Yes, that is all that is in my head. Today, I am going to clean out Poppy’s bedroom and put in the clean pine shavings. Maybe spend some time on the piglet creep. She is bellying down, her first date is June 10 th or something like that.

This will be my last farrowing. I cannot work off-site and be breeding pigs at the same time. But mostly it is the anxiety and the climate changes so fast now from hot to cold I have to be ready for anything. I feel I am fighting rather than flowing.

Poppy and Sheila will continue to hang out as pets. Sheila needs someone to keep her warm in the winters. Manu has gone to his new harem. Molly has been sold. I feel sad that all the knowledge I strove for will no longer be used. Breaking up the family. But I can buy Manu’s piglets – he is just down the road with his new girls. So I will still raise a few plonkers each year.

There is so much I do instinctively when I am raising piglets, it cannot be taught. Too much is missed when I am not here. And that lack of observing time ultimately costs lives.

Plus every year I have a period of too many animals and that is no good in the warm constantly wet environment which will overnight turn into a hot dry climate then hurl itself into a frozen tundra. I am fighting to keep everything warm/cool and dry.

It is a good decision. Not all good decisions are easy. I feel comfortable with that – but still a bit sad.

Farming is all about adapting and changing. Doing the same thing every year does not work. Rotating crops has to happen for healthy soil. Moving animals often encourages good feeding habits. Changing ones systems to beat pathogens and bacteria’s from bedding down in the corners is logical. Resting areas gives nature tine to help out. Pasture raised anything is very hard in such inclement weather.

I will miss those tiny piglets though!!

But I am thinking about sheep again. Just a thought at this point.

Our whole lives seem to be a constant battle for tidiness and order when our natural environment constantly strives for clutter and chaos and overgrowth and filth. Just stop tending one corner of your yard or your room and watch it quickly revert to type. Just ask a spider.


Time to get up.


Ps yesterday it did not rain very much at all!

46 Comments on “TIME TO GET UP

  1. Big decisions, and some of them hard, but all taken with the welfare of your animals in mind which is the most important thing.

  2. Decisions like that are always difficult, but the health of the farm as a whole sometimes requires it. I totally understand the sadness, though!

  3. Umm what happens at the mill if crops aren’t planted by the 10th June? Will Tima still return? I really hope you are going into a dry cycle now. Laura

    • The corn is the one most at risk. But we do have supplies of wheat stored in the mill. And there is a plan for oats too And Tima! Where is Tima. They were going to bring her back- I must follow that up.

  4. I love sheep, and there are few things sweeter than those adorable little lambs (even adorable little piglets 🙂 )! Growing up we raised Barbados sheep. They are haired, so no sheering, and have lovely brown and tan and black coats. It all started when my sister adopted an orphan lamb from a neighboring farmer. The lamb’s mother had rejected her, and the farmer told my sister that if she could keep the thing alive, it was hers.
    Once it was clear Annie (get it, Little Orphan Annie) was going to survive and she wasn’t going anywhere, my dad decided she needed company and went and got a few more. We started with two ewes and a ram, and the flock just kinda grew from there.

  5. What an adventure this has been. I started with your blog just around the time readers were saying their last goodbyes to the remaining sheep of the farmy, and now I may be coming full cycle with you if the sheep make a return! I can’t wait to see where the journey goes from here, even though baby pig snouts and bottoms always made me smile 🙂

  6. Good for you. It’s a rational decision, and makes perfect sense: All things change and evolve, including you, including the Farmy, including your readers. The Farmy isn’t a petting zoo, it’s a system for feeding you and keeping you healthy, and all systems have to evolve to meet the circumstances in which they operate.
    The pigs are delightful, and they worked well for a while. Now things have changed. We’ll miss them… but I look forward to the next thing that makes you say “Excellent!”

    • My feelings as well. Thanks, @katechiconi, for centering us this morning. I look forward to your comments (here and at Philosopher Mouse) each day! Celi, have you considered llamas or alpacas? The wool sells, they graze rather than wallow, and are in demand as pack animals by the National Park Service and other such organizations, so would also sell. But definitely are not people food. Gotta ask– does Wai like the fresh milk, too, or only Tane?

