The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Snowbound

December 11th, 2014 by Ed Bruske

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A December nor’easter has been parked over our area for the better part of the week, upending our autumn routine. We weren’t quite ready for full-on winter, meaning extra work keeping the animals fed and watered and the fire in the wood stove burning.

At times like this–essentially a whiteout–there’s little else to do but curl up with a good book, or, more likely, make bowl of popcorn and turn on the DVD player.

Occasionally, I climb into my winter gear and make tracks in the driveway with our four-wheel-drive pickup. With maybe five inches of heavy, wet new snow, we weren’t quite ready to call for plow. But we’re nearing that point where the truck planes rather than drives through the snow.

Sure wish I’d switched over to the studded tires already.

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Meet Sal

December 9th, 2014 by Ed Bruske

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Other than having to dig out from the occasional nor’easter, life on Spy Dog Farm is usually pretty routine. Morning chores, afternoon chores–wash, rinse repeat.

But every once in a while, we get to swing at a curve ball and things get more interesting. Yesterday morning would be a perfect sample. The phone rang and our friend Ashley was on the line. Would we be interested in a six-year-old Nubian milk goat? Otherwise, she had a date with the butcher.

We had be toying with the idea of making our own goat cheese. Over the summer, we had even contacted a local dairy about purchasing one of their kids. Getting a grown dame would certainly speed things up. But did we need another mouth to feed over the winter? Did we have room in the goat pen.

Truth is, we’ve got plenty of hay. So I was soon behind the wheel of the pickup, headed for Ashley’s. After brief introductions, we loaded the goat–named Sal–into the back of the truck. And just a few minutes later, Sal landed in our goat enclosure with our three Kiko meat goats looking on most curiously.

There were tense moments as the goats sized each either up. Sal and our oldest female–Dolly–circled one another, hair on backs raised, occasionally squaring off and butting heads. As you see, the Kikos have horns, Sal is without. But that didn’t stop the Nubian lady from holding her ground.

Once peace was restored, the goats resumed grazing, with Sal finding a place of her own some distance from the others. My guess is they will all be friends eventually. It can’t happen soon enough, as another storm is moving into the area and space in the bunk house is limited.

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