I have always been a serious scavenger when it comes to pig feed. Animals need to eat seasonally too just like humans. We all need variety!

Though the variety comes in gorging waves and the new wave is windfall apples. Here in Illinois they call apples that hit the ground ‘Drops’.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to discover that Jill the Mill Manager ( and one of the few women Millers in the country ) has an orchard. An organic orchard. And her apples are thinning themselves out by dropping to the ground. It is a feast!

So Anna, and her sister and I, took ( not enough) buckets out to Jill’s orchard which is only about nine miles away and literally scooped up the apples from the ground.

Happy pigs!

Even the smallest of the pigs, who have gone quite wild in their tall weeds and are seldom sighted, chased the little apples around with their snouts trying to get a bite. Though I have to stand still for the longest time to get even a bad photo of them.

Just out of interest for you – and if you are looking for an organic way to keep the Japanese Beetles off your trees – the Apple trees are sprayed with Kaolin Powder. It is a clay. The brand name is Surround. It leaves everything silvery and muddy looking but keeps the bugs off! Organic ways are not always the prettiest!

I am going back today to collect more pig apples.

Also you will remember that I used to pick apples for a living when the kids were little so I look forward to harvest time!

We got the hay in. 40 really nice bales though I had to turn the hay twice to get it dry. The humidity is not a hay makers friend.

Have a good one.


36 Comments on “SCAVENGING

  1. Our baby piggies are suddenly huge! Now those apples are a serendipitous haul. Laura

  2. Although i’ve worried about your always-increasing responsibilities at The Mill, it seems to really bring you new focus and opportunities – such as sowing leftover grains as covers, and, now, scooping up summer drops for piggie treats! May i ask a baking question? How do you add the pretty designs on your breads (in your photo above)? Learned how to decorate pie crusts, but never figured out pretty breads!! Oh, and great that the mini hay cutting resulted in good bales, too!

  3. Just wondering if the kaolin clay also works on peach trees? xo

  4. Around here, Central Massachusetts, the “pomace” – what’s left after pressing for cider was also fed to pigs, and dairy cattle. But, feeding it to cows ended when it was found that the pesticides were getting into the cows milk.

  5. I wish I could get you some blackstrap molasses for the pigs; they have millions of gallons of the stuff here as the final stage of sugar cane processing, and you see huge tankers of it going out to farms to be mixed with feed. It’s very nutritious, and can be fed to cows, pigs and poultry. A very seasonal food, too…

  6. I wish I had a resident piggy to toss my scraps to. Care to do an exchange program. One of your pigs for my dog until the end of summer? Pepe would learn a lot, and your pig would learn French for oink.

    • I think every household should have a pig. Is your little French cottage rural? Maybe – thinking seriously- you could find a local pig farmer like me – you could chuck your scraps over the fence.

      • It is…and there are farmers around, but no pigs as far as I know. Not where we are. Often you see sheep and goats…but they mysteriously disappear from their paddocks.

  7. Picking up the ‘drops’ would be helpful to Jill, too, as the fallen apples attract insects that are not always helpful. I love it when someone else’s trash becomes my treasure!–or vice versa!

  8. I scavenge all growing season, too! My tortoises get all kinds of browse, everything I can find that is edible! It takes hours a week, even though they only get fed four days a week. Their favorites are honeysuckle, mulberry leaves, poplar, grapevine, plantain, dandelion. Even our mortal enemy, thistle, is supposedly good feed, but I am not brave enough to use it.

  9. I love foraged food… for our chooks and for ourselves. Summer windfall fruit isn’t great here because of fruitfly… it has to be strictly controlled. But the chooks have been getting green weeds, a handy dietary additon for them mid-winter especially. For us mid-winter my go-to is bush lemons from which I make what is imho the taste of winter… lemon butter aka lemon curd, freeze zest and juice… a delightful frozen find in the summer, and dry the skins atop the woodfire, later to be ground and used as a spice. The village abounds in citrus, everyone has oranges, madarins and even grapefruit… you can’t even give it away.

  10. In my pig fascination and education I ask: do pigs eat anything? Is there something they should not eat or should eat?

    • Pigs don’t really like to eat onions or sweet peppers unless they are cooked. They should not eat pork of course though they feed them pork lard here in the US. Buckwheat should not be fed to pigs nor Conkers evidently. Acorns are wonderful but conkers are from a different tree I think.
      They don’t like citrus.
      So when people say pigs eat anything they have not raised pigs though I imagine a starving pig or a wild pig would be different.

  11. In Michigan I remember my mother always saying let us go get some” windfall” apples- the apples on the ground in the orchards they couldn’t sell. I always thought as a kid it was a type of apple!!

  12. Celi – I hope your absence is due to joy and not stress or tragedy. In either case don’t feel pressure to come back sooner than is right for you. I just wanted you to know that you are remembered even when you don’t post for a few days.

  13. We used Milky Spore for our apple trees, garden and flower beds. While it was easy to get at Menards in the big bag…we needed about 6, it may be getting harder to find. And you have to apply it a couple times per season. It works, but like acupuncture, it is slow and effective. Yeah, still picking them off into soapy water is the between times cure.

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