Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nature's Harmony Farm School Business Class, part II (Sunday, July 25)

I have always loved pigs, and I joked in a Nature's Harmony Farm forum that I hoped one result of the Farm Business School would be that Herb would decide he likes them, too.  I can't say that goal was fully accomplished, but he did find them enjoyable, and he certainly loved the delicious bacon they make on the farm!  They have several different breeds there, but their main focus is Ossabaws, a heritage breed that grows slowly and doesn't get as huge as Berkshires or Big Blacks, but is very docile and produces lean, delicous pork without needing to gorge itself on grain.  Just look at this blissful girl enjoying her wallow!
How can anyone resist a face like that little guy in the middle of the picture?  When he rolled his eye at me like that, it was all I could do not to pick him up and cuddle him!
Here are a bunch of cute babies all "mushed" up together.  There's just something irresistible about a little pig's nose!
What a blissful smile!  One little pig must have been dreaming because he was twitching and wagging his tail like dogs do when they sleep.  Was he dreaming of going to market or staying home?  Having roast beef for dinner or none?  And when one of them touched the electric fence, it really did go whee! whee! whee! all the way home--to mama!
Here is Mama Pig, having gotten all nice and squish-ily muddy in the wallow, calling her piglets for dinner.  She obviously didn't tell them to wash before dinner, but they might need to afterwards!
You can't see it in this picture, unfortunately, but all those little tails are just wagging away!  You can, however, see that piglet number two (from the left) is a little boy!  When they get older, the boys will live on the opposite side of the farm from the girls, and never the twain shall meet--hopefully!  Only one boar of each breed is selected to continue the line, but the others are left to enjoy life fully (and completely intact) until they are full-grown.  Just as Paul Masson "will sell no wine before its time," Nature's Harmony Farm will not castrate males and will not butcher any animal before it is grown.
Just in case you didn't get the message that I LOVE pigs, here's one last shot of the Five Little Piggies enjoying their dinner!  You'll probably discover through future posts some of the many things we learned at Nature's Harmony Farm.  We've brought away a lot of new ideas, including the inspiration to develop a vision for Zephyr Hill Farm.

Meanwhile, I'll share my wish list with you:
1)  A peacock!  Always wanted one, still do!
2)  A Mini-Jersey cow!  I was completely inspired by the cheese-making and would love to have plenty of milk to do it with.  Besides, who could resist the gorgeous, doe-like eyes of a Dante?
3)  A pig!  Not a whole herd to breed, just one in a wooded, acorn-filled pen near the barn with a nice, muddy wallow, so we can feed it all the wasted food and table scraps (and maybe whey from the cheese-making!) and watch it turn into bacon.
4)  Some Poulet Rouge chicks!  We'd already decided to do that, so it hardly counts.  I can order them and the peacock from the same place, saving postage!  We want to order 24, raise them here, then share the processing and chickens with Jim and Monique.
5)  A turkey!  Herb has heard about this one before.  One is enough, for Thanksgiving.
6)  Some ducks!  Specifically Muscovy ducks.  We found out about them at Freedom Farms: they devour flies!  But I thought I better add them to the list in the interest of full disclosure!  I probably won't order them till next spring, so they're young and voracious when fly season starts.
7)  A pony!  Or a donkey, but Herb already knows that, and it's not for me--it's for Charis!  Again, full disclosure!
Really, Herb should be thankful the list only totals two new permanent animals (the peacock and the cow)!  The pony would be permanent, but he's known about that ever since Charis was born!  Everything else would just be temporary.  Considering Nature Harmony's peacocks, dogs, dairy cows, beef cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and ducks, with geese and rabbits on the way, my list could have been MUCH longer!  Count your blessings, Herb!   :)  

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