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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.


4 thoughts on “December

  1. LOVE the LBH piglets – those ears! I’m sensing a pig theme in fact in these pictures. Thank goodness for seasonality – just as we think we’re going to fall apart from the stress of one season, we ease into a time that offers quieter days, a chance to be still once in a while, and opportunity to recuperate and regroup. And just as we start to get bored of that, spring will start appearing, and we’ll be raring to go again. I hope, anyway!

  2. Those are such good looking pigs! Living the good life…

    We’ve had wild temperature swings here too. After the much earlier than normal arctic blast that ruined much of our fall gardens its been unseasonably warm. No sign of any snow yet and the temps have been in the 50s and as high as 60. I wonder what the rest of the year will bring…

    Good luck with your book. I was cranking away on a draft of a book about ethical eating and making lots of progress, then got so frustrated with some of the things going on with the manuscript I wrote last year that I just set it aside. Now the winter is getting away from me. Maybe I’ll pick it back up after Christmas. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    1. Hey thanks Bill! I am in the same situation on the manuscript- I don’t have really any idea how to structure it. My next idea is to begin blogging it and force myself to set goals of chapter release dates. Have you read that How to Blog a Book book? Also- If you ever want a reader of your manuscript, I’d LOVE to! Ethical eating is one of my passions, and it is so wonderful to know there are many more out there challenging the status quo (besides just vegans) in thinking about food and meat especially, and where it comes from.

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