An escape waiting to happen.

Do you see the little left hoof of the middle piglet? Yes, he is thinking about climbing through. I better fatten him up quick so he cannot fit.




They are getting harder to take photos of, as the moment they see me they race over to see what I have got. Every morning I cut down a few stalks of heritage sweet corn for each animal and chop it up for them so there is no waste.sunday-afternoon-023

This old fashioned corn is higher in protein and lower in acids.

You know that i pull and feed the weeds to the chickens and pigs well we also practice Permaculture on the farmy. As in returning the waste to the land, via the stomach of an animal.


I am very slowly pruning this forsythia hedge.  I do this every year as the flowers (one of the first flowers for the bees in the spring) come on first year wood. This year I am cutting it very low and I feed everything I cut to the animals.  The animals love to eat the prunings and it gives them great variety in their diet. They need to nibble on bark and sticks to maintain their stomach health. But I only prune as much as they will eat that day so as not to waste the resource so this will take a few more weeks.



Good morning.  Shortly I shall go out and cut another two forsythia plants and collect about twenty corn stalks and a couple of buckets of windfall apples and  lambs quarters then throw them over the fences to the animals. I do this twice a day.  The corn is only a few days away from being perfect eating for us too. But don’t worry I have hundreds  and hundreds of GM free sweetcorn plants. This crop is for people and animals.  And not one leaf will be wasted. In the end I will be bringing  the last of it in dry and storing it in the barn for winter feed.

Next year the Farmy Fellowship Forest will have willows growing and these will join the summer feed programme too! Willows are excellent for moving worms out of ruminant bellies.

This morning I am alone for almost the whole day for the first time since Christmas. The 7am builders have gone, the painter is finished and the cabinet maker is busy with another job for a while.  And being of a solitary nature I have been longing for this day. I am the kind of person who needs a lot of time to myself. I have always thought I would be a perfect hermit if I could only find the right cave!

Today is Thistle day. I will take out my sharpest favourite spade and dig out any thistles in the fields.  There are a few out there too. It might take me a while. I shall take Sheila with me, she enjoys the wander.

Have a lovely day.

your friend, celi


62 Comments on “An escape waiting to happen.

  1. Good morning to you Celi! Your morning is my evening, and I was just off to bed when I saw your new post come through; I’m excited to be the first to comment, as I’m usually way down the line!
    The piglets are growing so fast and look very healthy.
    It’s always a pleasure to stroll round the farmy with you and the anmals, so as I toddle off to bed, I take the sights and sounds of the farmy with me for some lovely dreams.
    Have you had any more news about the earthquakes in NZ?

    • Good morning or should I say evening. This is the site i check frequently, it seems that the shakes are getting much lighter and not as frequent.
      My sons tell me that they have been shaken but not stirred! So lets hope the settling trend continues until next time. NZ has a massive active fault line right down its center. Earthquakes are not uncommon.. c

    • There is a family resemblence for sure. I was thinking they could alll join up. But Anytime Sheila has come close to the fence with Charlotte she has roared so i am just keeping them apart until weaning time then the two big girls will go back together. Poor Sheila.She has been so patient.. c

  2. Good Morning, and happy Monday. Another week begins and like you I am tackling the weeds yet again. Too many for my 7 chickens, so the get dumped in my woods to rot down. Some of my prunnings do make the compost piles as although they take a while to rot down, they help make pockets of air for the rest to compost. Little piggies re really growing fast, and have such sweet faces. Question – do you worry that the pollen from the GM corn gets on to your heritage corn? Been reading so much about this happening. Hope not as we do not need any more GM anything!!

    • There is definitely going to be some of that happening. But the seed has not been modified (this is why I feed the greens to the animals as well) and that is the best i can do. Also these varieties do not tassle at the same time, so it is in fact more likely that the pollen from our corn floats into the pollen from theirs, as Our corn was germinated first. but once again, I can only do the best I can with the odds stacked against me. To be totally GM free in the US i really would have to live on an island and in that cave. c

      • Yep you got that right! Oh well we can only hope with all the hoopla going on and everyone complaining that maybe, just maybe someone might listen one day and see the harm this is all causing! One can dream…..

