The Weekly Digs #114

by Becky

Crazy Pigs! 

One day this week I came home to find pigs out in the driveway. Pigs are so hard to move and herd. There really is no such thing. Cameron wasn’t home and the kids were playing at the creek. I had no helpers.

In the past, I just let them wander a bit and they found their way home, but this day they ran straight for all our chicks! I ran after them trying to shoo them away but that definitely wasn’t working. Luckily all the chicks were tucked safely away in the brooders and chicken tractor. 

But we were keeping all the chick food in a bucket under the shelter of the carport where all the chicks were. The pigs stuffed their heads in the buckets and started to chow down. I frantically grabbed buckets but by then it had already spilled all over the ground.

The pigs ate that clean, all while I stood nearby to make sure they didn’t try and knock over a chick shelter and eat them too. Luckily there were no chick casualties. But my main way to get them back to their pen, shaking the food bucket, was now useless. They were full enough not to care about my bucket. 

Next the pigs moved to my elderberries and started rooting and eating them! This is where I went from being friends with the pigs to being enemies. I pushed them away, shoved the big pig with my foot, only to have it flop over and look at me like it wanted a belly rub.

Then it was on to the raspberries, they nibbled here and there. At this point I called Cam and said, “What do I do? Come home and help me!” But really I used more forceful words, haha.  I had already grabbed a board to use to block their view but with just me it wasn’t enough. 

I was so upset about all my plants and hard work and the pigs starting to ruin it. I finally chased them off but they ran in the wrong direction, towards the backyard.

This was probably the worst place ever for them because we have multiple ditches dug for septic and they were all filled with 3-4 feet of standing water.

I was totally freaking out because pigs can’t swim and if one fell in there was no way I had enough muscle to take it out. One of them thought the septic tank hole was a pond and edged its way in for a drink. I stood behind it and pulled it away just in time!

At this point, I was sweating, covered in mud, and even more frustrated because it had been close to an hour since I first found them. Cameron finally made it home to help. I was so tired I let him run around and chase them for a bit. 

Then they ran to the backyard again and I knew I needed to help. Ten more minutes of keeping them away from holes and I had the idea to run in front of them while Cam used the board from behind. 

Once we hit tall grass, they started to follow me. We ran all the way back down to the pig fencing. Cam grabbed the food and put it inside the fencing, then he turned off the electric and put a board over it to let the pigs walk over. 

They were finally in. Cam did some weed whacking under the wires and double checked the fence. It was on and hot. I told Cam, this needed to be it! I think we are going to put a welded wire fence around the perimeter of their area (close to an acre in size) and then still use the electric wire to divide pastures and rotate them. 

I don’t ever want the pigs to escape again!

Garden Update

We are right on the cusp of some major harvests! I keep trying to hold off because I have no kitchen and it’s more complicated than it usually is to preserve the food. 

Peas, cabbage, and celery are almost ready. We are harvesting kale, lettuce, cilantro, arugula, celery, green onions, radishes, and a few strawberries. 

The weather has been super rainy the past few weeks and it looks like it’s just going to continue. The positive is that I don’t need to water at all and my celery is loving it. 

Thursday we were expecting severe storms and hail so I tied all my peas to the trellis and did my tomatoes too. Luckily we didn’t get any hail.

After putting away all the animals that night, we found the barn was leaking more than normal and all our sleeping bags were wet. We hadn’t put up the rain fly because we were in the barn but on a severe storm night, the water came through any hole it could.

We found some other dry blankets but it was still pretty cold and soggy in the tent. Thankfully the next day brought dry weather and the tent dried out. 

House Progress

We are so close, and yet it feels like we’re so far! We are one or two weeks away from being able to move in. Wood floors finished, plumbing started to do their finish work, and tile backsplash got started.

We are still waiting on them grading the area around the house, heat and air, finishing septic tank, soapstone around fireplace, garage doors, paint touch ups, and concrete next to the garage. 

If the rain would stop for more than a few days, it would get done much faster. I am praying that the weather will be dry and so we can finish soon. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to last in a tent.

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Heather Legler June 7, 2021 - 12:40 am

I can totally hear the panic and frustration in your post as you described chasing the pigs. We’ve had our share of escaped animals–mostly bunnies (which are fast and clever) and sheep (which are determined and hungry). I love watching your videos and following your story because we’re both going through very similar experiences. We’re just trying to live a good life, take care of our sweet family, and raise as much organic, delicious, beautiful food as we can! 🙂

theseasonalhomestead June 9, 2021 - 12:21 pm

Thanks Heather! Yes, you totally get it! And thank you for sharing that with me. It is good to remember there is a community of people all in this together with many of the same struggles 🙂


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