Posted on Leave a comment

Trial and error in pigville

So Friday of Memorial Day weekend we got off of work, headed to TSC for a bale of straw and pine shavings (because we realized the pig would need a bedding material at the last minute), got home let the dogs out, threw a pen in the back of the truck and we were off.

What seemed like many, Many miles of gorgeous winding country roads we arrived at Shady Grove. It was really only a ten minute drive, but the excitement of having our pig finally was making the anticipation unbearable.

It was not what I pictured, although I’ve been to hog farms before, but this was not the hog farm of my youth. This was a sterile building, plain in every way, and a loading shoot on the front. I guess I had envisioned the hog farm of the past a lot of stalls filled with straw and momma’s and piggies in the stall. Back in the day we could see the piggies and pick which one we wanted. I guess this idea is the methods of the past, but at any rate we pulled up and someone came out of the sterile building with a screaming 8 week old piglet.

We headed home excited to begin our new adventure, and what an adventure it has been! We had previously decided on the name Honey like Honey Baked Ham… as you may remember Rooster is the weakest link to this pig making it to the butcher so we had to name it food associated.

So with Honey home and nestled in the pig pen Rooster, of course, spent hours bonding with Honey. It was cold that day as you’ll notice the winter coats. It is Indiana and not three days prior we had had 80 degree weather and wearing shorts!!!

Rooster bonding with Honey

During this time of bonding some questions began to arise… you sure this is a girl pig? She has nipples. I have nipples. Rooster had a valid point. I had no idea if we just picked up a male instead of a female until….. he saw Honey pee. Upon a further google search… we had a male pig. Crap.

Being new to all of this pig business really is humorous at times…

Next failure was not thinking through calling the butcher in advance… we are now on a waiting list for the end of September to October. It’s looking like Honey is going to be a big pet just like Rooster wanted.

Posted on Leave a comment

Busy bees

We worked today on planting corn, cucumbers, watermelon, pumpkins, sunflowers and nasturtium. Meanwhile Rooster and oldest put in the gate and final post on the pig pen.

The plan of companion planting should provide us enough to feed the chickens, ducks, and supplement the pig. All of this cuts down on the cost of feed. Also it will get us through winter with precious veggies turned into salsa, spaghetti sauce, and so much more. All the extra scrap to the chickens and ducks makes their eggs taste amazing! Which leads to noodles and pierogies!!

I love gardening but this year with my back issues I’ve had to rely on Rooster and the boys to help out. They’ve done a stellar job!!

Tomorrow we are headed to Huntertown Gardens for more garden plants… tomato, jalapeño and herbs. Hopefully some seed potatoes! And in a few weeks sweet potatoes!! Praying for a bumper crop this year.

Planning on selling surplus at a local farmers market to raise more money for farm supplies. Maybe some meat birds…..

Posted on Leave a comment

Lucky little farm girl

As I’m sitting here sipping red wine and watching my beloved painstakingly dig holes for the impending hog pen I’m reminded how truly lucky I am. He won’t let me lift a finger to back breaking work, works a forty hour work week, spends time with the children, and still does chores like this without complaint.

So here’s my Rooster. In shorts and a T-shirt, this long haired country boy enjoying the breeze digging three foot deep holes for “Honey” the future pig.

Almost every day I wake up and look over at him and wonder how I ever got so lucky. To have someone who treats me like a Queen, and lives out here wholeheartedly and loves the life we have as much as I do.

You’ll notice “Honey’s” Taj Mahal made out of younens bunk bed. I think it turned out quite nicely, and especially since it cost us zero dollars in materials.

Today’s trip to the local farm store was almost $250! Hog panels (4), t-posts (4), wood posts (5), a grain bucket and water pail. Of course we forgot post nails, the gate, and metal roofing so there’s another $80 next trip.

This first year of being hog raisers is going to be spendy, but expected. Crap we forgot concrete too…

I’m looking forward to his hard work paying off in pounds of bacon, pork and hams. My garden plans have been made to help offset the cost of feed, and we prefer our animals to be mostly scrap fed. The eggs from the ducks and chickens are worth their weight in gold for flavor from scrap. Their orange yolks are the talk of the town, and relished at our table daily.

We’ve all labeled Rooster as the weakest link in this hog business. The youngens and I know that “Francis” and his tender heart are going to have a hard time parting with “Honey”. We planned on naming her after a pork product to keeps Francis’s heart out of it. I refuse to keep a hog past 280 no matter how the tender heart feels. We couldn’t afford to keep a hog longer for a pet, and lose out on the meat to sustain us for the year.

Sigh… he’s remeasuring….

Have I mentioned that I love this man’s sense of adventure?

Catch us next blog for an update… he’s done for today. LOL