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NBRN camels19p-1 Joe Garverick is working to establish a camel milk business at his 36-acre farm in Lambertville. Camel milk sells for $11 a pint and he says it is more nutritious than cow’s milk.
Joe Garverick is working to establish a camel milk business at his 36-acre farm in Lambertville. Camel milk sells for $11 a pint and he says it is more nutritious than cow’s milk.
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Published: Monday, 11/19/2012

Entrepreneur takes unusual tack

Mich. man raises camels for their milk

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

LAMBERTVILLE — Joe Garv­er­ick looks to the fu­ture, and he be­lieves the next big thing, nu­tri­tion­ally speak­ing, could be milk from the camel.

The Lam­bert­ville res­i­dent keeps 15 of the en­gag­ing beasts at his 36-acre home on Con­sear Road and said he will ac­quire more as part of his plan to pro­duce and sell their milk.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the nu­tri­tional qual­i­ties of camel milk far sur­pass any­thing that comes from a cow, and there is a large, un­filled mar­ket for the prod­uct in this coun­try, even at the cur­rent price of $11 a pint.

Raw camel milk, for one thing, has a 0.5 per­cent fat con­tent, he said. Whole cow milk has many times that and con­tains only about a third of the Vi­ta­min C found in camel milk.

Joe Garverick drinks camel milk at his home. He says the milk is high in Vitamin C. Joe Garverick drinks camel milk at his home. He says the milk is high in Vitamin C.
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“Camel milk is the only milk that can sus­tain life. You could live on it on a des­ert is­land. It has ev­ery­thing we need to sur­vive,” Mr. Garv­er­ick said. “Other parts of the world re­al­ize this. It con­tains in­su­lin. In the Mid­dle East, camel milk is used for TB, AIDS, and di­a­be­tes.”

Six of Mr. Garv­er­ick’s cam­els are preg­nant. With new­borns and cam­els he plans to buy, Mr. Garv­er­ick will ex­pand his herd to 30 next year. He’ll also in­vest in equip­ment to milk cam­els and per­form that task him­self in­stead of send­ing his cam­els to Cad­il­lac, Mich., to be milked by an Amish farmer. He’ll then sell the milk over the In­ter­net.

A camel can pro­duce about two gal­lons of milk a day, com­pared with 10 gal­lons for a dairy cow, he said, and the mother and calf can­not be sep­a­rated for the mother to be milked.

For Mr. Garv­er­ick, keep­ing cam­els has an­other, non­finan­cial ben­e­fit: he sim­ply en­joys them.

Camels have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing ir­ri­ta­ble, but his are friendly, and in­quis­i­tive, ap­proach­ing vis­i­tors to their pad­dock as if in greet­ing. They seem to en­joy hav­ing their vel­vety muz­zles rubbed. On Mr. Garv­er­ick’s com­mand, one even set­tles to its knees, a scene rem­i­nis­cent of Law­rence of Arabia.

The cam­els are only part of Mr. Garv­er­ick’s me­nag­erie of ap­prox­i­mately 150 an­i­mals that in­cludes don­keys, ze­bras, emus, chick­ens, wal­la­bies, and goats. His home, at 2740 Con­sear, is used a lot as a site for fund-rais­ers, in­clud­ing one for the Bed­ford Ath­letic Boost­ers slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8.

Bed­ford Se­nior High School foot­ball play­ers and cheer­lead­ers will be on hand dur­ing the fund-raiser. Ad­mis­sion will be $5 and the pro­ceeds will ben­e­fit high school ath­let­ics.

 



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