Milking it: For the first time, fresh, local goats milk is now available in grocery stores. Farmer Gerry Wilmot and his wife Aletha began producing it commercially almost three weeks ago thanks to government grants.The government says it is “udderly” pleased with the small business and hopes more Bermudians will follow suit. Pictured here Wilmot’s farm helper Antoine Sealey milking one of the farm’s 100 goats. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
Benefits of goats’ milk
People with cows' milk allergies can drink it as it contains a different kind of protein
It has 13 per cent less lactose than cows' milk
It is easy to digest (for newborn babies)
It limits cholesterol deposits in body tissues
Has more natural vitamin A and B than cows' milk
Tastes the same as cows' milk
Good for asthma and eczema.
For the first time, locally produced goats' milk is on the shelves of Bermuda's grocery stores.
Thanks to government grants, farmer Gerry Wilmot and his wife Aletha were able to buy all the milking equipment they needed in order for their farm to meet strict health guidelines.
Government officials are hoping other Bermudians will follow in the Wilmots' footsteps to produce the milk that they say is "full of nutrients" and that it may even prove to be a "family-friendly" solution for parents who need to work two jobs.
The Wilmots have almost 100 goats on their five-acre plot of land on Cedar Hill, Warwick.
"People are timid of goats' milk to start off because it's different, but it really doesn't taste that different from cows' milk," said Mrs. Wilmot. "Gerry had been doing this as a hobby for so long and one day he decided he wanted to turn the excess milk into cash."
The couple initially brought in the goats from the U.S. but now breed them on the farm.
They have different breeds of goats - Alpines, Nubians, Swananas, Oberhasli, Toggenburg and Nigerian Dwarfs - but say the milk tastes "basically the same," regardless of which breed of goat it has come from.
Although it has only been in grocery stores for three weeks, Mrs. Wilmot says it is selling "very well" and that she hopes to move into the production of goats cheese, goats' yogurt and goats' butter in the near future.
She added: "Goats' milk is very nutritious - more so than cows' milk. Also, if you are lactose intolerant, it is a much better chose than cows' milk - I'm living proof.
"For newborn babies it is second only to a mother's breast milk."
Animal husbandry technician at the Department of the Environment, Caroldey Douglas, helped the Wilmots' meet the Health Department certification.
"A lot of people have been milking goats over the years and not met the requirements to sell it (milk)," Ms Douglas said. "Gerry is the only person to process and pasteurize goats milk in Bermuda.
"I'm trying to encourage other people to keep and milk goats. They can sell it to Gerry for him to pasteurize. That way, hobbyists can make money too.
"It's a good thing for Bermuda - for our size and our environment and anyone who is concerned about our carbon footprint.
"A lot of Bermudians have second jobs and raising goats for milk can be that second job. It means that the parents wouldn't be in a job that took them away from their family - the kids could be right there with them helping to feed the goats and learning something at the same time.
"I hope it can be a viable business for Bermudians."
Wilmot's goats' milk is being sold in Lindos, Whites in Warwick, Haywards, Harrington Hundreds, Howards and Miles.