For the first time in months, I did not begin my day by feeding pigs. Once again we are a farm without pigs. Yesterday I loaded ours onto a trailer and drove them to the processor, where they will become sausage.
We raised two this year. I bought them as piglets, kept them in a barn stall for a few days until they were tamed and settled down, then released them into a six-acre pasture where they lived the porcine good life. I love tending pigs raised this way and these two were especially easy and fun to keep. I admit to being saddened a little when I reflect on their absence, and the reason for it. But we are committed to operating a sustainable farm, that reflects the food values of our society before the onslaught of the industrial food complex. Small family farms for centuries have usually included a few pigs that are fed well, raised humanely, and dispatched with respect and dignity. Hopefully we are part of that tradition. When it is time for their good life to end, our pigs nourish me and our friends and customers, and they contribute to the economic sustainability of the farm. Their lives are acts of defiance against the empire.
We’ve had lots of pre-orders for the sausage. Whole-hog sausage from Tamworth-Berkshire hogs, raised on pasture and without any hormones, antibiotics or GMO feed, is simply not available anywhere else. Not around here at least. I like to think that choosing to buy sausage from farms like ours is also an act of defiance against the empire.
Now we will turn the goats into the pasture the pigs have been living in. I didn’t mow it all year, and it is lush with grass and browse. It will sustain the goats for a long time, reducing any need for us to feed them hay.
I’m already looking forward to next years piglets.