We just welcomed our new tribe of piglets to the farm this week!
They’ll be living in the sunny and cozy hoophouse until the snow melts and they’ve grown a bit bigger. Basically all they do right now is eat their organic feed, drink warm water, have a little run about and exploring, and then snuggle back up to sleep in a giant cozy hay pile. Getting our piglets makes us feel like spring is definitely around the corner! Today it’s -5F, but still, we’re pretty sure it will warm up at some point, right?
We will be setting up their 2 acre forest paddock in the early spring. For our purposes we will be using cattle and hog panels for this main paddock area. Setting it up right and tight is a priority. Another priority is to begin installing our berms and swales as well as planting the food producing trees and shrubs outlined in the our permaculture design for our farm. Andrew has an article coming out soon which goes into detail about our pig-raising plans. Suffice it to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but it will all be worth it when we can see our pigs living the best life we can give them, with organic fruit and nuts, clean air, fresh water, and cozy homes. And of course the all important muddy wallow in the hot days of summer. Which we think will be here soon…
As we grow our small farm, it is clear to us that pigs will play a large role in our plans. Our permaculture design designates a large area of the farm for our pigs to roam and forage, and we are also planning on adding a couple of cows to the mix this year! Cows have been on our minds lately, but we didn’t quite understand where exactly they would fit in until we finished the first draft of our permaculture design. Now, it seems obvious that we need to include them. But raising pigs is what we know and love, and the pork that comes from our pigs is the most delicious and amazingly versatile food you could imagine!
We will be constructing larger permanent shelters for our hogs in 2014, but meanwhile we continue to use the simple and useful DIY hog hut design that Andrew came up with in 2011 – All of ours are still kicking! For more information on building these simple shelters, go here: DIY Pig Hut!
On another note, we are glad to join the Buy High Welfare campaign -Please follow the banner to find out more about where you can buy pork from ethically raised pigs!