Bleats lead to fresh goat's milk

BY TANIA BUTTERFIELD
Last updated 11:18 01/10/2010
Milk

Happy to help: Lisa Harper, with the milk jug, will sell goat's milk as well as cheese at the Marlborough Farmers' Market from Sunday. Her nephew, Ciaran Harper, 1, and niece Fiona Harper, 4, are keen quality control volunteers for her products

Goats milk
Milk is good: One-year-old Ciaran Harper takes a swig of milk. His aunty Lisa Harper is selling goat's milk at the Marlborough Farmers' Market, which starts for the summer season this Sunday.

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Fourth-season stallholder Lisa Harper will be the first to sell fresh goat's milk at the Marlborough Farmers' Market this Sunday.

The cheese maker has expanded her range to include fresh milk to meet the requests of her customers.

"I usually do what I'm asked to do and so I'm starting with goat's milk, and then I'll ask customers if they want cow's milk too."

Goat's milk is good for people who are lactose intolerant and is the closest thing to human breast milk, so a lot of mothers like to wean their children on to goat's milk, Miss Harper said.

It hasn't been easy to get the product on the market. It took months to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Authority, she said.

"The compliances are difficult. There are a lot of rules and a lot of regulations, product testings and so forth. It took ages, but I actually enjoy filling out forms, so it wasn't too bad."

Miss Harper will get up at 5am to milk her 20 goats in a tiny milking shed on her family's farm in Mahau Sound, before driving for an hour to Blenheim for a 9am market start.

"They don't allow you to hand milk, even though you're going to filter and pasteurise your milk."

The milk will be in glass bottles to add a nostalgic touch, Miss Harper said.

"I like the idea of something out of one's childhood. That idea is out of customer demand as well. People like the glass."

Miss Harper has sourced the glass bottles from the North Island, but has asked the manufacturer to find a more traditional shaped bottle to use at future markets.

Miss Harper, who also sells cheese, expects the goat's milk will sell well at the market.

"People seem to enjoy fresh milk because it's not homogeneous and the cream is on top. I think people like that."

She also hopes to produce yoghurt later on in the season.

The farmers' market starts for the summer season from 9am to noon on Sunday at the A and P Showgrounds in Blenheim.

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- The Marlborough Express

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