Tag Archives: pastured

Wordless Wednesday: Socks the Piglet

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Wordless Wednesday: Zucchini is Good 

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Wordless Wednesday: Luna 

  

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Wordless Wednesday: Oh Hey

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Pigs: Year II

There was a time in the not so distant past where I was told I could not have pigs. They were too much work and no one had time for that. But as the years wore on, so did my whining.

Last year was a huge break through. I was told I could get three pigs, I accidentally got five.

Last year's five pigs

Last year’s five pigs

But last year’s pig project went very well. My Parents enjoyed having pigs on the ranch again, they were fun, amusing and gave us something to bond over. I tried to be a really good kid last year, so they would let me raise pigs again this year, I paid for the cutting and wrapping of my Parent’s pig, I sent a thank you note, shared my pork (I don’t care if they are my Parents, it is still important to recognize what they did for me). I worked hard and proved that I could raise pigs, even with a full-time job. My mornings, evenings and weekends were devoted to my pigs last year.

It must have worked because, guess what? I now have 11 pigs! It’s true, I do!

11 piglets. This was my truck yesterday. We stopped for a water break.

10 piglets. This was my truck yesterday. We stopped for a water break.

Well, one of those pigs is Princess Silly pig so she doesn’t really count.

Silly pig!!!  (She's a cowpig)

Silly pig!!! (She’s a cowpig)

Silly asleep in my bed. Isn't she cute?

Silly asleep in my bed. Isn’t she cute?

I used the beef cow money my Parents gave me for working for them this summer and invested back into the Ranch in the form of 8 heritage pigs and 2 commercial pigs. I plan on doing a taste test between the two different types of pork, I LOVE taste tests! I picked them up yesterday and spent pretty much all day with them today.

My non-pet pigs!

My 10 non-pet pigs!

It.was.glorious.

The piglets enjoying their new home! They are like so much rooting and eating to do!

The piglets enjoying their new home! They are like so much rooting and eating to do! Hoot dog is excited too, new friends!

I have a pig obsession. I could very easily turn into a crazy pig lady, well, wait, I think I already have. I have more pigs than cats. Oh dear. Ok, moving on…

Our bottle calves are less than pleased. Silly chases them around (she is a cowpig, remember),they think  these guys will too.

Our bottle calves are less than pleased. Silly chases them around (she is a cowpig, remember),they think these guys will too.

I learned a lot from my pigs last year. I also quit my full-time office job, this year, to raise meat animals for my local food community. I am following my dream right now and it feels great. I realized last year that I loved being on the Ranch, and it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Granted it was so very much work, but I loved it! I thrived on it. I learned and shared so much last year, that this year, I have wonderful support from friends and family that are helping me gather pumpkins, fruit and vegetable waste, to cook for my pigs.

I learned last year that if I cook the pigs their own food two things happened. The first, the pigs loved it – every meal was their favoritest thing in the whole wide world, and they gained weight accordingly, a good thing. The second was I prevented a lot of food from being thrown into our local dump, and that made me feel good. It was a positive experience all the way around.

Their first acorns. They loved them! Good things I have TONS!

Their first acorns. They loved them! Good things I have TONS!

Pig Project Year II has started. I already have loads of pumpkins waiting for me to pick them up, I have a local bakery, The Cookie Shoppe giving me their old cookies (pigs love cookies!!! And yay Cookie Shoppe for supporting a local, female rancher! I heart you guys!!!!), and a local almond ranch giving me their waste. It is a stellar year for acorns, so in addition to their cooked food, the pigs will also forage. I am confident this year’s pork will be better than last!

Stay tuned as I am going to blog this whole experience again this year.

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Kickstarter: The Books

Joy & Keith Book  and Katie & Brian Drake.

Joy & Keith Book and Katie & Brian Drake.

I am friends with a lot of local farms and ranches. I mean it can’t be helped, many of these people have known my family for generations. One of my favorite friends and neighbors are the Books. I have very fond memories of going to their pumpkin patch as a child and riding in their horse drawn wagon. Then in high school I attended the same school as the Book children and we became friends. After high school I re-connected with Katie and her husband Brian and their two adorable children.

Brian and Katie moved home to their family farm to continue the great work they have always done, farming and ranching. They contacted me to talk about our grassfed beef operation, and since then I have really enjoyed getting to know them again and watching the good they are doing. Katie taught me how to make Kombucha and we sold them a heifer bull. Brian came over and helped move bulls and gave me some riding pointers. I heart them, needless to say. They are a bright and shinny beacon of awesome local agriculture.

In addition to all this they are also wonderful educators. For as long as I can remember they literally had their barn door open to the public. They have shown thousands of locals what a working farm looks like. If you read this blog, you know how I feel about that (I LOVE it).

This looked like so much fun!!!! I was super butt hurt to miss it (especially because I love me some Mexican food).

This looked like so much fun!!!! I was super butt hurt to miss it (especially because I love me some Mexican food).

So I am totally stoked to share with my readers about their Kickstart! They need a new tractor and you can help! Please check it out, click here and you can see their awesome video! They had a really fun launch at a local Mexican restaurant (that I had to miss because I was working in the mountains with my Dad), but I Katie did send me some pictures.

If you have a few bucks to spare please consider investing in the Books. I promise you, your investment will pay dividends that our entire society will benefit from. Thanks friends!

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