Tag: Pigs

Monday Miscellany: Christmas Stores & Old Dogs

We spent Sunday in Frankenmuth, Michigan. “Little Bavaria” is known for being home to famous chicken dinners and the largest Christmas store in the world. It’s one of those small town tourist experiences that is little known outside of its own state, but something of […]

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Midweek Miscellany: Seed Catalogs & Confinement

Whenever the Dixondale Onion catalog[1] arrives I know other seed catalogs are never far behind. Last year, thinking I knew what kind of crazy this summer would bring, I didn’t order much; I didn’t plan for much of a garden at all and mostly planted […]

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Monday Miscellany: All The Colors of the Rainbow


Over the weekend we had a sow farrow during the day. This doesn’t happen often so I took the opportunity to “live Facebook” the births as they were happening. You can read those updates and see the pictures here, here and here. (In that order.) (more…)

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On Being “More Humane”

Recently I sat in a meeting where I had to talk a lot about our farm. I hope to be able to give you more details about it soon, but for now there’s not much to say. Except that part way through as we were […]

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Monday Miscellany on a Tuesday

It’s National Ag Day. I should probably be commemorating it in some special way, but I’ve got nothing. I’ve been mistaken about what day of the week it is twice in the past month, so I suppose I should just be glad I managed to […]

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Monday Miscellany: Family Trees


The Man took this picture. Not too shabby, eh? He has been behind my camera far more than I have in the past month, but that’s not saying much. There is this picture, about seventy five out of focus shots of me holding a piglet, and one other which will likely grace a post about wet nurses later this week. There comes a point where a girl just has to run with what she’s got. So that’s what we’re doing here today.

The sow pictured is Fiona, a daughter of Bridget, and sister to the pigs the Small Humans took to 4-H last year. I believe it’s Kelly Clober in Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs that writes, “On a small farm every sow has a name, and everyone knows her history.” I sometimes wonder at what point that will cease to be true, but am kind of smitten with the fact that it is… even if just for now. Right now Fiona and her pigs are shacked up in one of the hog sheds with Nora and her pigs. Nora is Fiona’s half-sister by way of their boar and the daughter of Amelia, a pure Gloucestershire Old Spot sow. Nora had twelve brothers and sisters, and one of those sisters, Molly, will be farrowing her first litter soon after the new year. (And for those that got attached to our farrow-to-finish litter you’ll be pleased to know Nora and Molly were in it, which means they didn’t all go to “finish.”)

Fiona and Nora have been the first to farrow this winter, kicking off the next farrowing cycle . It’s a little earlier than last year, but as the piglets begin to pile up I’m reminded that a bit longer span between the start and finish of any given farrowing cycle than my overly-optimistic self would have designed is not necessarily a bad thing. Which is really just a fancy way to say that not having all of the sows farrow within a couple weeks of each other is a good way to avoid being completely and utterly overwhelmed — especially with everything else that’s going on around here these days. And since all of the pigs are doing well, I guess they think so, too.

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Thank a Farmer: Pete Blauwiekel at Blue Wing Farms

If, at some point, I become half the hog farmer Pete Blauwiekel is, my work on this earth will be done. So, when I decided I wanted to run a “Thank a Farmer” series on the blog this month, it’s only natural that he was […]

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Farrow to Finish: To Market, To Market

The old nursery rhyme says, “to Market, to market to buy a fat pig,” but in the case of our farrow to finish litter it’s more like, “to market, to market because they’re fat pigs.” Though it’s taken me a bit to put together an […]

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Saturday Swinetacular: This Little Piggy

5piggys002I have (what may be) an unhealthy fascination with old children’s toys, books, and pictures. They always seem so odd at first, like they’re not at all fit for children. But then I think about how the children’s toys, books, and shows of today would probably strike the people who lived back then. In a competition for most ghastly and garish kids’ content I’m fairly certain we’d win.

At any rate, this print dates back even further than most I’ve found. It’s a Victorian era print depicting the “This Little Piggy” nursery rhyme.

According to Wikipedia “This Little Piggy”, or “This Little Pig” as they say on the other side of the pond, was first published in its entirety in 1760. It also says the version that has the third little pig having roast beef instead of jam and bread is considered the modern version, but that’s clearly a slab of beef tucked under the middle pig’s forearm and I’ve seen several other vintage prints with the roast beef prominently displayed. I suppose when it comes to nursery rhymes “modern”, like “beauty”, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Monday Miscellany: End of Summer Edition

I know what you’re thinking, did she really just type that? She did. And she’s not any happier about it than you. This weekend we picked the last of the season’s peaches. (From our trees, local orchards will still have peaches for a few weeks.) […]

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