  3. those pigs are so cute! have you found homes for any of them? sweet makes summer worthwhile! my corn is tiny compared to yours. i could live in a cave too. i need lots and lots of lone time!

    • Most of the piggies have been bought by people who have asked us to raise them for pasture raised pork. The gilt and at least one barrow as show pigs. But I am still thrilled that people want good clean meat. To see so many people looking for alternative sources of good food is a great advance. c

  4. My cave is almost perfect – it just needs a little Farmy attached to it …. sigh. Laura

  5. Morning, c! Top of the day to you, and happy wandering for the farmy snurfers. A bit of lunch, and then return to packing my suitcase. And then unpacking it, and repacking it. Enjoy the peace. My builders return while we’re away. 🙂

    • I hope they work fast in your absence, I always throw stuff at my suitcase(literally) for a few days then repack it later on. You must be dying to get into the cool! c

        • Hmm.. time to get out for a while.. you are wearing down from the heat.. we have been very lucky so far, only a few hot days! c

  6. What a varied and interesting diet your animals have. And I love the way you take so many of the farmy population for “a wander”. I haven’t put my nose outside the door today – a beautiful day but very hot. Time I had some fresh air. Have a lovely day, Celie.

    • yes when i wander through the fields, I have sheila, the dogs, usually Kupa somewhere and at least one cat, we are a bit of a circus.. c

  7. Piggies are as good at escaping as goats. I didn’t know you could feed the forsythia to the critters. Mine needs trimmed so I’ll start doing that. Thanks! Have a great day, Celi!

    • Forsythia is completely non toxic, one of the few that i am happy to feed them daily, but start small as usual. When are you going to get a couple of sheep? c

      • Probably not anytime soon. Too many other things more important and lots of fencing work needs done. I think I need a couple more of those solar fence chargers!

  8. Hey Celie. I love your blog, I’m really thinking of getting som hens, but do you have any tips when it comes to feeding to keep it organic?

    • organic chickens are hard .. because organic grain is prohibitively expensive, there is organic GM free grain around though, my best bet is to have the chickens out on the soil and in your garden and fed from your kitchen as much as possible and feed them the least amount possible of well grown grain from a reputable mill. Remember though that the less you feed them grain the less they will lay. And they do like a mix, so there is no need to feed them too much actual corn. I am still looking for organic field corn. So hard to find nowadays.. hope that helps.. c

  9. a time to be alone, it’s not that we don’t want to be busy or get things done, it’s just nice to not have to speak to someone else, or respond to questions or comments, or hear the noise and sounds of other humans! My sweetie is off to town for the day so I am home alone and loving the quiet. it nurtures my soul. Enjoy your day.

  10. I DO so hope the GM crops are not infecting yours. It must be a real worry when you go out of your way to be GM free.
    I don’t think I could be a farmer or farmer wife – I couldn’t bear to kill anything (except for ants and maybe a spider or two).
    I’m solitary by nature too – I need my space, and fortunately, in retirement, I’ve found almost the perfect ‘cave’.
    (I always thought in some previous life I must have been a hermit monk, yes a monk, not a nun).

  11. I think that Sheila will probably enjoy eating the thistles. Our piggies used to love them, the prickles not seeming to bother them! Perhaps it was because they were Scottish pigs and felt obliged to enjoy The Flower of Scotland!!!!

