These woodlot hogs enjoy their environment.
We strive to provide the best environment possible for our livestock. These hogs love the shade and nuts provided by walnuts, hickories, and oaks in this wooded glen. We keep the hogs moving so they don't do undue damage to soil and plants, generally giving a group of 15 about two weeks in two acres.
Their snouts are a mighty tool, which they truly enjoy employing. The snout is like a miniature bulldozer, always poking, prodding, and digging. Hogs don't dig with forelegs, like most animals, but with their snout. They are always searching for grubs and nuts, and continually excavating topsoil. When ground is wet, they leave quite an impact. They prefer wet conditions, for mud cools them off. They sure look slick and clean in this picture, but they would prefer to be caked with mud.
They are very strong. Their necks are all muscle and they can push great loads of weight when inclined, included gates and fencing. They are also quite curious and domisticated. They are not generally afraid of people, and if one stands calmly they will come forward and begin nibbling on shoelaces, then the pant leg, then socks, and anything else of curiousity. That can be a little unnerving. Fortunately, they are quite smart and learn quickly about hot-wires. In order take this picture, I had to stand on the far side of the hot wire, so as not to be mobbed.
Hogs are not easy to raise in natural conditions, which is why confinement facilities have proliferated. We are gradually learning how to let them thrive outdoors, which has been rewarding. The meat also tastes so much better -- rich with minerals and essence.
The bare ground below will be reseeded with annual rye as soon as they are moved to the next paddock.
Below left is an example of multi-species grazing, with hens up-close and cows in the background. Grass is greenest where hens have travelled, and cows move to it first. We have begun calving, and you can see a newborn comfortably lying in the coolness of the shademobile. It is alarming and unprecedented to experience 90 degree days in October, and we are glad to have these shademobiles to help manage the heat.
Those who deny climate change have their heads in sand. We are experiencing its costs first-hand on the farm, delivered by both extreme moisture and extreme heat.
We have incurred a backlog of sirloin steaks, and have decided to grind them, thus initiating a Sirloin Burger. We find it, below, to be rich, silken, and delicious -- a real treat for the discriminating palate. We are discounting the price to $10/lb to generate interest. Let us know if you are ready for the high-road of burgers!
We have three more Sundays at the Hyde Park market on the square, before moving indoors to the cafeteria at Clark Montessori. We will be grilling sliders until the end of October, so come enjoy them while they last.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to hosting a farm tour for 20 guests.
Next week, we will review details of what we are offering for turkeys at Thanksgiving. We will have both Broad-Breasted and Heritage Turkeys for you. Let us know of your interest as soon as you are ready to make a reservation.
The scene below is of the Stone Circle, where we go to light a fire and contemplate the heaven in which we live.
May the heaven we each create be celebrated,
Drausin & Susan