A soothing bottle of milk for a fussy baby, a beloved thank-you gift for the jolly man in red on Christmas Eve, an addition to a steaming cup of coffee during a cool, early-morning porch front conversation. Milk is, from our first moments, the lifeblood of our being, adding nutrition to our diets and comfort to our lives. With constantly changing regulations being imposed on our food and many questioning the unnaturalness of additives and preservatives in supermarket fare, a growing number of consumers are turning to the local and honest vendors at farmers markets. And those seeking dairy in its healthiest and purest form are serving their families the finest milks, cheeses, butter and ice creams from Ocheesee Creamery.
Mary Lou Wesselhoeft remembers growing up on her family’s farm, spending the days at school with her sisters before rushing home to tend to the cows that provided her family’s livelihood.
“Everyone had their chores, and we knew we all had to work together to keep the farm running,” she recounted, fondly.
Though today’s dairy farming tactics are more modernized and fast-paced than those of her childhood, the family involvement is still present. Her children are now lending a hand, even adding their own special touches to the growth of the family business. Her daughter has created the creamery’s ice cream brand, and her son is involved in all aspects of the business, primed to one day step in and carry the creamery on to the next generation.
The Seaside Farmers Market is the ideal location for the Ocheesee Creamery’s wares, a bustling marketplace of local farm-to-table and locally made foods, held each each Tuesday and Saturday morning along the perimeter of Seaside’s amphitheater.
“The market has been a wonderful place for us to present our dairy products,” Wesselhoeft says. “We’ve been setting up here for years, and we have many regulars that stop by to pick up milk and cheeses for their homes.”
And not just any milk, as the creamery’s sweet white liquids are presented in nostalgic glass bottles, labeled with the humble verse of Joel 3:18: “The hills shall flow with milk.”
Why glass? It’s better for the environment and preserves the natural flavor of the milk better than any plastic ever could. And the dairy products from the creamery find their beginnings in the most simple and natural form — Jersey cows fed a diet primarily of fresh grass, a concept that guarantees the production of milk with five times as much unsaturated fat than cows fed processed grains.
Dairy lovers everywhere, rejoice; Ocheessee Creamery is serving up fresh milk, yogurt, butter and ice cream, and also sells a variety of cheeses from partners that also offer fresh, organic wares. And if you are looking to experience the production of milk in its natural habitat, a quick jaunt over to Grand Ridge, Fla., will take you back in time at the creamery’s dairy.
Visit Seaside Farmers Market online.