We let the pigs out to pasture today. They’ve been getting restless plowing up the winter pens getting them ready for spring planting. The north pen behind the house we are fixing up for my older brothers family (and their future yard), was already in need of a mow. After a long few months of scraping by with weeds, buried pinon nuts, malted barley, oats, blue corn beer, alfalfa, fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries, cake, and the occasional romp around in the snow searching for sparse winter grass, our little horde of mobile-fertilizing, tilling, wallowing, jumping and skipping little porkers was back at fresh grass. And oh did they love it.
And they were not the only ones loving all the awesomeness happening underground right now. While turning the mulch around one of our apple trees I found that the gophers had gone full beaver status on the roots, leaving nothing but a bare stem in the middle of deep, dark earth teaming with worms, grubs, bugs, spider eggs and bergillions of tiny, unrecognizable critters coming to life.
What are you going to do? Other of course than continue raging relentless war against the little beasts? Build snake habitats? Train cats? Full blown caddy shack perhaps? I digress.
Luckily we scored some honey crisp trees the other day that will make very suitable replacements for our fallen friend, who has now been chopped and scattered in the little piece of earth he so briefly flourished in to feed the fungi that will nurture and feed the roots of his successor.
The chickens are laying away and three dozen new chicks are finally out of the living room (where they resided in the stock tank next to the fireplace that holds wood during the end of winter).
We did eventually finish the well house, and set up a glass blowing studio and small shop (which occasionally doubles as a green house, silversmithing shop, or cider house). The hole in the laundry room floor lasted a whole year before I got around to relaying the three layers of floor and reinstalling the washer and dryer.
We got the fence in last winter and the county inspector showed up a half hour early, right as we were unloading a horse we borrowed from a friend to demonstrate agricultural use of the land (apparently grazing pigs and chickens doesn’t count). Now we are trudging through the process of getting all of our governmental T’s and Q’s in order and getting waylaid by county bureaucrats that inform us we cannot conduct any business from our farm or allow people to come visit because we are in a ‘residential zone’. Boogers.
Oh well. They pigs don’t seem to notice, so I guess we will just continue as normal. Our new Duroc boar, Gentle Ben, is getting along fine, and Big Mamma should be throwing her first litter of piglets at the beginning of summer. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise we will have half a dozen more hogs ready for market by then, and this year you will be able to find us at the Cedar Crest Farmers Market, Roots Farm Cafe, Beneficial Farms CSA, and of course here on Polk’s Folly.