Say Goodbye – and Hello

It’s that time of year when everything speeds up before it slows down. Winter is coming as you can see by just looking at the birds cascading across the countryside making their way south for the winter. It congers up feelings of nostalgia for me, reflecting on the summer that has just passed. The pigs born in the field in April, the tomatoes in my garden that took forever to ripen and now it’s time to clean up and make plans for next year.

I have an old leather bound book I found at a thrift store entitled, “Pigs Is Pigs”. Funny how just seeing that book in my bookshelf makes me think about how untrue that statement is. The other day another Niman Ranch farmer from Minnesota came to our farm to purchase some Gilts from us. A Gilt is a young female that hasn’t had a litter of pigs yet. A big part of raising livestock is being able to recognize good breeding stock. We take all kinds of things into consideration, body style, personality, agility, the number of pigs its mother had and so forth proving that “Pigs Is Pigs” just isn’t true.

It was nice to have a visitor. Niman Ranch farmers are a different breed and there’s a strong sense of community among us. We helped him select his Gilts and load them up. You can see by all the bedding in the trailer that these pigs will be riding in style. They will be bred soon and expected to farrow next spring I am sure. These are not your ordinary pigs either ours is a mix heritage breed hog with a little Farmer’s Hybrid, Chester White, Duroc and Berkshire. It’s hard to say good-bye but we know they are going to a good home.

Dad is out in the field as I write this preparing for the cold weather with lots of bedding and shelter for our pigs. It sounds like a lot of hard work but once you get out there and you feel the fresh air you realize there is nothing better.

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