Life in Hog Heaven is Enviable.
These hogs have spent the past five months in this 3 acre paddock, benefitting from grass, grain, and mud wallows -- the latter being their favorite. The wet summer has enabled them to create mud to their heart's content. Their attraction to mud partly serves as a cooling mechanism, as they don't have developed sweat glands. Evaporating water within caked mud cools them off. In the heat of the summer, mud also serves as a sunscreen. It further protects them from insects and external parasites. So, pigs and mud are age-old and happy companions. Those confined to sterile indoor housing are not able to express natural inclination toward playfulness, mud wallowing, and curiosity.
These Berkshire hogs arrived from a reputable breeder around 50 lbs in size in mid-May. After 5 months, they are close to 300 lbs., gaining over 1.5 lbs per day, and are ready for the next step in their journey. We will take the largest two to the processor on Tuesday.
Mud-wallowing by pigs is a challenge, however, to manage, if one cares about keeping soil and pastures in tact. The picture below shows fairly extensive damage, due to pigs and wet weather. This area will erode throughout the winter, unless we do something. We will spread a fast growing annual like cereal rye or winter wheat on it momentarily to stablize the soil. We have moved this group of hogs to an adjoining lot, and have put the smaller group into this one. After reseeding this area, an electric fence will protect it from incursions by porcine friends.We have been out of pork chops for the past month and are looking forward to a fresh batch. We will keep you apprised.
Susan produced a remarkable meal this past week featuring veal chops, which is a rare treat. These were two inches thick, and were pan-fried, followed by 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. They were delicious.
No market at Hyde Park this Sunday the 7th, due to the Arts Fair. Blue Ash has concluded for the season, as will Bexley by month-end. Hyde Park goes indoors, starting in November. We are happy to make deliveries to customers in areas outside winter markets, given sufficient demand to make the drive. We are also investigating shipping product to you. So, stay in touch during the winter. We will find a way to connect you with our products.
Our neighbors raise pastured turkeys, which we offered last year for Thanksgiving for the first time. The turkeys were very successful, and it time again to consider if you would like a 15 - 20 lb frozen turkey for Thanksgiving, delivered the Sunday before to Clark Montessori in Hyde Park. Please let us know, as we are taking reservations.
Our Farm Tour is next Saturday the 13th, and in the next few days, we will be responding to all who have signed up, providing confirmation, directions, and more detail. As fatted hogs head to market, we are grateful for the turning season.
Drausin & Susan