Move along. Move along.

Nothing to see here.

And that is exactly what I could see  – nothing. I was standing,  pigs lunch buckets in my hands, ready to step over the electric fence and join the running throng of young fat pigs, holding the buckets high, merging with the fast moving traffic, trying to get to their bowls before they did, but there was no one there. Not. One. Pig. TonTon and I stood, heavy buckets in my gloved hands and we turned 350 degrees. Nothing.  No sounds. No pigs.  An empty field.

I poured all the warm soaked grains into all the empty bowls and said , “TonTon” (In my get-to-work tone). “Find the Piggies”and he went straight to work and streaked around the corner of the field and under the gate. TonTon is the best at finding lost animals he and I have a weird connection as he  picks up all the clues and always knows which animals I am searching for.

I folowed him around the corner and I found this fella.

Move along, he said, through a mouth full and without getting up. Nothing to see here.

But there was – something to see there – eight more naughty pigs had gone through the fence and were in the asparagus patch. Grubbing in the compost heaps and racing through the long grass. They had made a hole in the fence.aa15

And all I could see were flashes of Hereford red as they reeled drunk and giggling hooning about in the asparagus patch, peeking out at me from behind bushes  and dangerously close to the Fellowship Forrest and the Badlands where the coyote’s live.

Some had found the little oak tree. and were crunching on acorns as they dug around its base.


I called them and they all came happily enough, had their dinner, milling about half heartedly, I shut the gate, I fixed the hole in the fence and I hoped that would do it.

Then when I checked them an hour later they were all gone again. We had to play this scene twice more before I found all the escape routes.




That patch was doomed.


So I made a better patch. Finally either I got all the patches sealed or they just got tired of playing with me.


And they all lay down for a big sleep.




After the milking when I checked them  they had put themselves into their hut. Early to bed.

Today I will drag a line from the electric fence across there. That is coyote territory out there at night. The wild dogs never come inside my fences, and I think it is best if a little pig does not get caught out of these fences at night. The coyote pack and my dogs and I have an uneasy understanding but that would break in a second if there were little pigs on THEIR  side.

The majority of these pigs are sold on the seventh of December, I was hoping to get to that date before moving the last three into the Rat House Paddock with the Storm Shelter.  We will have to see.

They tell me today is Sunday. I must say I am a bit surprised. This week went by fast. There is another frost outside but my vegetables are covered. I am still picking kale, lettuce, baby beets and baby carrots.  The day before yesterday we picked the last of the cucumbers.

I will be mulching the carrots, and the beets more heavily as the cold comes in. In February I have a very important visitor and I want to give her a dinner entirely from my farm, with fresh baby carrots and beets and kale from my garden in the depths of winter.   This is my goal.

Everyone needs a goal. I have heard of people plonking an entire bale of straw onto carrots to over winter them.  I wish I had sown some parsnips too but I ate all my spring ones as babies.  Parsnips need to get a good run up to winter and I left sowing them until too late.

Today I will tidy up in the garden and do more mulching.  Though the real cold is still holding off somewhat we are having a lovely autumn.  I am trying not to be afraid of the price we will pay.

I hope you have a lovely day.



41 Comments on “Move along. Move along.

  1. Oh, my word! The photo of the wee fella is telling. He is delighted with himself!

    I just heard about the earthquake in NZ. Are all your family safe?

  2. Yes, I think that stringing the electric fence on the inside of the fence to keep the little boogers in is a great idea. That’s what you meant, right? Otherwise, I’m afraid they’ll be making ‘the great escape’ over and over again, chuckling about it each time! 🙂 We spent all day yesterday putting row covers on the spinach, kale, rutabagas, beets, carrots, arugula and last of the lettuce and radishes. Also picked the last of the little sweetie tomatoes. They weren’t ripe yet, but hopefully will ripen. Amazing that you had cucumbers this late! So happy that we’ll also have veggies to eat over the winter. 🙂

  3. Those darned piggies! Well, think of it though… wouldn’t you be trying to escape? I would. 🙂 Your winter garden would flourish down here, and that is something I really need to try. I’m usually so tired of the spring and summer garden work by this time that I can’t think about even a few plants for fall and winter. I still have acorn and spaghetti squash, a few tomatoes and some hot peppers out there. And my parsley, cilantro and basil have all gone to seed and grow anew again.
    Perhaps there will be no price to pay for the lovely weather we are all experiencing here in the Midwest. Maybe it will be a banner winter to coast through. I’m being hopeful!!

