June 24th, 2019 –Pigs, Pigs, Pigs

Pigs, Pigs, Pigs

We are officially back in the pig business!  We’ve been lazy and letting our friends the Demerlys raise us a pig every year because they do such a fabulous job but we have space for pigs so why not?

They came from an Amish neighbor who must have the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.  Everything immaculately kept, trimmed, painted and organized. I need to keep busy if I’m going to keep up with the Jones, or in this case the Grabers.

Our new pigs are a variety of Yorkshires a friend of mine calls Blue Butts.  They’re pink with blue spots, mostly on the back half.

I asked Tom what to name them and he said Bacon, Sausage and Pork Chop.  Messaged Kyle with a video and name request and she came back with Sausage, Bacon and Pork Chop.

But she decided that since pigs root (more on that later) we should name them after root vegetables and sent me a list from Wikipedia.  The Lady of Shallot was suggested but lost out to Jicama. We also have Parsnip and Fennel.

Right now the pigs are in the pen the sheep used this winter, followed by a week or so of cows.  The manure and straw are 6 inches deep and packed like cement. Once the pigs get themselves organized they’ll start digging in the manure and not stop until it’s a fine dry powder that can be sprinkled over flower beds and pastures.

When farmers had a weedy field that needed renovating they’d pen a few pigs in a portable pen and let them root.  Pigs would do a far better job of digging up deep rooted stubborn weeds, eat everything edible in sight and leave a coating of manure before being moved to the next square over.  Then the farmer could come along with a team of horses and plow and finish making the field ready for planting. Nowadays with huge fields and tillage equipment and pigs raised in high tech barns with floor grates and cement underfoot you don’t see that anymore.

But our pigs will get a chance at an old fashioned farm life, they’ll make the barn easy to clean and then go out on a pasture that’s overrun with Dock, a weed that no one likes to eat.  Then I can fall seed a pasture mix and we’ll be back to a productive green field again.

Be sure to keep an eye out for when we will have pork available in our shop this Fall. We will only have a limited amount available this year.

So, this is our new summer project, what have you planned?  Candy

Hamburger Soup

1T olive Oil

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

2 parsnips

2 sweet potatoes

2 carrots

1 pound grass fed ground beef

2 cups bone broth

1 1/2 t parsley

1 t salt

1/2 t thyme

4 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

Dice onion and finely mince garlic.

Using Saute function on instant pot heat olive oil, then add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook a minute more.

Add ground beef and brown. Drain fat off if necessary. Turn off Instant Pot

Peel and dice parsnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Add to pot with seasoning, bone broth and water.

Use Soup/broth button and cook 35 minutes. Let sit a few minutes to release pressure slowly before opening valve.

Serve and enjoy!

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