The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Thanksgiving Nor’easter, 2014 Version

November 28th, 2014 by Ed Bruske


The storm struck Wednesday. It snowed most of the day and into the night. When we awoke Thursday morning, there were eight-plus inches on the ground, instantly turning Spy Dog Farm into a scene from Dr. Zhivago, giving us plenty of work to do in addition to the usual chores.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to be up before dawn Wednesday moving fences around so we were able to re-locate the goats from the far corner of the orchard to their winter quarters closer to the house. It was the first time our boy goat, Tigger, had been led on a leash. He bucked and protested at first, but soon followed the females, Dolly and Tanner, who are sweet as house pets when moving time rolls around.

It was also the first time we had deployed our new tractor to move snow. It took me a couple of hours to clear our 900-foot driveway, with a bit of a learning curve operating the front end loader. But the final result looked not too shabby. At least we were able to get the pickup truck back and forth to the main road. We are now looking at chains for the tractor tires, which tend to slip on the uphill.

With all that work, and roads still being cleared, we moved Thanksgiving to Friday (today). That gave my wife some extra time in the kitchen. She’s working on an exquisite menu–sweet potato dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, creamed onions, sausage stuffing, tarte Tatin, pumpkin Creme brûlée–all made from scratch.

I’m charged with brining and roasting a 17-pound turkey and preparing the gravy. We’ll be joined by sister and brother-in-law, who are bringing the green bean casserole and spirits, and a couple of friends.

We are grateful the power is still on. And as long as the firewood holds out, we’ll be fine.

Bon appetit!

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Together at Last

November 26th, 2014 by Ed Bruske


For the first time since arriving on the farm a year ago, our boy goat–Tigger–has finally met his better half.

Tigger was in a crazy sort of rut lately as the sheep he’s been living with came into heat. It was time to put the ewes with the rams. Tigger was heart broken, but soon found himself with our two girl goats, Dolly and Tanner.

Tigger’s demeanor changed dramatically. Where he was constantly growling, peeing on himself and pawing at the sheep, he is now the picture of calm. And after a brief period of adjustment on the ladies’ part, the three of them seem to be getting along famously.

Tigger is still the insatiable boy in the family. He wolfs down his morning feed, then tries to stick his head in the girls’ buckets. Hopefully, Tigger will get his priorities straight and start making babies.

The only issue now is a big nor’easter bearing down on our part of the countr, threatening up to a foot of snow. The goats are stuck in a far corner of the orchard. I was out before dawn this morning moving fences so we can return the goats to their winter quarters close to the house.

It promises to be a busy day.

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