Sunday, June 24, 2012

Piglets! Finally!

I started early this year and reserved my piglets from a local farm early in May.  I had the money set aside in an envelope and now would await the birth and weaning of my piglets.  I bought four pigs from this farm last year and was very happy with them.

Happy pigs have dirt on their faces!

I checked in with them every couple weeks, making sure I hadn't fallen off their list.  He'll call you, I was told each time.  He never called.  By the end of May  I was getting nervous.....Sorry to be a pest, I told the lady at the farmstand, I just need reassurance that you will have two pigs for me.  Yes, she assured me they did, and that "he" would call me to arrange pick-up or delivery.

The call never came.  Mid-June, I called yet again, this time telling "her" that I never got the call back and what did I need to do to actually get my reserved pigs.  My plan was to drive over there in a borrowed truck that afternoon and pick them up myself if needed.  She said "he" would call.  I pleaded and begged.  Doesn't "he" have a cell phone, I asked?  She assured me she'd call me back.  I assured her I'd call her if I didn't hear in half an hour.  We left on friendly terms.

I got the call.  No more pigs were available.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?  Not being one to burn bridges, I didn't say what I was thinking and I was careful of my tone of voice.  Good thing I was on the phone, because I'm told that I don't own a poker face.

We put the word out far and wide, put up ads on craigslist in the Farm & Garden section, and called everyone we could think of who might know someone who might know someone.  We are not exactly in the middle of farm country here, living about halfway between NYC and Boston.  Chances of finding piglets this year were pretty none.

Hiding in the A-frame.

Well, turns out we know someone who knows someone who knows someone.....and that someone happens to live literally around the corner from us!  They had two piglets that were reserved and the reservee was a no-show and did not return their calls.  So I had two piglets.  Since they were "small and not growing as well as we'd like," they insisted on giving them to us for half the going rate....and delivered them at no charge.  I insisted on giving some gas money and a bag of goat's milk soap. 

Plum can't resist investigating the goings-on.

We stood around and chatted for a while and I made a new connection.  Funny how people with similar mindsets can almost be your neighbor and you might never meet them.  In the end, I'm so glad that other farm backed out on their word.  We may have smaller pigs by late fall, but that is ok.  Meeting new, good people is far more valuable.

I thought about this as I walked back to the house after they drove away.  I think I'll invite them to the WAPF potluck we'll be hosting in a couple of months or so.

Here are some lovely sights I enjoyed on my way back across the main pasture:

                                       Good rooster...watching over his hens while they forage.

Critters grazing in a lush pasture warm the cockles of any farmer's heart.  And wallet.  Free food!

Ahh, life is good.  Don't you just love it when something awful turns into something oh, so good?


  1. Cool you finally found pigs. We picked our 2 up on May 23rd and they were about 8 - 10 weeks old. They've doubled in size already.

    Our pigs come from Sugar Mountain Farm:

    and we make our reservations not later than October each year. We have to pay a deposit then also. But they come from 20 years of breeding pastured pig stock and will finish at 250 lbs by 6 months old.

    I like knowing the breeding is for the type of pig we like to raise. Commercial type breeding does not finish as well on pasture only.

  2. Ours made it to the 250-300 lb range last year, too! Hence only 2 this year. That will be plenty. Although, I think I could eat much more bacon....we went through it pretty quickly. We shared those 4 pigs, two were really ours. We went through 40 lbs of bacon right quick!