Tag Archives: farm photographer

Piggerators. And change.

I could not love these guys more.  And as much as I’m going to miss them when they are gone, I’m going to love them still (as bacon, sausage etc).

Dinner Time

We started with two pigs as a trial a few months ago.  Tracking time, expenses, that kind of thing.  Although pigs are/were new to us, we had wanted them for several years.  We often have a surplus of milk, and produce from the garden.  In the fall, it seems like the compost pile and chickens eat as well as we do, and while that’s all well and good, giving pounds and pounds of apple and pear pealing to the compost pile seems almost like a waste.  Especially when I know you can make them into tasty pork products.  So this fall, with gallons of goat milk in the fridge, and the cheese shelf mostly full, we got two little weaner pigs.  Harry and Tubbs, came to live with us, and while it took us a little time to gain their trust, they now come barking when they see the green feed bucket.

Happy Ham

The other aspect of pig keeping is their rooting.  As you may know, we are running all our critters on pasture, goats, chickens, ducks and turkeys.  We wanted to give the pigs similar treatment, but didn’t want to sacrifice any grazing area to them.  So they make me a bigger veggie garden.  The area I got into vegetables this year was about half of what I wanted.  I ran out of time (and mulch) and the rest of the garden was quickly overrun by quackgrass.  Enter Piggerators.  I was a little nervous at first, as they only picked at the turf in a few places.  Then more, and early last week, I paused and looked at the tilling they had done.  It’s complete.  Utter devastation.  If I were a grass root, I would not want to be in their pen.  All I need to do now, is go through and pick up the roots that are littering the surface of the soil.  Just look at the first and last photos, a few weeks apart, and they have been getting fed in the same place…

Piggertillers

Just a little more rooting and they will have the other half of the garden to play in!

As far as change goes, it’s only on the outside.  You’ll see some little things getting tidied up (new logo, and I’m going to refine the web site).  We are excited about this having worked with a great graphic artist out of Sacramento CA for our logo.  Stationary, and real business cards are in the works too!

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Firgus. Or, the stinky boy…

Here he is. Although you will probably smell him before you see him. Intact male goats are a bit stinky. Or a lot. But then you would be too, if you peed all over yourself. They also have a stronger ‘goaty’ smell, in part from the pheromones that help will all those non-verbal communications that help them figure out the ‘who, when and where’ of becoming a daddy goat.

I had sworn that we would never have a buck on our property.  They do smell, and badly.  However the prospect of hauling three does around the state, trying to catch the two or three day window of them being ‘open’ was not appealing.  Especially as that would have fallen to Farmer J.  With her two little ‘helpers’….  Not going to happen.

So we went shopping, and found Cuipu (the name he came with) down in Auburn.  He comes from RubyStarDairyGoats, from a great line of milkers.  The attempts that our three year old made at pronouncing “Cuipu” on the way home sealed his fate.  A name change was in order, for all our sakes.  Having just watched “Brave” the king Fergus kept coming around as an option…  Sticking with the floral theme, Firgus it was, and he now is.

Runner Beans.

We were able to spend almost a full Saturday at The Open Gate Farm, with Grammy and Grandpa, before they headed off on their mission trip.  They were kind enough to introduce us to Scarlet Runner Beans, well, more like, our little helper wanted to help Grammy shell some dry beans, and it just went from there.  It helped that the little helper’s favorite color is Purple (Burple).  The beans were beautiful, to say the least.  We also dug a bunch of beets, and picked a couple hundred pounds of apples (sauce, cider, and chips).  I’m not sure what we are going to do with all the beets in our garden now that we have almost all the pickled beets we go through in a year put up.  I’m sure we’ll come up with something.

Note the purple ‘holey shoes’

Beans and pods.

Beans

Littlest hands holding the beans.

Some wonderful memories.

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July.

July was a lot of work, starting with the Haying, then fair, then haying.  And more haying….  But here’s the first of two fairs our eldest showed her goats at.  She had some real hurdles to overcome, but came through better for it…  Even after the ‘rodeo’ she still said that she wanted to do it again next year.  That’s our girl!

Setup is up to the kids.

She has a lot of support, everyone in this shot was there to see her (well, all but the older couple in the middle)

“reigning it in” after the breakaway…

All done!  Marbles got to go to the second fair, but was there as company for the babies…

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June.

June is great!  This year, in addition to our usual farm stuff, we got to go on a vacation, with a farm sitter and everything.  The Oregon coast, Tillamook, and points North…

 

Checking out the werck in Astoria…

Cheese making at Tillamook.  Our favorite cheese (besides our own).

Little feet following big ones…  It reminds me to be careful how I tread.  Even things as simple as where and how we spend our money, we are not only setting an example for our children, but for those without kids, the way you spend your resources, moves industry.  Yep, you might not carea about BPA plastics, but if you make a consious decision to avoide such items, industry (and our american economic landscape) will shift.  We have the power, it’s in the decisions we make, and what we do with our resources (did I already say that?)  Notice that more and more big box stores are launching their own Orgaic lables?  They are doing that because their custiomers are putting their dime in that jar.   Yes, that’s righ, you did that.

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BFF.

Or maybe it’s B.F.F.  Either way, she’s the best.  The best wife, mother and friend.  Supporter of my wild ideas, and faithful to God’s call on her heart.  She’s even enjoying the insane schedule we have put ourselves into for this summer.  There will be an update once the smoke clears, but we are both looking forward to the seeming slow down of the school year, and easing up of the farming that will be ours to enjoy in in the next few months.  Till then babe, hold on, I’m right here with you!!!

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