Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pigs working 9-5

I bet you all think it's easy to get pigs to rototill up the vegetable area. It is, but it is not always that easy to get them to stay there, and focus on one job–they get a whiff of grass or a sight of a field in the distance, and woops! There they go, under the pasture fence.

That is the first lesson you learn about pigs-they need a board on the bottom of the areas you plan to contain them in. Oh sure, they might last in a good fenced area for....a day...

{Insert laugh track from Dirt Farmers and all Misfits}.

I was also told that pigs won't necessarily root if they have grass.

{Insert laugh track from Dirt Farmers and all Misfits}.

My very experienced pig friend...yes, I do really have "pig friends"....recently shared with me that she has sows and gilts that root, no matter what, and others that don't. So after I let Doris and June into a small paddock near the orchard for some grass, I was shocked...

SHOCKED! {Insert laugh track from Dirt Farmers and all Misfits}....

to see that Doris and tilled half of it up.

Oh well, it needs reseeding and grading anyway. Thanks, so much, Doris.

So yesterday, I went on my mission, Dirt Farmer in tow since he was under the weather. I bought pressure treated 10' boards to secure on the bottom of our vegetable area so Doris and June could really do some work for me. I worked all morning on it, and at precisely 2:15 west coast time, I let them in to their new work area. At this writing, there have been no escapes. But the day is somewhat young. Rather than measure and cut the boards precisely, as I had first planned, I did it my way. Why cut and measure when you can get the job done faster? And besides, this is just a dry run to see if it works. If you walk around the farm it's pretty obvious which areas I have worked on, versus where Martyn has worked.

I sat with the pigs for awhile when they first entered the garden and observed them-the only way to get to know any creature-sit and watch, and keep your mouth shut. Doris appears to again be the rooter, but in the garden I was all for it. The paths between beds had become grass ridden and even though we put weed barrier down, then hog fuel some years ago, it needed more, and it got way ahead of me. So I was happy to see her literally pulling up the long roots of the very tough grass in the paths. OKAY, so she's taking the barrier too, it needed to come up to get the grass out.

I was very pleased with myself and Martyn came by and siad it looked pretty good. But if there had been a bubble over his head like a cartoon, it might have thought,

"Oh well, at least she got it done and I don't have to do it."

Yea, kind of raggedy, but my girls are working it.


Terra said...

Your pigs are working hard for you and enjoying it.

barbara@sparrowavenue said...

I sure could use some pigs in my garden!
I have tenacious stuff growing there that years of going at have done little or nothing.

I wonder if there's a way of rent-a-pig for this sort of thing? (insert laugh track)

Carole Reid said...

Now that's a pig's life! Lucky girls.
By the way, I blame you for my love of donkeys! I just posted a little bit about it. xo Carole

Anonymous said...

Aren't most animals as unexpected about their behavior as their individual personalities allow. I find that each of the dogs do their own kind of things, and our ducks too for that matter. xox

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~