Raw milk — something previous generations grew up drinking.
Now Wiggins Farm on Possum Corner Road near Walterboro is producing and selling raw milk. The milk can be found at the Colleton Museum deli counter or purchased at the farm. Because it is so fresh and contains probiotic bacteria, it only lasts 7-10 days.
Brett Wiggins, owner and operator of Wiggins Farms, is a strong believer in his product.
“I have had stomach issues for years. I was told that I was lactose intolerant, so I couldn’t drink milk, which I love. However, I have discovered that I can drink raw milk with no problems at all,” said Wiggins, despite the fact the milk is labeled not for human consumption.
“Pasteurizing milk boils some of the good bacteria out of the milk. Then homogenizing pressurizes the milk and runs it through a screen which removes the rest of the good bacteria. You are basically drinking white water,” Wiggins said. “With this raw whole milk, you need to shake up the container before using … there is nothing but straight cream on top of the milk.”
Wiggins is enormously proud of his Jersey cow that produces this milk. She is just one of his rescue animals.
“I saved this cow from being butchered. I bought her from a dairy where she was not producing the quota needed, so they were going to send her to be butchered for meat. I bought her, and just being away from the stress of being forced into a pen on concrete and set up on a machine, she calmed down. She walks into the barn to be milked without force, and produces 3-4 gallons of milk a day for me,” Wiggins said.
A true man of nature, Wiggins loves his wife, his four blond, blue-eyed children, his animals and farm. “It’s nice, quiet and peaceful here,” he said, smiling.
In addition to the raw milk, he produces cotton, corn, soy beans, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, eggplant, oats, straw and deer corn, just to name a few products. This fall he will be planting collards and broccoli.
His sow just gave birth to 12 piglets, and he is weaning quite a few more piglets. He has a Holstein calf, a horse, a bull, three Jersey cows, two sheep and a number of chickens.
Having no connection to farming except for a grandfather who passed away before Wiggins was born, it is amazing that he developed such a passion for animal husbandry and agriculture.
“After my granddad passed away the year before I was born, the family just left his farming equipment under a shed. He had all the major machinery. At 14 years old, I began tinkering with them. At first my parents refused to let me touch the stuff, but after a while, they gave in. My dad, who used to help his father with the farming, helped me plant my first row — and I was completely hooked,” Wiggins said.
“I have been farming ever since, and I am really proud of all the crops my wife and I produce. I have all kinds of animals here, too, especially pigs which I am more familiar with. But I thought I would try my hand at dairy now. I hope there is a need for my product out there,” said Wiggins. If he does not have enough raw milk sales, his cows will have to be sold for slaughter, and that’s something he doesn’t want to happen.
“I have discovered that northern states do well selling raw milk and people who move down here are wanting it. There are very few dairies around the state. Also, elderly people who were raised on farms really miss the raw milk’s taste and health benefits,” he said.
Customers Michael Dopson, Craig Dopson and Dean Pittinger came to Wiggins Farms for deer corn, but when they found out that Wiggins had raw milk, they immediately purchased some.
“It’s been four or five years since I had good milk,” said Michael Dobson. “I used to own dairy cows and milked them myself. I don’t have them anymore and I miss that fresh cream,” said Dobson.
“The label says it is for animal consumption,” said Wiggins. “But if people drink it, I think they will find that it is not only delicious, but beneficial for their health.”
Wiggins Farms sells produce, pigs and milk, fresh off the farm. They can be reached at 1-843-631-0914. Call to arrange a time to come by.
But drive slowly on the property … they have dogs, cows, sheep, chickens and children running around, growing and thriving.