  4. Entertaining story for us. Frustrating morning for you. I’m glad you had TonTon to help you round up those bad little fellas. My mother once got the pigs drunk on the must left over from wine making. Too drunk to get up off the ground, squealing and rolling around. Hope you have solved the Great Escape problem.

  5. Your description of the pigs’ antics is hilarious. So well-written. Not to mention the photos. So apropos! And hats off to TonTon Superhero!

    • TonTon always finds the animals i am looking for – the trick is to make Bo sit and wait until Ton has found them – then Boo helps me herd them back in. Ton never spooks animals . They all take no notice of him at all – he is the tracker.. c

  6. I just an article in the last Saveur Magazine of a breed of hogs called the “Red Wattle.” According to the article they produce the best pork ever.

  7. I bought the Beatrix Potter movie. I have watched it over and over. Stories of strong women inspire me. And your ornery piggies wandering about with a chuckle about them is so delightful but you have good cause to be concerned. My stepson was bitten by a coyote in front of the house in Burbank, California. He was standing at the trash can and thought they were regular dogs. They wanted the food in the trash. He was lucky it was only a bite and not more. Yes, he had to have rabies shots. Sometimes I wonder if a pack of feral dogs is more dangerous than coyotes? Don’t know and don’t want to find out. I’m glad you are so cautious.

  8. Oh. So. Naughty. I see you say you believe all your family in NZ is safe, I’m so glad for you…still waiting to hear from mine but they’re not in Christchurch just hoping none were visiting.

  9. Good grief, that earthquake in N.Z. was over a 7 on the scale! That’s unthinkable. And still, just reports of two people lost. So sorry for them but astounded it’s not a lot more.
    That one ‘fella’ you found first looks like he’s emerging from a hole in the ground… wonderful pictures, and a terrific story of lost and found piggies. This gorgeous autumn weather has been a real bonus and I am enjoying every day of it, not thinking of what is to come because it will come and time enough then to bundle up. Hope you have a lovely day too! ~ Mame 🙂

    • Not unthinkable for NZ though – we are in the Ring of Fire – major fault lines running right through the country. Plus dormant volcanoes – it is geographically volatile. c

  10. oh my such naughty piggies- with these photos you have the beginnings of a delightful childrens book! Cheers and I hope all your family is ok in NZ.

  11. I think the story of the Many Naughty Piggies has to be saved for a children’t book. Especially with those gleeful piggy grins to illustrate it. We’ve been travelling and didn’t get any news last night because the power was out due to multiple lightning hits, so I’ve only just heard from the Fellowship about the earthquake. Fingers crossed there are no more deaths and everyone you love is safe.

    • Yes they are all present and accounted for – evidently it was pretty close to Kaikoura which has been cut off due to a land slide. Wellington got a good wack. but everyone is good. Dad in christchurch said there had been quite a few after shocks. c

  12. I believe I know the exact nonplussed feeling of what’s wrong with this picture that you felt standing there holding your buckets. I’ve been there myself with the horses. It takes a bit to sink in. I must say they are an adorable lot!

  13. Glad to read that your family is safe, Celi, and the pigs, too – the rascals! I would have loved to have seen your face when you realized that they had escaped for the 3rd time. Then again, maybe it’s best that I didn’t. 🙂

  14. Pigs are my favourite farm animals. Totally full of character. Glad to read your family are safe. I live in Oxford, the earthquake was long and rolling. It was like being sickness as I clung to the door frame. The kids slept through it! 🙂
    Your blog looks great.

    • Thank you – my two grown sons in Welington described it as the most frightening yet. Oxford. I believe that is where my most favouritae Great Aunt was from and my sister and I were just talking about her house the other day – what a coincidence. c

  15. I put an entire bale of hay over my three little fig trees in the hope of them surviving the winter. Let’s pray it works! I’ve never tried pasrsnips – maybe next year! Can’t wait to find out who your special February guest is? I hope you will post photos of the dinner?

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