Well, again- I know it’s been a long time. Please don’t assume, from the lack of posts, that things aren’t ticking right along here at the farmlet: baby chicks are growing, rabbits are cruising the yard in their fancy new (smaller) rabbit tractor, the fall garden is finally underway…
But I’m still BUSY, phew. The new job remains very consuming, and I’m up for a full-time gig with them for spring (not that this is NOT full time, mind you, but adjuncting is by definition not a full time job). So there’s been much less time to wax rhapsodic on the joys of bucolic farmlet life- despite the fact that it is STILL bucolic.
However, this morning, after some waiting on pins and needles, we headed off to see the delightful folks -both human and animal- at Yellow Wolf Farm, former home of our first pig, Acorn. This is also where I took the amazing Sausage Making class for my birthday last year, and assisted at a couple of Whole Hog Butchering classes. If y’all are reading this in NC, you should check out the current schedule. I can’t think of anything Stacy would teach, that wouldn’t be super useful to a homesteader-y person, or folks that care passionately about their food. Plus, her critters are super sweet.
After a bit of visiting, and swapping stories about how we EACH had the first pigs we brought home get away (not to worry, everything came out fine in the end)- E and Stacy loaded the pigs up into our truck.
The pigs in the photo above are American Guinea Hog/Berkshire/Old Spot crosses (more on heritage pig breeds can be found here: The Livestock Conservancy ), but of course, like last year- I got into ANOTHER discussion of “that pig is cuter, can we take the cuter pig home?” I should point out here that although I totally selected Acorn on the basis of the pink triangle she had on her nose- and even though she was the SMALLEST of the three pigs we selected from- she did grow out to be around TWICE the size of the other two.
So I feel justified in my desire for an ATTRACTIVE pig.
Anyway, we traded one of these in for a Kune/AGH cross shaped like a tiny barrel. Meet Tofu the Pig, who is highly photogenic:
Here’s his buddy Tempeh, from that original pair in the pickup:
And a fascinating pig fact for those of you who don’t have a large font of porcine knowledge: pigs HATE to be picked up and will scream like the world is ending when you do it. Perfectly happy once you put them down again, though.
Here Tempeh is being placed into their swanky new pig enclosure. This is temporary, until they’re trained to their electric fence. Interestingly enough (another pig fact)- pigs don’t really go in reverse. So if you just chuck them into an electric fence, the first time they get shocked they go THROUGH the fence, and then you could, hypothetically speaking, end up chasing them around the woods for hours -bemoaning all the money you wasted and the horrible fate that could befall a tiny pig in a new place. Until the pig wanders back at dusk, looking for a cozy bed and some pig chow. But you know, that was LAST year. This year they’ve got a nice physical barrier to see, so they know to back up. And in a few days, they’ll have the ways of the electric fence system firmly embedded in their memories, and we can take down the plywood, and let them into their larger field.
So far, the Soy Products think that acorns are delicious (a sentiment we share), their pig house is cozy, and the electric fence is evil. All is going according to plan.
Until next time,