Dairy farmers serve up 'milk on tap,' a Sask. first
Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:09PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2019 8:30PM CST
A dairy farm just north of Saskatoon is serving up something fresh in the farm-to-table movement.
“People really want milk from the farm,” said Martha Froese-Kooijenga. She and her husband Bas own and manage Sunnyside Dairy north of Saskatoon.
Five years ago they opened a farmyard market. Customers could buy canning, honey, vegetables and beef products. But recently, the Dutch-Canadian couple gave into demands from customers and starting producing milk.
“That’s the only thing we were missing in the store, is the milk,” Martha said.
On April 15 after more than a year of training and learning about pasteurization, Sunnyside opened its tiny milk plant, featuring a milk-dispensing machine. Customers only need to bring a container.
“People bring these antique bottles that they’ve had on their shelves from their grandparents or relatives, sitting there collecting dust,” Martha said.
The difference with this milk is it’s full fat meaning none of the cream has been filtered out and it’s non-homogenized. The Froese-Kooijenga’s say it’s good for about 10 days.
Clara Kemp drives to the dairy farm from Dalmeny. She said she’s allergic to the store-bought milk and has been on the Sunnyside diet for about a week.
“It’s been good. No problems at all … no chemicals added so I think it’s good,” Kemp said.
The milk tap at Sunnyside is the first in Saskatchewan and Bas said the hardest part is predicting the daily demand from customers.
“We started out with 270 litres and that was too much, then we tried 75 litres and that was too little so we’re figuring about 100 litres a day,” Bas said, adding whatever doesn’t sell is picked up by the milk truck and taken to a cheese plant.
Luckily, if they’re short, it only takes about 90 minutes to pasteurize another batch, Bas said.
The story behind Sunnyside gets better. On this day 25 years ago, the two joined in holy matrimony; a relationship set up by mutual friends.
“We went on a blind date at the Travelodge and met in the bar. Obviously it went very well, we’re still here 25 years later,” Bas said.
With 30 Holstein cows at the farm, the Froese-Kooijenga’s are hoping to perfect the milk-game, before venturing into cheese and butter.
Sunnyside Dairy is hosting a grand opening June 1, and they invite to public for some milk and cookies.