  12. I had a fascinating dream last night were you lived in the suburbs with me. Somehow I was walking along looking at some of the grand old mansions not two blocks from my home and there was a house I’d never seen before, all modern and freshly built.
    In the lawn was a peahen and her chick, both fully colored like adult males but smaller and without the tails of a male and I wondered who lived there (because who on earth owns peahens in the city?). There was a properly colored peahen on the roof. I climbed and peeked over a near-by 8ft wooden fence lined with huge oak trees and there was a vast field with your cows in it, and on the far side a barn with piggies peeking out. In the far distance the sheep were wandering about grazing. I started freaking out because I knew exactly whose house this was suddenly (yours of course, it even had the tree we see from your undaily view but in the back yard) and I could not believe you lived so close and I didn’t know. I was so happy and planned on baking fresh bread, making jam and trading bread, jam and rabbit meat with you for delicious cows milk and hay and corn! We would reminisce about different ways to farm together and become great friends! It was going to be the best of times!
    But then I woke up and you, of course, live nowhere near me and it was quite the disappointment… Especially since nobody who shares a love for farming lives near me where I am (cities are like that). Alas. But it was grand while it lasted!

    • What a wondrous dream, I have been thinking about it all day since I read this.. i know how it feels to be solitary with your vision.. and waking up wishing your dream was true.. lovely.. have a lovely day!! c

  13. Just returned from magnificent Alaska, the land of homesteading, and the title of this post struck a chord…Your resourcefulness is comforting and inspiring.

  14. I adore your photos; I always read your blog, and I am so impressed – you are wondrous – the world benefits from people like you! hooray

  15. I’m getting started into the permaculture methodology as well. We combine it with our Back To Eden gardening method. I can’t wait until we have chickens so we can start giving them the scrapes from the table and weeds from the garden. We aren’t allowed any pigs where I live but maybe I’ll get the covenant changed one day or I’ll just move to a bigger farm!

    • Just get a pig and tell them it is a fat dog.. a pigoranium!! , hope you find somewhere bigger and freer.. c

  16. So what will you do with the thistles – which animal/bird get’s to eat those? I have a few on my plot that you are welcome too – I can’t get my spade in the ground easily at the moment as we have had blissfully hot dry and sunny weather.
    Know what you mean about being alone, kind of wonderful! Mind you, you have us lot to contend with as well…..

    • the thistles are banished from the property, these ones shoot their roots out and pop up all over, destroying the pasture, I will never get rid of them all, but what i do get up i burn.. c

  17. Why are the pigs’ ears so lacy? I’m trying to remember. I know Charlotte and Sheila have lacy ears too. Is this to identify them?

  18. Hello, Celi!

    We loved your pictures of the peachick and the piglets. Thank you for planting my apple tree. Tanti saluti e baci. Love, your Zia.

  19. Can’t believe how fast those piglets have grown: glad you have found buyers for most! The Murphies, last I saw them, also looked pretty grownup – daresay their leaving the farmy is closing in. Personally as a city gal I find it fascinating how you have learned to use every available bit of edible stuff to raise all your brood! But just cannot believe hard plant stems are so good for their health 🙂 ! Oh, Down Under of course we have had our own ‘baby news’ with that big baby Prince appearing overrnight: Monarchist or Republican, methinks everyone was on baby watch 😀 !

  20. A perfect hermit as long a that cave has wifi as your wee conversations with self include us. I cannot image a not started with you. No matter the grief or excitement around, we do need our Miss C fix.

  21. What pleasure to have a day to yourself! I love solitude too. It’s wonderful to see how every little bit gets used on the farmy. What lucky animals to have such variety.
    Now that little sculpture which is hiding behind the yellow lilies looks so much like a popular Kiwi sculpture, beloved of various Retreat Centres. Can it be? or is it a US version?

    • The pigs are Herefords. An old american heritage breed that is close to dying out altogether, there are only a few thousand left. I can see why as Charlotte has only ONE gilt (little girl) .. plus they are not the average commercial size and shape.. c

    • I think they are only good for them in that they provide variety .. and are non toxic.. but they eat all the leaves and nibble at the bark so that is good.. c

  22. Those piggies are eyeing the other side of the fence, the mud must be browner over there. Or Miss C is there and they are hoping for something to eat.

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