the higher quality the milk."
The herd doing what it does best.
Here's looking at you, cud.