Yee-haw! I’m in Tennessee y’all and the gittin’s good. I can’t think of a better way to sever my relationship with Maui than to hit Tennessee in the spring and live off the fat of the land.

My first day I woke up and headed straight for the Franklin Farmer’s Market, yes sir I did. And y’all jus’ wouldn’t believe what my two eyes did see when I showed up at that there market. Now I’ve been to some impressive markets over the years, including regular trips all summer to the Napa Valley market, and the best I’ve ever witnessed in Santa Barbara, CA. However, the Franklin farmer’s market has a firm place among the best of the best.

One thing I loved about it, first of all, is that only farmers (and a REAL bluegrass band) were there. This is a totally foreign concept to Coloradoans who think farmers markets are a gathering place for candle makers, shaved ice vendors, massage therapists, pastry baker’s (massive scowl), and who knows what else.

Better yet, Tennessee ranchers show up on the scene with a huge selection of incredible meats from pastured animals. You can buy just about anything: farm fresh eggs from pastured hens, whole pastured chickens, no-nitrate bacon from soy-free pastured pigs, grassfed beef, and so much more. It was an extravaganza of nourishment. And there was more than just the typical. You better believe I bought chicken gizzards, hearts, liver, and feet! Beef marrow bones, lamb’s liver, there was no stopping me.

And then, for the first time, I had a chance to purchase and consume, for the first time in my life, “Tennessee Pet Milk” (secret code phrase for the freshest, rawest, cleanest, purest, most nutritious, least adulterated, and by far best tasting whole raw milk a human being could ever dream of gulping).

Although I already believed the hype after reading hundreds of pages of exciting information about raw milk from Sally Fallon, William Campbell Douglass, Jordan Rubin, Donna Gates, and others, my first hand experience with the holiest of beverages merely served to solidify what I suspected all along…Real milk is inexplicably awesome.

As to be expected by those who know me, I got no further than the parking lot before popping open the cap on this “pet milk.” I took a drink with no hesitation, and even with my extremely high expectations for it, I was literally blown away, as was my skeptical and more hesitant sister who “doesn’t even like milk.” The two of us hurriedly scrambled to get the cap back on so we could scurry back to the market to get an additional gallon and a half.

We also bought a couple pounds of “pet butter,” which fit the exact description of Weston A. Price’s high vitamin butter (the most nutritious widely available food substance on earth according to him). Its color was deep yellow, almost like a fake-colored margarine, only no chemical solvents, bleaches, deodorizers, artificial flavors, multiple heated extractions, or centrifuges were used on this butter. And although it had no health claims to lower heart disease or cholesterol levels like “the miracle margarines of the future,” I have a slight hunch that there might be a health benefit or two to eating this “illegal” substance instead (we’ve been referring to it as “contraband” in my family – good one sis!).

Yes, ranchers that feed their dairy cows on glowing green spring grass that’s as pure and nutritious as any substance on earth, and then turn around and sell the milk and butter, are literally smuggling one of the most nourishing foods available to us homo sapiens.

All I can say is, “thank God (a.k.a. Sally Fallon) they are!”

And more importantly, for the first time in my life I finally understand why someone would cry over spilled milk. Tears are completely and totally justifiable in that circumstance.

And for anyone else who has tried raw milk and wasn’t blown away by its taste, all I can say is that it was sub par compared to what I’ve been drinking this week. Holy cow! (oh I get that one now too).

P.S. – Get excited everyone, next week a “colleague” of mine is contributing a personal story to my website. Not only will you not have to hear more rambling from me, but you will get to hear the personal experience of a raw food vegan chef who was saved from the depths of malnourishment by a pod of lesser-known superheroes, Captain Beef Liver, Butter Boy, and Sugarless Susie.