(NaturalNews) Though the explicit sale of raw milk is prohibited in Colorado, state law specifically provisions that individuals can purchase shares in cows, goats, and other milk-producing animals for the purpose of obtaining milk from them, an arrangement that is growing in popularity all across the country. And one non-profit farm in Colorado's Roaring Fork Valley, Sustainable Settings, is revolutionizing the way individuals access farm food, having recently set up a replicable shareholder program for raw milk that is the new talk of the town.
Sustainable Settings describes itself as "an entrepreneurial non-profit organization that inspires people and communities to embrace integrated solutions for sustainable development," and one that specializes in developing "whole-systems strategies in sustainable agriculture, green development, micro-enterprise, land stewardship and art for daily life." As far as raw milk is concerned, this has meant developing an innovative cooperative that serves 40 shareholders-and-counting with weekly allotments of fresh, raw milk.
"The more bacteria in our bottle, the better, while the USDA freaks out about it," said Brook LeVan, founder of Sustainable Settings, to The Aspen Times. "It's still a living food -- it's alive. It's full of beneficial stuff that makes your gut work better."
As reported in The Aspen Times, Sustainable Settings currently occupies 90 acres of lush, irrigated pastureland, which it believes can sustainably hold a maximum of 24 grass-fed animals. There are currently only 14 Guernsey cows in the herd, however, as the farm is currently in the process of trying to build a solar-powered barn, complete with commercial kitchen and large walk-in cooler, as part of its Raw Dairy Initiative, a $1.7 million project aimed at further transforming the land and farm into a fully self-sustaining agricultural operation.
Small-scale organic farms are the future of American agriculture
The Sustainable Settings model of agriculture embodies everything that is lacking from the mainstream industrial model of food production and distribution. Besides simply providing raw milk for its eager shareholders -- each one of them is an outspoken supporter of raw milk and food freedom -- the farm has implemented rotational grazing, renewable energy, permaculture, biodynamics, and other organic farming methods that actually improve the health of the land over time, rather than deplete it.
For those interested in learning more about organic farming in a hands-on environment, Sustainable Settings also offers internships to budding organic farmers, as well as educational workshops on seed saving, gardening, sustainable living, animal husbandry, green building, and other useful topics. It will also be adding raw milk educational workshops beginning this summer.
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