Find Raw Goat Milk at Goodness Gracious Acres in West Palm Beach

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"People have a mistaken view of goat milk," says JoJo Milano as she takes a swig of milk from a glass bottle in her garage that doubles as a goat-milking room. "They think the taste is gamey, but my Nubians produce a milk that's actually very sweet. I like it better than cow's milk."

Across Palm Beach County, there are plenty of customers who agree. Right now, Milano — owner and head milker at Delilah's Dairy in West Palm Beach — is working off a waiting list for the raw goat milk she sells on her small farmlet. It's a modest operation, but manageable for one person — and that's just the way she likes it.

When Milano moved to West Palm Beach from Davie in 2003, her goal was to get away from the area's growing urban sprawl for more pastoral environs. After a 20 year career in advertising as a creative art director, the Miami native says she dreamed of a quiet place where she could stable her two horses on her own property. A few years later, after one of her horses passed, she bought a goat to keep the remaining equine company. 

"My first goat was really just to keep my horse company. Of course, they didn't get along, so I had to buy another goat to keep that goat company," says Milano, who began selling raw dairy products under the Florida Department of Agriculture-approved label for animal consumption in 2006. "It just snowballed from there."
Today, Milano calls the 1.5-acre farm Goodness Gracious Acres, an open plot of land located in western West Palm Beach a few blocks north of Northlake Boulevard where she both works and lives. These days, the farm is home to 22 goats and various livestock including two pot-bellied pigs, a miniature horse, and about 40 chickens. They are free-ranging and fed an alfalfa- and grain-based diet.

Here, Milano also operates Delilah's Dairy Farm, named for one of her first two goats that has since passed. It's a full-time job, and to make ends meet Milano offers small farm consultation services, breeds and sells her goats, and makes handmade soaps using the goat milk and olive and coconut oils. She also has several beehives that produce a beautiful golden wildflower honey and sells her chickens' free-range organic eggs.

From sun-up to sundown, Milano tends to her herd, a great pyrenees livestock guardian dog at her heels. From the 11 milking goats she will collect approximately 3 to 4 gallons of milk each day, milking several times in one day. The milk is used to make several products including raw goat milk, an herb-flecked farm cheese, and kefir (a tart, drinkable yogurt).
Each is available for purchase on the farm in glass quart or half-gallon jars, but Milano is clear the milk is neither pasteurized nor approved for human consumption. As long as you give her written acknowledgment that it's raw dairy, what you do with it when you arrive home is up to you.

Those interested in purchasing raw goat dairy (and see the small farm operation in action) can schedule a time to meet Milano and her goats. Product pick-ups can be scheduled daily from 4 to 7 p.m. First-time visitors can even do a meet-and-greet with the most friendly of the bunch, goats with names like Fern, Sable, Ramona, and Desdemona. 

The local support of Goodness Gracious Acres is more important than ever, says Milano, especially with the growing number of nearby development projects and urbanization that present a threat to the operation of small farms like this one.

"This farm is how I make my living," she says. "My only hope, being as small as it is, would be to still be here 15 years from now. I don't need to be the next big organic dairy farm, or sell my products to Whole Foods. I just need to survive." 

Goodness Gracious Acres and Delilah's Dairy is located at 14817 97th Road N., West Palm Beach. Visit jojomilano.blogspot.com or goodnessgraciousacres.blogspot.com. To set up a time to visit the farm email JoJo Milano at milanodesign@mac.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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