Finished Wood Floors In a Greener Better “Whey!”

Wendy’s Blog

Unconventional combination keeps the cows coming home and hardwoods happy too!

What on earth am I talking about? Well, a Vermont dairy farmer, with his eye on making going green an example, is not just living it. He has invented it and made, and continues to make it happen. From dairy farming to maple syrup to manufacturing hardwood floor finish, he is on a mission.  But a smitten of green alternatives he has made a reality and made a difference.  It all starts with the calves and the cows. And it ends with beaming hardwood floors and happy customers!

So what's the connection?

From cookies to cream, from calves to happy cows, then cream to cheese, and whey to wood, there is a connection! Well read on to discover how!

Now while I don’t know all the history, I have been delighted with this feel good go green story.  The ingenuity offers green solutions and products that are safer, better and cleaner all the “whey” around! Enter Andrew Meyer, owner of Shelburne Farms in Hardwick Vermont. Besides Andrew’s vision he invoked the help of research scientists at The University of Vermont, furniture makers and wood experts to help him. But it really does all start with the cows!

Shelburne Organic Dairy Farm is a state of the art mechanized dairy farm where no chip, forgive me as in “cow chip”, has been unturned. From the moment the cows are born to their rewards and training as they grow into their milk producing stage, these Cows are indeed happy.

For them it all starts with a cookie!

The calves begin their journey to milking and living on the free range farm by being awarded a cookie. Each day, as they return they enter the barn for their cookie, which sets the tone. Then before they grow into their producing years they are brought in, and experience teet manipulation followed by their cookie. 

Eventually then they mature into the milking process, and are always awarded their cookie. And with this reward process they live an unbridled life with open pastures, rolling hills, and nestled trees harmoniously living out their days. So you can say from their cookie, to the cream (milk), and on to the cheese making their life goes.

Then the cow path begins first to make milk which becomes cream, and then cheese .

Shelburne Farms is a producer of milk and cheese products, maple syrup and more. Their bounty is offered to purveyors like Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Cabot Cheese. The farmstead is a learning center, and has an event center even for hosting weddings. They make cheese there, bread, syrup and more. But next is the interesting connection to hardwood.

As the cheese is cultivated it generates whey, which migrates eventually to the wood finish in an harmonious whey!

 

Now this is where the ingenuity comes in, and something I can only summarize. Not to make light of it, but to spark interest I do share the following,  “I wonder if the dairy famers high on wacky weed tried to dream up a way to make money off the whey by-product.” And then I follow that with “in reality it was invented in a research lab at UVM by research scientists and wood experts. In fact, it is a sophisticated wood floor coating and finish that trumps the toxic chemical formulas commonly used. Not only toxic to humans, some components are also highly carcinogenic too.

I am inspired as to how and why Andrew and the farmers were trying to find a use for the whey, a by-product of cheese making. Kudos to them, there has got to be a useful purpose for it in volumes. Now enter the whey proteins journey to hardwood floor finish.

Whey proteins become the binding agent and solids in hardwood floor finishes.

The journey continues when Andrew founds Vermont Natural Coatings, making products that are stains and finishes for hardwood f, floors and decking, both interior and out.  With patents in hand the production fires up. What a concept. To take the whey protein and formulate a sturdy hardwood floor finish is brilliant both in the discovery and brilliant in the result!

It is impressive that the whey proteins have a purposeful use in hardwood floor finishes. In fact, it is highest concentration of solids in a floor finish on the market today. Non toxic, non carcinogenic, and made from sustainable sources, the finish enhances appearance without the chance of causing harm in its use.  

 

How fascinating and forward thinking it was to take cows in an active dairy farm to repurposing about every ounce of by product in a favorable manner. And in this case what a vision to enhance such a beautiful natural element people choose in flooring over most other alternatives!

In summation, hardwood flooring coated with Vermont Natural Coatings floor finishes is resilient, beautiful and stands up to the test of time. Safe and compliant Shelburne Farms and Vermont Natural Coatings should be commended for their efforts!

And for that we are happy to almost exclusively work with their products to the delight of our customers, one floor at a time.

Poly Whey, it’s a win all the whey around!

How fascinating and forward thinking it was to take cows in an active dairy farm to repurposing about every ounce of by product in a favorable manner. And in this case what a vision to enhance such a beautiful natural element people choose in flooring over most other alternatives!

In summation, hardwood flooring coated with Vermont Natural Coatings floor finishes is resilient, beautiful and stands up to the test of time. Safe and compliant Shelburne Farms and Vermont Natural Coatings should be commended for their efforts!

And for that we are happy to almost exclusively work with their products to the delight of our customers, one floor at a time.

Want hardwood floors refinished using better, safer finishes for beautiful results. Dustless with craftsman grade results. Free Estimates Call 609.953.0472.