Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First Piglets

Here's Bee, the magical escaping pig (she literally ripped apart a hog panel--have you seen how sturdy those things are?) and her five sweet little piglets.  They look a bit like little dalmatians, because they turned out so spotty.  Our other Glouchesershire Old Spots are not at all as spotted.

We were worried about the piglets, as we've had a cold snap just after they were born, but they've been fine.  Bee is a wonderful mama, and they curl up with her and nurse.  There is one male, which we were hoping for--we named him Trespassers William.  For those of you who don't read children's books, it's an A. A Milne reference (for those of you who don't read, he's the guy that actually wrote Winnie the Pooh back when it was a book and not a Disney cartoon).

This isn't Trespassers William, it's one of the girls.  He's got a black eye patch over one eye.
They are the cutest thing out there right now, since the calves and baby goats have grown up, and Belle got sprayed by a skunk.  Little Clothilde and I have spent such a long time watching them play and play fight and run about and fight over where they get to nurse.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The last post was not a happy one--truly that week was just awful.  Not only did we lose Mairie, but a Glouchestershire Old Spot sow we had just bought busted out over a hog panel and through another fence and escaped.  She was due to have piglets in just a couple weeks.  We were hoping to have a boar from her.  She isn't related to our other gilts, Star and Black-ear, and we've been trying and trying to figure out how we are going to breed them.  They are so huge, moving them somewhere to another boar isn't really an option.
Anyway, the sow--named Bee at the other farm--was expensive, and I felt awful about losing her and her piglets and Mairie.

But the post I had been working on that very day that Mairie took ill (from eating horse chestnut--or also called red buckeye) was actually a positive one.  I had been looking at my winter garden (pictured above) and realizing it was the best winter garden I've ever had.  It was so small, simple and manageable.  That's my mantra this year.  I have also realized I need to way lower my expectations of the garden so it's more fun.  I get so upset when things get eaten/frozen/trampled/dug up by dog, it's silly.

Back then, there were all kinds of new spring things popping up.  Some of them have frozen again, since we've had a cold snap.  Here are cleavers--also called Poke's Little Sister.  We used some cleavers tincture just a few months ago to help get rid of a cough and cold yuckiness that just wouldn't go away.

Here were vibernum flowers, like little stars, among the red oak leaves in the yard.

The plums were blooming.  Now they have all leafed out.

Late frosts happen.  Bad things happen.  Things die and escape. But good things happen, too.  Babies are born, flowers bloom, seeds sprout. 
 And guess what?  We found the sow again.  We caught her easily and two weeks ago she had five piglets (one is a boy!) and they are busy growing and rooting.

And another good thing--we found an alternative feed company to the horrific Countryside Organics.  And they have the agri-dynamics products we've always wanted to try, and they're nice.  And helpful.