Food Finds - Johnston Family Farm milk
Depending on where you shop, you've probably noticed some changes in your milk choices over the past few years. Whole Foods now stocks dairy from Sparkman's Cream Valley out of Moultrie, Ga. Local restaurants and establishments have also joined in the trend. It's increasingly common to see brand-name local milk on the menus of restaurants and coffeehouses – such as Octane Coffee – that value quality products. One such name that keeps popping up is Johnston Family Farm.
Founded in Newborn, Ga., in 1956 by J.H. Johnston, the farm has always been a true family operation. His son, Russell, has run the farm with his wife and children since his dad retired in 1992. The Johnstons' milk is completely natural, meaning there are no hormones, and all the cows roam free most of the day and feed on grass. They also receive a specially formulated grain mix overseen by a nutritionist. The farm now bottles on site so the milk never travels more than 70 feet from barn to bottle. Now, that's fresh.
The milk is creamy, slightly sweet and has a rich mouth feel even if you're drinking the skim or low-fat versions instead of indulging in the whole milk. Don't be put off if you find a cap of cream floating at the top of your bottle. It's a treasure worth fighting for whether you eat it off a spoon or your finger.
Johnston Family Farm milk is available at select specialty grocers such as Alon's Bakery and Sawicki's Meat, Seafood and More, and Star Provisions. The cost averages around $6 for a gallon and $4 for a half-gallon at most stores, and $5 per gallon and $3 per half-gallon at the farm or Decatur Farmers Market. Get more info at www.johnstonfamilyfarm.com.