Summer is fleeting, jam-packed with a myriad of activities. One of our current endeavors is the raising of hogs, and we got three beautiful Duroc Hampshire gilts.
Of course we named them, and because we do all of our baking with lard (only a small exaggeration), we named them after our favorite desserts: Oreo, Red Velvet Whoopie Pie, and Spottie Ottie Dopalicious Angelfood Cake.
When we got them at the end of May, they were around 50 pounds each, or a little bigger than our pup, Evoo.
Needless to say, small piglets don't stay small. With an incredible ability to metabolize fats, protein, and carbohydrates into sheer body mass, they have quadrupled in size in the past few weeks. Though some may argue, we don't feel like this has affected their cuteness factor in the least.
As those who have raised pigs before well know, pigs are incredibly social and intelligent creatures; their intelligence ranks somewhere below dolphins and cats, but certainly higher than chickens and emus. They each have their own distinct personality: sassy class clown, pretty princess, and sweet chillaxer. They get a lot of love, attention, acorns, and belly rubs. This may be the only hand-massaged pork bellies around!
Chores are much less arduous with a crew of helpers; Miss E oversees tasks with her usual dedication. Beware any voles that cross her path! And, as always, Evoo is at our heals making sure no one is left behind.
We look forward to feeding our piggies apple pomace and harvest leftovers. We have some wild squash growing in our compost pile, and our friends are collecting slop from around their communities. These critters don't lack for tasty treats!
In mid-November, these lovely ladies will head off to the slaughterhouse. We have gained insight into the process involved with raising your own food, and we know that much love and nurturing has gone into taking care of these beings. With the bittersweet realization that our relationship with them is fleeting, we rest easier with the knowledge that our pigs will have only had the one bad day.
On a lighter note, here's a glimpse of their daily routine. Every day they joyfully get a bath...a mud bath, but a bath, nonetheless. Always the prankster, Oreo loves to splatter onlookers while shouting, "Cannonball!"
...to the Belstar Orchards Blog. We will use this space to gather our thoughts, provide tidbits and tips, and let you know what's going on, with the hopes of bonding and strengthening our community: those who enjoy good food and drink, good friends, and good times. We heartily encourage feedback and comments.