Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bringing home the bacon

I notice from my regular peripatetic perusal of other peoples' farm blogs that it is also hog butchering season in Oregon and Missouri.

While homesteaders in Aberdeen, Raasay, and southern England are not yet engaged in this occupation, or haven't yet experienced the pig experience.

It's recommended.

Although the butchering makes me miserable, the aftermath makes me glad. Bacon, chops, sausage, pork roast, ham, and fatback for lard and baked beans. "There's a whole world more to a pig than ham" said Renee Zellwiger's character Ruby, in the movie and novel Cold Mountain.

And there is. And we have it. This is the bacon bonanza season at Womerlippi acres. One pig is home already, one is yet to come, but we are already porked up to the gills.

We give some away and we trade off some, but we also keep some for me and our guests to eat. My wife, although raised on Pennsylvania and Shenandoah Valley German Pietist pork products (the finest kind), eschews meat still. She's vegetarian less by conviction and more out of shear cussedness. She turned that way to spite her parents when she was a teen, and stayed mostly out of stubbornness.

Being British to the core, I appreciate this stubborn trait in her, and do my best to eat her share. It's only fair I should pitch in.


  1. Actually, we've just done two pigs, too.

  2. Hah!

    Less of an event when you have so many, I would guess. Two a year is about the most we can manage right now. They occupy the sheep pen during the spring, summer, and early fall when the sheep can be outside at night.

    We would need to build a new facility to have a farrowing pen, or even more sties for feeder pigs. We decided we don't want them on the pastures because of the trash -- when we took over this place there was so much, and there's still a lot, 50, 60 year-old tin cans and ancient bottles, broken glass down in the dirt. This place has been a farm for 200 years, and there was no trash service locally for 170 years of that 200.

    The sheep don't root, so they don't get cut. Pigs would. The rubbish goes away slowly, geologically. The chickens scratch it up, and then we pick it up, a feed sack at a time.

  3. still just dreaming of the pigs here. We are working on the run, but have concrete bases to smack up and remove, fences to make etc. Still we shall get there..the jealousy of other peoples pork harvest driving us on.

    We too have an area of ground that was rubbish tip for centuries, that would be ideal for pigs if it were not for the danger the rubbish would be to the pigs.. in stead we call it the 'wildlife area', and plan to plant some trees for coppicing. somewhen...


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