Josh and I grew up in the Midwest–me in Illinois, him in Ohio and Iowa. At some point in our childhoods, we both came across the game “Pig Mania,” and it’s not because it was a virally popular game at any point in history, not even in the Midwest. It’s a dice rolling game, except that the dice … Continue reading Makin’ Bacon
Back in the day, pigs used to be let loose in the nearby woods to forage and fend for themselves all year, then harvested in the fall/winter. They were referred to as “mortgage lifters” due to the low input to high output qualities. Our woods are far away and there’s a creek in there with … Continue reading Shoulder Season Hog Keeping
My friend John used to live on a blueberry farm. He loves to tell the story of the day his truck got stuck in the infamous mud of the Pacific Northwest, and his neighbor, who lived on a hill that looked down on John’s property, watched the scene with amusement for a good 20 minutes before … Continue reading Oh my scrapple, we’re homesteading now
People who know me describe me as practical, no-nonsense, tough. (I’m sure there are other adjectives, but those are the ones relevant to this story. Hush.) While the pigs were growing, people frequently asked me whether I’d be able to butcher the them when the time came, since I frequently told stories about the pigs … Continue reading The day pig becomes pork
As the summer ended, we felt that we knew the homestead pretty well. We knew where the pasture was thick and healthy, and we knew where it transitioned into sedge–an indicator of a low area. We had a mental map of the labyrinth of electric fence wire in the pastures, and how to direct current … Continue reading It’s the rainy season.
We had a pig scare today. Big Boy stopped eating last night, and he laid down to sleep while the other 3 (Tugboat, The Corporal, and Number Two) fought over dinner. He’s a pig, so dinner should be the absolute best part of every day. Something was wrong. I went to bed feeling anxious, but … Continue reading Food for thought: antibiotics vs. organic meat
There’s no way to ease into this, so I’ll just dive right in. On Saturday, I noticed that one of our new piglets was pooping spaghetti. Now I’ll back up. We got our first two American Guinea Hogs via Craigslist, because of course we did. When I emailed the seller, she responded quickly and said … Continue reading When homesteading sucks