"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The piggies.

Our latest addition to the farm are the pigs. It has taken us nearly five years, four years longer than originally intended but they are finally here. We bought four six week old male long white cross duroc piglets from some friends down the road. I was over there originally to swap some geese- trading off the excess hen birds for a couple of ganders, when I commented that I wanted to get some pigs soon. My friends said that they had a pregnant sow and were expecting a large litter shortly, would I like some? Serendipity. So about two months after I found myself driving home with four piglets in a cage on the back of the truck.

Why four boar piglets? Well the plan is to raise two for pork and the other two for bacon and ham. We will sell off two, one porker and one baconer, to cover costs of raising all four. The pigs are kept in a central house with a small pen attached and have two yards of about a quarter acre each to roam in and dig up. These yards are currently pasture but will be resown with a variety of food- corn, sunflower, pumpkin, potatoes, wild gingers and arrowroot and the like when they are done. As the porkers are slaughtered at six months and the baconers at eight months, the yards and pen will be allowed to lie fallow for about four months afterwards. This will allow any pathogens to dissipate, the yards to recover and grow a substantial amount of food for the next four pigs to come. In case you think I have invented an incredible new way of raising pigs I should say now that this method is an old one. Nearly as old as keeping domestic pigs.  
Head down and bum up. Happy pigs always have a curly tail.

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