Month: March 2013

The Pig Dog Turns One

I won’t lie. This post originally started out as a photo montage, but The Man warned me about halfway through its creation that I was very dangerously teetering into Crazy Dog Lady territory. And we can’t have that. I mean, I once texted my own […]

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Hear ye! Hear ye!

fromscratchspringissueGuess whose adorable mug is featured in the new issue of From Scratch Magazine? That’s right. This girl.

Our farm is profiled beginning on page 42 of the April/May issue of the brand new magazine, From Scratch. We talk everything from the lies my mother told me about hog farmers’ bank accounts to my observations, predictions, and hopes and dreams for the food system.

You can read the entire issue, including our spread online, so click over and check it out.

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6 Rules for New Pig Farmers

Whether you’re taking on the task of a couple of feeder pigs in your backyard to feed your own family or trying to start your own small hog farm so much of success lies in the details; the little things than no one thinks to […]

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Saturday Swine-tacular: In Case of Ingested Radium? Make Sausage!

Apparently, a certain South Dakota hog met his death in 1935 after ingesting a “mislaid” radium capsule at the hospital’s dumping grounds. The article, which appeared in the January 1935 issue of Science and Mechanics describes how scientists figured out where the radium had gone […]

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So You Want to Raise Pigs


It’s that time of year again: feeder pig time! If there’s anything I love as much as raising pigs, it’s getting others hooked on raising pigs. I’m like a drug dealer who deals exclusively in swine.

And it works because the pigs themselves are like potato chips, you can’t have just one. No, literally, you can’t (shouldn’t) have just one. Pigs are incredibly social animals, which is why we sell them in groups of two or more. Not only does having another pig around increase their mental and emotional health, they thrive physically when there is another animal of their kind as well. Being competitive animals, they eat more, grow faster, and are generally both healthier and happier with a little friendly competition.

So what — besides two or more pigs — do you need to raise feeder pigs in your backyard? (more…)

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Farrow to Finish: Eaters and Explorers

Remember when these were tiny and pink and adorable? No more. Our farrow to finish pigs are pushing three months old now and growing rapidly. Because they were a winter farrow they’ve grown a hair coat since moving from the weaning shed to their outdoor […]

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6 Simple Ways to Celebrate Ag Day

It’s National Ag Day. Clearly, as with National Pig Day, this requires raucous celebration, and I’m full of ideas. Are you ready? 1. Wear Pants. And shirts. Or dress a cow in pants. Or cover up with a blanket. Or dry off with a towel. […]

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More on Improvest & Small Farms

Improvest Castration Heritage Hog

One of the things I love about the agriculture industry is the passion and personal pride people have in their work. I don’t think I’ve run across anyone who is not all-in in their work. Ag is not a job, it’s a deeply rooted passion that courses through the veins like the cult-culture of an alma mater. Which, unlike some tailgating parties, is a beautiful thing.

Case in point: I was recently contacted by Jim Bradford. Jim is an independent consultant with Bradford Consulting in southwest Michigan, a livestock veterinarian, and retired from Pfizer which just so happens to be the maker of Improvest. And he just so happened to have spent his last few years with the company working on the Improvest project. What’s really important to note about this is that he did not contact me on behalf of the company, in fact, I don’t even think Pfizer knows about our conversation. Jim contacted me because he’s passionate about the work he’s done, enjoyed the post I wrote on the topic in January (and your responses to it) and wanted to know if he could help. And did he ever help! (more…)

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Happy March 17th, Everybody. To health, happiness, prosperity, friendship, family, and St. Patrick himself. Sláinte!

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