The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, maybe? It seems that Nebraska’s weather is always going to be throwing us for a loop. Highs and lows that make it very difficult for a farmer to know when to do anything. We has been moving forward with a mad rush to plant stuff in the ground, much to our delight it is growing as well. Our field is about full and it appears we will need to expand next year.
So far we have planted lots of spinach, chard, kale, lettuce, radicchio, mizuna, mustard greens, sorrel, pak choy, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, tomatoes, peas, beans, radishes, beets, cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash, basil, oregano, cilantro, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, onions and leeks. I am sure i am missing something here and there is more to be planted.
At least the pigs are happy with the weather. They are out on pasture all the time and have shelter available to them if they need it. Getting fat and being happy is the best thing ever for a pig. Margo and Zack have some great things to say about their experiences on their blog.
Really, I was thinking we were getting close to the spring we had been promised, but this week has proven the fickleness of weather. On Monday, we finally got our pigs and the sun was high in the sky, so much so I got sunburned. Our small drove of 10 feeder pigs was delivered to Hamilton Heritage Farms just outside of Ceresco, Nebraska. We have partnered with them to raise pigs because we want “to know our pigs.” In essence, we are creating a high quality meat product that we want to eat and plan to share our experience with you as the year progresses. The piggies are unfortunately very cute. Or at least Kate thinks so, Jeremiah is probably just thinking about the delicious bacon. Neither Jeremiah or I grew up raising pigs or animals to eat, so this is a new experience for us.
The pigs will be in three pastures over the next few months, doing their pig-things: rooting, sleeping, eating, and more rooting. They have a permanent shelter they can access at any time. Hungry for bacon, yet? You should be. And you should buy a pig from Cook Grow Sew or Hamilton Heritage Farms. Our pigs are going to have a great life just doing what they do best. They won’t be confined to dirty pens or given hormones or anti-biotics. Nor will they lose their twirly little tails which is often done to prevent them from biting each other when they are confined and bored. Our pigs won’t be bored as they will be exploring and rooting around for weeds and other plants. They will be eating locally produced food right from our garden as we will often have castoff vegetables that we will be unable to use for our CSA or sell at market. Plus, they will be enjoying a lovely diet of oats and corn soaked in whey from Branched Oak Dairy. Happy pigs are healthy pigs.
Seriously, pigs are deliciously cute.
We’ll keep you updated on our pig adventures and feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interest in buying local pork.
Snow. We’re supposed to get some of that white stuff tonight even though it’s the first day of MAY! Various weather reports claim 2-4 inches. We’ll see what actually happens, but the weather is sure putting a damper on our crop planting. Our basement is FULL to the max with seedlings and transplants. Our 13 foot greenhouse is also bursting at the seams. Hopefully Mother Nature figures out she wants to do, but until then, being farmers, we are at her mercy!
Looking out the window today does not give the feeling that spring is close. With the wind whipping the snow into a frenzy, spring actually seems really far away. This is a busy time, getting the garden plans finalized, planting the seeds, making sure all supplies are here, and encouraging people to sign up for our CSA. It takes a lot of hard work to make things happen for the full growing season and the snowy days are definitely still a work day. It takes extra motivation to keep moving forward. Remember that snow is a good thing, it is helping to get the water table back up, and keeps the back moving as it is shoveled off the driveway.
I hope everyone is excited about the new year, please contact us if you have questions about the CSA or how to join.