Alliteration is always awesome.
In the two weeks since I had intended to post that last update (oops) a lot has been done!
The procedure has always been move the pig pen, rake out the vacated area, and plant the pasture seed. But two weeks in a row, I didn’t have enough time to do more than move them! With a third move rapidly approaching along with a birthday party, I was facing the prospect of working three areas in one weekend and was beginning to feel like I’d never get caught up!
Thankfully, my wonderful friends and family assisted with the move and I had the last day of my weekend to work. I’m all caught up!
The pigs really moonscaped that far section in the above pic, and since that’s where the dance floor and wedding reception are going, it took quite a bit of work to get that smoothed out nicely. But in a couple of weeks it’s going to be nice and green!
When I first announced that we were holding the wedding at home, and where, many people expressed skepticism that it could be done in time with my work schedule. But as you can see, the grass is thick and lush where the ceremony will be. A bit tall, too.
The plan is to pen the geese up in there a few weeks before the wedding and let them mow it down while simultaneously feeding themselves.
Meanwhile, the pigs have begun clearing and cleaning an entirely new area of the property. For the wedding, this will be a parking lot. After that, dedicated pasture.
One thing I’m very proud of is how we’ve fed the pigs. A substantial portion of their diet is grass, blackberry bushes, and whatever else they root up. The rest is produce that would have otherwise been thrown away. That’s not to say feeding them has been free, or easy. In fact, I’d wager the frequent trips to where we get produce means this is actually much more work than simply buying feed. But the pigs eat a good, varied diet and it mainly costs us time and sweat.
This is how they were raised before we got them, too. These pigs have never tasted commercial hog feed, and have almost doubled in size since we brought them home. This breed will never get as big as a commercial breed, but from what I’m told, the flavor is incomparable. By rotating them frequently, we’ve probably reduced the amount we’ve had to feed them by over a third. I’m hopeful that we can beat that next year by growing more produce.
The corn wall for the wedding is also coming in nicely. It gets about an hour more shade/indirect light than I would prefer, but I’m still confident it’ll make a beautiful border.
And finally, the empty beehives we have our have been attracting a lot of attention lately. So far it’s mainly foragers stealing the honey that was in the old comb, but my fingers are crossed that we catch a swarm or two soon!
The lower pasture is going to be absolutely beautiful for the wedding. The progress in just a few weeks blows my mind. These two pictures are the same area. Different angles, but the same spot a few weeks apart. I’m looking forward to having more grazers after we have the upper pasture looking like this. Maybe goats. Maybe sheep. We will have to see what presents itself! But in the meantime, that’ll do pigs. That’ll do.