The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Home-grown Blueberries with Homemade Yogurt

July 29th, 2014 by Ed Bruske


The deer fence is working. We got a great haul from the blueberry bushes
outside our kitchen. Just thing for breakfast with our homemade yogurt.

What? You’ve never made your own yogurt? Nothing could be simpler.

Start by filling a quart-size Mason jar three-quarters full with the best milk you can find. We like cream top milk from our local dairy. Fill the remainder with heavy cream for extra richness. Pour into a heavy pot and, over the lowest possible heat, bring the mix to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to 120 degrees. Stir in 2 heaping Tablespoons of plain yogurt. This can be store bought, or from a previous batch. I started years ago with an Icelandic-style yogurt with a tang I particularly like. Warm your mason jar and pour the milk mixture into it. Place in a small cooler with a couple more jars containing hot water.

Close the cooler and leave in a safe, warm place for a day or two. The yogurt should be done and ready to eat. Just add blueberries!

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Grass: The Long and Short of It

July 28th, 2014 by Ed Bruske


I should explain this photo.

What you’re looking at is I the underside of our tractor. That fuzzy piece is grass wrapped around the drive shaft that powers our 60-inch mower deck. What I recently discovered trying to mow the tall grass in our pasture is that the tough stems from milk weed and goldenrod plants wrap around that shaft. They pull in more grass and weeds until the shaft is covered with a giant wad of foliage and starts to overheat.

Even though the mower deck isn’t designed for pasture, it never occurred to me that this would be a problem when we bought the tractor earlier this year. Last year I mowed the entire property with our neighbor’s borrowed rider mower. Now I realize his little John Deere mower was driven by belts and pulleys on top of the deck. They never came in contact with the grass.

So much for my one size-fits-all solution. What I’ll have to do now is save up for a rotary mower that’s powered from the rear of our tractor. Meanwhile, I’ve dusted off the scythe and started battling those pesky milkweed and goldenrod plants by hand.

Can you say, pass the Ibuprofin?

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