Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jungle Pigs!

It feels like farming in a jungle out there, and I'm not sure I have ever worked outdoors in this much constant rain, humidity, and heat before. It's quite the experience, and I don't say that as a negative thing. I don't mind rain, humidity, or heat but right now it's been three days of downpours, mold, moths, and mud. And not the nice mud, the kind of mud you find in a chicken yard, which is pretty much a battleground of bacteria sludge when wet. I try to remember how strong my immune system is and smile. This farm is a beautiful place, lush as Jurassic Park on a good day, and all the animals are well but it should could use some airing out…

I spent the morning picking up hay and getting the outdoor pig housing( the "Pigoda" as I lovingly call it) ready for new piglets. It'll be a while before I get pigs out there because after about three inches of heavy rainfall yesterday, the whole pen is soaked and I need to see how it dries out. I also need to cut out a few months of weeds, re-string the electric, get a new charger out there, and plan for other fun adventures such as driving north to a pig farm to grab the first of five piglets. So there is nothing short of adventurous going on here. Nothing short, at all. And in a few moments I will head back outside with a string of electrical wire, gloves, and a bottle of water and figure out the rest of the weeds I didn't tackle this morning. If I get to the point of soaking wet on dry land, then I will be grabbing a towel and jumping into the river like any civilized animal would do - pig or human alike.

There are so many things to do around here right now. The potatoes need weeding and mounding. The kailyard needs cultivating and attention. The sheep need to be moved to graze and eat down the hillside that was once nothing but barren wasteland and is now also a jungle. I am amazed at how fast, and how well, that hill recovered from three years of hoof packing, overgrazing, and erosion. But now it is on the mend and in need of some ruminant attention. All these balls are in the air and it's humid enough that when juggled they just kinda stay there. But I am proud to say the lawn is mowed, the lights are still on, and the house has finally been power washed free of green mold and new front door painted red. Friends from Common Sense Farm power washed it with me (I rented the washer, they brought the hoses and know how) and I painted the door that Patty helped me install over the spring when a wind storm in March blew it clean off the house. When folks drive by they have no idea all the hectic joy that goes into that little white house.

Sidenote: Pigs love greens even when they get the bitter bolt. Horses, sheep and goats will spit out any lettuce with white blood but not those two pigs, Jig and Reel. They are thrilled for their daily dinner of bolted greens, day-old goats milk, cracked corn, and leftover scraps from the kitchen.

Another side note: I am going to start little prepping challenges here on the blog, things like a black out kit and three days worth of meals to start. Cheap, easy, simple stuff that will help folks get started on the back to self reliance.

Side note 3: I am on a daily writing schedule again for a new book proposal, something I am working on a little different than the farming books and it feels so good to have another goal to work towards.   Everyday this farm is a challenge, and there are phyical, financial and creative goals, and I don't know what I would do without a good fight to show up for !


OpenID rawketstarling said...

so i'm curious--why don't you have your own sow? 5 piglets next time! I wondered if that might be more financially feasible long term? Could you raise a female along with the males, and just keep one full time? I wonder what kind of commitment that is? Just curious, as it seems you're gearing up to be a mini pork producer :)

July 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

That is a very good question, and recently I have been considering it. I haven't considered breeding or keeping a sow only because I think it would be darn expensive feeding a 300+ pound animal every day that doesn't run on grass....

I might buy a pregnant sow if anyone is thinking of selling one, go through the breeding and raise them all for food. Not sure if anyone would sell a pregnant sow though!

July 8, 2014 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger janamama said...

Looking forward to the prepping challenges. Thanks, you rockstar, you!

July 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM  

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