We’re seeing the effects of Climate Change alright; it was -4 a couple weeks ago, and we were set to just accept a cold and fast winter onset, but today it’s 40 degrees. The animals are happy with the warmer temps of course, however the giant temperature back swing will happen again, which really messes with their internal systems. We are all learning that we have to prepare and be ready for anything.
As we’ve decided to focus completely on our animals from now on, instead of struggling to grow vegetables for CSA, it only made sense to turn our entire 30 x 60 hoophouse into a pig palace. Andrew lined the entire perimeter with OSB panels, which may need reinforcement as the piglets grow larger. We’ll see. Meanwhile they are loving having the entire space to ramble and race about. Belle joined them for a play session, we’ve always kept her on the other side of the fence but we could tell she’s longed to play with them. She was very good with the piglets and tried to play with them like they were puppies, she didn’t nip or bite them, although the piglets tried to nibble her!
Yesterday we picked up the 7 siblings of our 13 Large Black Hog piglets. We have quite the gorgeous group of piggies now! The first group is growing fat and glossy already on their organic feed and hay -which they eat quite a lot of, it’s amazing. Large Blacks are said to be really good grazers and apparently this also applies to consuming hay.
Winter’s such a lovely and low key time of year, a real blessing after such a stressful and chaotic season. I am so looking forward to entering the New Year, and (hopefully) seeing the reward of our persistence and slow-gained knowledge finally coming to fruition. These past 5 years have been the most wonderful yet the hardest years of my life. I had no real idea of what I was getting into as I was pursuing my dream of becoming a farmer. My main winter project is writing a book that builds on the “New Farmer” Series I wrote for ACRES magazine this year. A book I wish I could have read when I was starting out, explaining all the things that a newbie just wouldn’t know until they’ve learned the hard way. I haven’t quite gotten into my writing rhythm yet, but winter has just begun and runs long in these parts.