AS kids, a Pinch and a Punch for the First of the Month brought great and terrible delight. Little girls shrieking, giddy with release, naughtiness, our innate cruelty acceptable for just this moment, at being allowed to pinch and punch and “NO RETURNS” just this once. Hard. No-one ever does a pinch and a punch softly. And if you get the kick in before she yells No Returns that was followed by us all running screaming away flapping our arms like mad birds. Laughing. Out of control.
You only got to do it twelve times a year. I always forgot, never got in first. Always the bruised arm for me. A step behind. It does not mean I did not want to though, just forgot the date, of course. Humans are a strange study. Little girls even stranger. Read More
To move a mob of pigs takes a lot of preparation. (Unlike a break-out that takes no preparation at all). The Six had finished their smaller sunflower field and were ready to take on the big one. I had been holding off while the biggest and latest sunflower field reached maturity. I want these pigs eating LOTS of seeds. Yesterday, the time had come.
Usually everything is pretty calm at this time of year. Until it is not.
We all go about our business hoping the feed will hold out. Worrying about rain. Counting eggs, checking gates, checking feed and generally just poddling about.
Until we get a break out. I grow the plonkers up to around 200 pounds before they are sold. This is as far as my fences and gates can take it. And what the market demands. And yesterday the four big hogs for market proved that they have reached their weight by bringing down their gate and rampaging through the calm corridor paddock.
As I rounded the corner at a run I could see the four big hogs hurling themselves through the ducks, who lifted their skirts and ran shrieking. The big animals were running at everything at speed honking and barking with a mixture of sheer naughtiness and confusion. So excited they could not bear it. As Sheila and Poppy spilled out of the staffroom in the field next door, barking instructions, they ganged up on chubby Wai Wai knocking his hat off and roughing him up a bit. He shrieked. They charged through the barn and luckily turned around and charged back out before they found the open gate to the drive. Pandemonium ensued. They threw themselves into the duck pond and loudly rolled about and upon seeing me approach with a bucket they ran at me all slathering and filthy, dripping with muck and laughing out loud. Bullyish, bullish and pushy and BIG. Knocking me and that food down became the game. I ran at top speed for the broken gate, dodging obstacles, threw the food over the fence, bucket and all, and then dragged the gate upright as they shot past me.
Holding the gate closed as they fought for the small portion of food that was in the bucket, I shouted for help at the top of my lungs.
Help did come after a while, and after the food had run out and they began to lose interest in me, then returned for his tools and fixed the hinges on the beleaguered gate and all was well.
But for a while there all was not well.
John limped back inside grumbling about naps interrupted and I continued with the chores. As all the animals were fed and settled, calm dropped across our shoulders once more. Settling back down into the grooves.
Always there is a break out. But you never know when it will come. And it is such a relief when it is over.
This week I will get to work and get these four sold before they remember how strong they really are. And I will begin selling cows too. Though the money has dropped out of the domestic markets with the war on international markets, and millions of pounds of meat is being stockpiled unsold in the US at the moment, I am hoping my niche animals will hold their price. My infrastructure is groaning – the gates and fences are being pushed. I expected it. I knew this day would come – it is just the way of things. I need to lighten the load of animals I have, pronto.
But I had to wait until they were a saleable weight. And they are looking so good.
Sunflower Pork sounds so nice.
I hope you have a lovely day and I hope I do too!.
WEATHER: We might get a shower or two – though I have no hay down!!
Monday 07/30 60% / 0.18 in
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 74F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Monday Night 07/30 20% / 0 in
A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. Some clouds. Low around 60F. Winds light and variable.
5:47 AM 8:10 PM
Waning Gibbous, 94% visible 9:57 PM 8:17 AM
Why is this a bad thing? I talk to myself the whole day – of course I pretend I am talking to the dogs. But – however. Thinking out loud helps clarify things. In fact, thinking out loud is a good way to get rid of cerebral rubbish. Taking out the verbal trash so to speak – please excuse the pun. And that process is best done alone sometimes. Most times actually. Read More
Yesterday I cut up a couple of big buckets of heirloom tomatoes and made a smooth silky tomato sauce to go over pasta while watching Sam’s gardening utube on the computer. I was preparing for lunch with a friend I had not seen for over thirty years. The simple lunch of pasta and tomato sauce steeped in basil was perfect. And One Drop Meadow though short was the perfect company as I chopped. A family voice in the kitchen with me. Whimsical. Read More