The Weekly Digs #105

by Becky

Pigs!

Last week we got our pigs! They are 8 weeks old, so pretty small and cute still. Cameron and I were going back and forth on whether or not we should do pigs this year because we have so much going on already. We had searched for some purebred Berkshire pigs but couldn’t find any locally.

We almost didn’t get any pigs at all but at the last minute Cam saw an ad for pigs that are a cross of tamworth, large black, and berkshire. They were already being raised on silvo-pasture. We figured it would be a low cost way for us to test the waters and get some pork in the freezer. 

They were about a 3.5 hour drive away so Cam set out last Saturday to pick them up. I stayed back because there were too many things on my garden to do list I needed to finish. 

He was able to get them no problem, got them all loaded in a dog crate and put them in the back of the truck for the ride home. 

We unloaded them in a temporary pig pen we made because we didn’t finish the large pastured pig pen yet. They were so happy! I understand now about friends saying pigs can be loud. It wasn’t really too loud with the piglets but they were excited to root around and made more noise than I expected.

In about 6 hours flat, they tilled the whole area! Then they rested under a little animal shelter the previous owners of our land had made. 

We went home and came back the next day to feed them and check their water. The pigs weren’t in the pen. Our hearts sunk. The one thing we were trying so hard to avoid happened within the first 24 hours!

We searched and searched for them looking way out far away. About a half hour into search Cam said, “They are right here!” They had decided to take a nap not even ten feet from their pen. They camouflaged in the brush so we couldn’t see them. We were so thankful.

We also figured out where they escaped. The old animal shelter we were using for them is a little dilapidated and had a hole in it we didn’t see before. We plugged the hole and thankfully they haven’t escaped since.

Cameron is working on the larger fence now. Hopefully we’ll get them moved into it soon enough.

Garden

We are still getting so much rain. The rain is normal for spring but unfortunately our clay soil needs so many days to dry out in order to be workable. I now have hundreds of bare root plants that have arrived in the mail. 

I’m still waiting on my blueberry and raspberry rows to dry enough so I can plant! If I had a little more time, I would have fully prepped them before winter but that didn’t happen. 

The good news is we were able to plant all the strawberries! Cameron took a few days off his day job to do some work on the walk-in cooler room and pig fencing. I took some of his time yesterday and he and the kids helped prepare the strawberries for planting.

It was a big job that took longer than expected. I wanted to get all our fruit plants in the ground this year so we could get a faster harvest. But I didn’t think through the fact that our fruit area is 10x larger than what I’ve done before and requires 10x the plants and 10x the effort!

I’m just hoping and praying it will stay dry enough that I can get everything in the ground by the end of this month.

  • Planted 200 Jewel strawberries and 200 Flavorfest strawberries
  • Pepper seedlings are coming up. They are Emerald Giant variety.
  • Planted arugula, radishes, Nantes carrots.
  • Transplanted Tango Celery and Red Express Cabbage to the garden.
  • Planted 2 more rows of pea/oat mix as a way to prep the soil for corn which is a heavy feeder.
Garlic is up!

House Progress

They’ve made a good amount of house progress this week. The brick is being put on and the tile inside the house is in progress. Feels so good that it’s getting close!

Kids Bath
Master Bath

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