Hit the Hay!
After Brett headed home I headed west to R'Eisen Shine Farm to meet up with Ejay. He was getting a delivery of fifteen piglets and I had reserved four. So with the dog crate in the back bed of my pickup and two border collies in the cab with me - we headed towards Greenwich to grab the bacon seeds.
It's so lush this time of year and the drive to the pickup reminded me what I love so much about the Northeast: humidity. People like to complain about it but that's because they are fighting it. I accept humidity with open arms. I accept the sweat, the heat, the thick air and the amazing things it brings in return for the free Sauna. Thanks to humidity we have gentle thunderstorms, fireflies, and a world so green it shocked me when I moved back east from Idaho. Idaho a beautiful, as most of the Rockies are, but there is something so much more vibrant to me where the earth is wet and breathing heavy.
I pulled into the farm's driveway and saw Ejay there on the bed of his pickup, looking defeated. He had lost poultry to a weasel, a lot of poultry and was behind in his work. I know that feeling and we chatted while we waited for the delivery of the piglets. It was nice catching up. I met Ejay and his wife Kim when they attended a horse workshop at my farm a few years ago. At the time they lived an hour or so south but recently they bought a farm here in Washington County and specialize in pastured poultry - chickens and turkeys. They also have goats, rabbits, sheep, and a family of dogs - including a new border collie puppy named Ron Swanson.
The pigs arrived... they did not smell great. That's enough about that.
I got the pigs loaded into my truck's crate (thanks to the help of Ejay and the delivery guy) and then I helped Ejay move his pile-o-pigs into their pasture pen. There was a little work of moving from hog panels and unloading a multi-colored huddle of porkers off the back of an ATV and into their new digs but it was a Big Time.
I like R'Eisen Shine Farm because it's scrappy. The fields are tall and unmowed, because the fields are where the food is raised. I don't know why the mowed lawn became popular as it has. Now a mowed lawn to me is a place stripped of value, a dead place where all you can do is sit and read a book. You can't graze beasts, you can't plant vegetables, it's just taking up space? Not at this farm, no there isn't lawn there is GRASS and it is beautiful. It's a real farm dedicated to real food and doesn't try to look like a booth at the county fair. What does shine at the place is the animals, all on pasture, who were healthy and bright and enjoying this lush world as much as I was.
It looks like a storm is coming so I am going to head out for a jog, but I will leave you with this shot of the new piglets home at Cold Antler. It must have been a stressful drive because soon as they hit the hay they hit they hay. An hour after I had them set up in the barn (they will move out to the woods eventually, but are small now and bad weather was in store) they were all asleep. Not a bad day's work for a little farm on a mountainside. Now for that jog!