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Farm Critter Update

There have been a lot of comings and goings in the past month at Squash Blossom Farm. For those of you who have been to the farm and know the animals, I thought you might like an update.

Our two heifers, Jitterbug (the Dexter) and Courgette (the Scottish Highland) have moved to a new farm. You probably know how much I love, love, love my cows. This was such a difficult decision, but we came to it for a bunch of reasons: the newly paved road is requiring us to use the best part of our pasture for parking next year, my arthritic body is making it hard to haul hay and shovel manure, the cows don't really have a useful purpose beyond enjoyment and are quite costly pets (and I can't justify them as a farm attraction when we haven't been open for an entire year due to the pandemic), plus, they are more desirable to someone now, when they can still be bred for calves, than when they are older.

The great news is that they have gone to an amazing farm and will have a valuable role, and never become hamburger. They are now at 21 Roots Farm, a nonprofit farm near the Twin Cities that works with people with developmental disabilities, connecting them to nature and agriculture. They are going to get so much love and attention--and hopefully will have calves next year. I will be visiting them for sure!

Eeyore, the mini donkey, misses Jitterbug - they were great buddies. But, partially filling the void left by the two cows is Don Q Otee, another sweet mini donkey! I am pretty sure Eeyore is very happy to have another donkey here. (I have to admit, it is sometimes kind of hard to tell when donkeys are happy. They are not very effusive.) Don Q has a white muzzle and underbelly and Eeyore is darker gray, so they are easy to tell apart, even though they are both a bit well-fed. I was delighted and a bit surprised to discover they have totally different voices when they bray!

In bird news, we have acquired a trio of Buff Orpington hens from a family that moved to town and didn't have winter housing for them. They are all very people-oriented, but one hen, whom I have named Ginger, runs to meet me and follows me everywhere. She loves to be held and makes sweet purring sounds when I pick her up. I love these chickens!

Dakota, the Royal Palm tom turkey, just celebrated his third Thanksgiving. He is one lucky turkey, being served leftover Thanksgiving fixin's rather than being theThanksgiving entree.

The saddest news is that we said good-bye to Cocoa, our dear old Aussie. She was approximately 17 --we adopted her a few years before we moved to the farm 12 years ago, and she was our last remaining pet from our town life. We knew the day was coming --she was deaf, confused, could barely stand up from lying down, and couldn't do steps at all. We were amazed she had lasted so long. It was hard to say good-bye, but she sure had a great, long dog's life.

All the rest of us, two-legged, four-legged, furred, finned and feathered creatures are doing well and surviving this weird, worrisome pandemic time by enjoying each other. We have been enjoying the lingering autumn, are bracing for winter to really hit, and dreaming of next spring.

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