Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life on the Farm - Let's meet our contestants!

Who doesn't picture a farm without a some chickens, a cow in the distance, and a few cats killing mice in the barns? Although Brightwood Farm doesn't have all the most stereotypical livestock wandering around, Susan and Dean do have plenty of animals roaming their gently rolling hills - in fact, they were featured in a local paper today about raising heritage breeds. (Check out the article to learn a bit about the farm and to see a great picture of Susan with her heritage Indian Runner ducks.)

So without further ado, allow me to introduce the players - give it up for the inhabitants of Brightwood Vineyard and Farm!

From Left: Sadie, Izzie, Rosie

The donkeys - Sadie, Rosie and Izzie - are used for what Susan calls "fertility" (a euphamism meaning "manure"), which is used in their compost. Izzie is also Rosie's daughter - when Susan and Dean bought Rosie, they thought she was just getting fat. Au contraire, as they discovered one morning upon finding a slimmed down Rosie and a baby donkey with enormous ears.

Next up are the sheep. They are friendly. Very friendly. (PS: That is Isaac, the friendly WWOOF-er).

And what are sheep without goats? Feeding them is Caitlin, who works on the farm a couple days every week.

Juan the goat.
Naturally with all these tasty treats practically laying around for the taking, something must be done to protect them. That's where the guard dogs come in.

Charlie the dog.
Charlie hangs out with the sheep all day, in a field adjascent to a couple goats (Juan and Phil, a bottle baby goat) and the donkeys. (Charlie is also camera shy, so I had to be covert while lurking about shamelessly.) He is a Maremma Sheepdog, a breed of livestock guardian dog originally bred in central Italy.
Charlie has a brother, named Ben.

Ben guards the chickens.

And while we're on the subject of birds, let's not forget the ducks and Guinea fowl.

They might eat ticks, but Guinea fowl are still one of the most obnoxious birds on the planet.

Duck eggs - apparently great for baking.

There are actually more, but I won't make this entry any more unwieldy than it already is. You will have to wait to meet the rest until later.

Until next time...

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