The People – AKA Those Owned by the Animals!
Nine Mile Farmstead is owned by Dorothy and Jack Spirko. Dorothy spent over 20 years as a pediatric nurse and Jack spent most of his life in sales and marketing. Today they run their own businesses and take care of things at Nine Mile Farmstead.
Jack also runs a podcast about all things self sufficiency called “The Survival Podcast” which is listened to by over 100,000 people a day and has founded other businesses to help spread the word about sustainable and local food. These companies are AgriTrue and PermaEthos.
Primary security of the farmstead is the responsibility of Charlie and Max.
Max is a very large but quite friendly once introduced German Shepard. He is amazingly gentle with the birds especially with chicks. If presented with a baby chick he will actually lick it on the head.
Charlie is a pit bull and pointer mix, who took a bit of work to be considered trust worthy with the birds. With the two of them around the birds are well protected from predators and Charlie has become very proficient at helping to move the birds when they need a bit of herding.
While they are largely useless we need to at least note them. Alice is a dilute calico female on permanent house duty. She is a rescue kitten that is cross eyed, visually impaired, half deaf and not exactly the sharpest hoe in the shed, so we keep her inside for her own safety.
Ralph was an old tom cat that was a hell of a mouser in his day. At the point of this pitcure he was well past retirement and unfortunately passed away in April of 2015. We first took him in in 1996 and he was an adult cat at that time. We don’t know how old he was exactly but he made it to somewhere in his 20s. He is currently rests on the north west corner of the farm near his buddy Blackie the black lab that he spent most of his life with. We have left him on this page as a tribute to a warrior cat that shared 20 years and 7 homes in 3 states with us and managed to make it to our final place with us. RIP Ralph.
Birds of Note – With as many birds as we have naming all of them would not be piratical but we do have a few of note.
- Buddy the “Goose Duck” – We hatched Buddy from our flock of Toulouse geese and none of the females were broody at the time so we had to raise her ourselves. Buddy was the only goose egg to hatch so we brooded her with a group of ducks. She now refuses to flock with the geese and instead is “head duck”. We jokingly call the ducks her minions but she does defend them with ruthless goose ability. We named her Buddy after Will Farrell’s character Buddy in the Christmas Movie, Elf.
- Pencil Neck the Indian Runner Duck – Runner Ducks are just cute as all get out and our stand out of the breed is Pencil Neck a buff runner duck. He is hysterical to watch running along with the flock and his neck really is pencil like. He doesn’t really accomplish much but we sure love seeing him first thing every morning.