Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life on the Homestead

So last evening I rushed home from my weekly gig in the city so I could milk and feed the animals with oldest son while the rest of the family road up to St. Catherine's for a Holy Hour and Benediction.

As I am cutting some greens to feed the pigs, I notice that our latest sow is practically climbing over her fencing, in this case a log barricade. I go over to give her some greens and see that her farrowing area is empty ... no piglets! None!

I look in the adjoining pens, all but one of which has members of the herd. No piglets! Did they get out and get eaten by the older hogs? I am calling for my son "Where are the piglets?" I am just imagining another disaster.

Ah, but God was with us. As I continue to call, all 15 come running out of the woods on the other side of the pens. A few make their way through the empty pen and squeeze through a hole they've managed to make back into their own pen. Momentarily their momma sow calls them, and they all return.

We feed the pigs. Son patches the hole while I milk Mabel. Whew!


Notice that I mentioned feeding greens to the pigs in the story above. That's right. Just a few good rains (it is raining again today-which reminds me, we need to finish the milking barn, including finishing the roof!) and my fall garden is coming alive. This morning half the pigs' rations were made up of kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collard greens, and radishes.

If my 40 white leghorns and Comets would just start laying, we could practically eliminate most of the commercial grain. Milk, boiled table scraps, greens, eggs, hay and nuts make a pretty well-rounded diet.

Oremus pro invicem!


TS said...

You sure live a long way from St. Catherine's... That's one bad thing about living out in the country - generally it's a long way from a Catholic church. In the future it'll be even worse given the lack of priests and consolidation of parishes...

Rachel said...

AH, Mr C, you are a lucky man!

We've got this lovely clay here that has avoided drying out since the first of October. With the cooler temps, and heavy humidity/rains we have had, we need to mow/till in the summer garden, and then get thing fall garden in.

I don't know if we will be doing pigs ourselves this fall. We *need* to, from a put meat into the freezer standpoint, but we're still waiting on our old home in NC to sell (if you can pray on that for us, I'd appreciate it!)...everything and anything that doesn't *have* to be done, is being put on hold.

I am very glad your piglets came home (I am sure that there mommas are too!). But sorry for the scare that they gave you! Do you have any updated pictures of the little ones?

Jim Dorchak said...

I am starting to think that you speak "Pig Latin". Knowing how well you treat your piggies, I would find it hard to believe that they would every want to leave.

You are just good at what you do.

Jim Dorchak

Jim Curley said...

TS, I wrote a letter to a friend today, and twice I mentioned how I would give a whole lot to have a Catholic Church in town.

Jim, you are too kind. But yes, I do know my pigs-they are all different.

Rachel-prayers on the way from the Curley's. Will try to get some new pics up soon.