Happy mid-April everyone!
I’m sitting in the office watching some of the piglets chase a magpie around their pen whenever it lands. They never get close before it takes off, and then they get distracted by grass or try to play tag, but they haven’t quite figured out how to get all their friends on the same page for the rules. It’s quite the adorable sight. I suppose it’s about time I stop calling them piglets and start calling them gilts and barrows (pig terms for teenagers). They can be rowdy, curious, strong, and stubborn. But they’re also getting smarter, are better at eating grass, and are developing personalities. Most of them love wallow refill days, but I have noticed a few steer clear of the person with the hose. Some will search the whole pen for the best, most delicious grass, while others are content to sit and eat right where they’ve landed.
In other pig news, we’ve welcomed three new breeders to our American Guinea Hog program! One tried and true sow named Houdini is due any day now. She has lived up to her name, jumping some fencing and checking in on the neighbor horses last week. Her farrowing area is escape proof, and we’re looking forward to more piglets to help keep all the grass in check!
As the grass grows, so too does the number of bugs. We broadforked the garden a few weeks ago and are happy to report hundreds of worm sightings! The ducks and chickens are remembering how to hunt bugs as well, increasing the nutrient density in their eggs and keeping us from scratching too many mosquito bites.
The young chicks are over a month old now (how times flies) and are eager to get out into their new chicken coop. Building is underway, and this time, we’re using as much repurposed material as we can. All the 2x4s had previous lives, as well as the roofing and much of the siding. We decided to do this not only because we enjoy reusing materials, but also because wood prices are at an all time high. Just for a little example, when we bought plywood for the last coop it was selling at $32 a sheet (which Danny already thought was expensive 10 months ago). Today, it’s $55 a sheet!
Most importantly, we hired a part time employee a few weeks ago! Please say hi to Geoff if you see him around the farm. He’s already become essential to the work we do here, from building infrastructure to helping us plant over 100 trees this weekend for a future wind break. We’re happy to have Geoff on board.
As always, feel free to come by the farm to pick up eggs and pork, pet some pigs, or throw some food scraps to the chickens. Thank you for being part of our community!
Annaliese and Danny