      • Good question- Wai HATES milk. He is the only pig I have ever met who hates milk. Llamas are so lovely- especially those babies but I just don’t have the time to start a new breed and source markets etc. sheep I know I can sell. Big I am thinking of just a few for me. Not sure if I want to breed

  7. Never have I read truer words than your last paragraph. Have read it twice and plan to read it again.
    I’m sitting here in my house not a farm and all about me is controlled chaos. Wherever my gaze falls there is work to be done and I might add without help. I’m mighty sick of it.
    You have been such an inspiration to “go on”. But I’m glad you do see working off and on the farm both is untenable. So many sad decisions!

  8. What a very sensible and down to earth lady you are. Everything thought through and balanced. I’m sure that
    some of these decisions were very hard to make but ultimately all the right ones for you and the farmy.
    I will also miss all those little velvet coated fellows, but needs must. And, l was very fond of Marcel.
    All power to your elbow!

  9. Being adaptable is how you will survive in this changing climate. What works for a few years may stop working or may not make sense anymore. Moving on is wisdom.

    Have you ever considered goats? They milk, too. Meat, milk, cheese. And they will happily eat the thistle!

  10. Farming is difficult, no matter how you approach it. A small, diverse farm will let you feed your family, but you’re going to need at least one outside income for taxes, insurance, health insurance, and probably to subsidize feed for the animals. A very large farm requires specialized equipment and knowledge. You don’t quickly change from one crop to another because of the equipment differences alone. It does take a pretty large farm to make enough money to actually support itself and the people who work it. I worry so much about farmers.

  11. Your comments about trying to maintain an orderly corner of a house struck home. I learned in a freshman chemistry class about entropy: everything tends to fall apart and run down. That’s the nature of the universe. Energy must be supplied to inject order into the proceedings.

    My wife and I are in the process of cutting down on possessions and removing clutter. We want to live more simply and are anticipating an eventual move to smaller quarters. There’s sadness in letting old habits, work, and patterns go, but also a sense of adventure.

    What new things will you learn as you adapt to new necessities on your farm?

  12. All the knowledge you have accumulated over the years benefited your animals to the nth degree. None of it was wasted.

  13. very wise decisions…not easy to make, but smart. We will miss those little wee piglets for sure!

  14. The universes are in constant change, as is our world, both with the nature aspect and our knowledge of how, why, and when things work. Celia, you are one of the few people I know of who can adapt so readily and rationally to change – or even change them at will to suit your needs at the time. This takes courage, imagination, instinct, and persistence and you have it all in spades! Heh! You’re great at keeping the spiders and webs out of you mind and thought processes! Best to you! – Sunny

  15. It makes sense to work with new situations rather than not deal with changing circumstances simply to resist change when eventually that change becomes the new norm.

  16. Seems like not that long ago you said you would not be milking anymore. Did I dream that? Lol. Even so, we will adjust to your decisions as you make the ones that are best for you. We will enjoy what you give us. Went to a Tecumseh Bread and Pastry last Saturday. I could not pass along your greeting because they were SO BUSY! I did not distract. Just purchased and quickly got out of the way. We will be going again, though.

    • You didn’t dream that – and If poor Del had not lost her calf I would not be milking either- I would have left it to the baby. But there you are- I am milking again.

  17. Am glad working off-farm is proving satisfactory. Different stimuli, dealing with other people and some cash at the end of the week., Am going way back remembering . . . did you not give up the sheep because they got some foot disease because of the oft damp soil . . . ? Am ‘travelling’ way back . . .

  18. That last paragraph does strike home. For a little more than a year I have been trying to catch up, clean up and streamline the day to day doings here so I can continue on by myself. I’ve been up to my ears in a couple of big projects and it came to me this afternoon that if I don’t take tomorrow and tidy everything up it’ll make me crazy! So that’s the plan, I’ll pick up and stow and organize tomorrow so that I can go back to making a mess the next day! Good luck to you on your future plans.

    • My Godmother once told me that everything needs to belong somewhere so it can be tidied away. Anything that has no home in your house needs to leave. Easier said than done!! But kind of logical really.

  19. If pigs are the smartest animal in the barnyard, as I’ve heard, maybe in the house spiders are. But I don’t care to find out.. P.S., I’m going to think about this one for quite some time: “Resting areas gives nature tine to help out..” It’s great how living close to the land can offer insights about how to manage in a fast-paced city environment.

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: