Animal farms provide foods, too
Jo Jo Milano owns Delilah’s Dairy — a goat farm on less than two acres in the western area next to Loxahatchee.
A horsewoman, she ditched her job as a creative art director for an ad agency in Miami to stable her horses on her own property instead of renting stalls in Davie. Having a lonely horse led to getting goats to be companions for the horse.
Sampson and Delilah were the first goats. Ms. Milano started showing them and now is breeding them.
“I had 18 kids at once a few weeks ago,” she said. “I won’t do that again.”
The breeding led to goat milk — which she sells under the Florida Department of Agriculture-approved label as “pet food supplement — not for human consumption.”
It’s not a large amount — she gets only six gallons a day on average from the 11 milk goats.
Most people who buy it get it to drink themselves — she is aware of that.
“But I can’t legally sell it as a human food because it’s unpasteurized and I am not a Grade A dairy,” she said.
“I am extremely strict about it — you have to come here to buy it, and I have everyone sign waivers that say they have read the regulations, and are using this for pets and understand the law. I collect names, addresses and emails and keep them on file — I don’t want to have any trouble with the state.”
It’s a small-farm problem, she said. She also sells goat milk soaps and kefir as well as eggs and a limited amount of goat cheese.
“This is all about, ‘To the buyer: beware.’ It’s putting responsibility back on the human. You come here to look at the eggs, chickens, goats. You see where I milk. You tell me if you feel comfortable buying it from me.
“Essentially you are putting your trust in me. I wouldn’t ever want to disappoint. My reputation is on the line. The customers come here and any given time, you can see the goats.”
Her fight isn’t just with the state, it’s with developers encroaching her small farmlet, she said. Developers are hoping to put in 7,500 homes nearby, and upgrading two-lane roads, adding commercial development. The plan would spoil what she moved away from Davie to escape, she said.
She’ll fight them, she said, to preserve what she calls an idyllic although hardworking life. She’s just learning to keep bees, and has chickens and a pig along with her horses.
“I’m milking goats twice a day, and tending them 24/7. People think I’m crazy. But I really do love it.” ¦