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Food Challenge Gifts

Stephanie stopped by to check out our goat infrastructure. As a gesture of appreciation for goat knowledge, she brought a treasure: a half-pint of vine maple syrup—VINE MAPLE SYRUP, PEOPLE!! For those of you not in the northwest, you have to know that vine maples are usually spindly trees. Stephanie knows one that is 200 years old, and she got enough sap to share. Wow! We had to have a blindfolded taste test between my sugar maple syrup, Lucas’s big-leaf maple syrup, and Stephanie’s vine maple. The verdict? They are all delicious. Not too shabby with a swig of fresh cream, either. But Stephanie had more marvels to share. She also brought some blue oyster mushrooms. “If you cut off t

What To Do When an Alien Squid Attacks Your Cow.

Rejoice! That is, if your cow takes to the milking machine as well as Cookie does. Senia and I tried to milk Cookie by hand. Cookie had been milked exclusively by machine before, and she didn’t appreciate pesky unknown humans grabbing her tender bits. After 3 weeks of spilled milk and cramped backs, I invested in a milking machine. At first I worried I was giving in to industrial mechanization, eroding the pastoral poetry of milking by hand. Then a lightbulb went on. I use a washing machine for my clothes, don’t I? Who would argue that washing machines remove the romance from life? I'm glad we got a squid-like contraption to vacuum milk out of our cow. Cookie stands blissfully still now

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