Panhandle Dairy Farm
“Fresh from Florida” visits Ocheesee Creamery, LLC, one of two remaining dairy farms in the panhandle area that pasteurizes processes and bottles their own milk. A small family farm operated & owned by Paul & Mary Lou Wesselhoeft since 1989 is located off State Road 67 in Grand Ridge, FL. Mary Lou was very kind to take time out of her busy schedule to allow the “Fresh from Florida” magazine team to tour the farm. She shared the daily operations of the dairy farm such as starting the day at 4:30 am to feed and milk the Jerseys and ending sometimes by 10 pm. If you are not familiar with Jersey breed cows, they are popular for the high butterfat content of its milk. The Wesselhoeft’s cows are on a pasture-based feeding program. If you are wondering what pasture-based means: animals roam freely in their natural environment where they’re able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants that their bodies are adapted to digest.
Ocheesee Creamy milk is so unique and exciting to me because, the milk is bottled in recyclable glass containers. Although, it is a $2 refundable deposit, plus the cost of milk when purchased, Ms. Wesselhoeft stresses liquids in glass containers have a better taste than plastic containers. I had an opportunity to sample a glass of fresh cold chocolate milk. It was delicious! So delicious, upon returning to Tallahassee, I purchased chocolate milk at the New Leaf Market. Of course, I’m not old enough to expound on my experiences with recyclable milk bottles, but many years ago, milk was sold in glass containers and home delivered by a milk truck. Take some time to reminiscent and then head over to Ocheesee Creamy, LLC, also known as Shady Nook Farms to purchase milk, cream & old fashion butter or give Paul or Mary Lou a call at (850) 674-8620 to have it delivered.
Recently, the Wesselhoeft’s opened a store front located inside the dairy’s processing building with glass windows for viewing the bottling operation. Currently, they are processing chocolate milk, whole milk, skim milk, buttermilk, cream and rich old fashion butter several times per week. The products are available at the Ocheesee Dairy farm, Blountstown River Valley Marketplace (1st Saturday of each month), local whole food and grocery stores.
If you are a cheese producer, bakery, whole food store, grocery store, farmers’ market or just in need of milk, especially skim milk, cream or old fashion butter in large or small quantities, please contact Paul & Mary Lou Wesselhoeft at (850)674-8620 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Purchasing locally-grown products helps support our economy.