Jul 16, 2010

Addition and Subtraction

I'd begin this blog post by commenting what a busy time of year it is on the farm.

Except that is it always a busy time of year on the farm!

This Spring was exceptionally busy. In addition to the usual baby goats being born, we also had a baby alpaca born, a sweet all-white baby girl whose fleece feels like one might imagine a cloud to feel. She was named Paris, in honor both of her owner's trip to Europe a year ago and, of course, the town in Texas, all things named on Swede Farm being required to have a "Texas" name.

On Easter Sunday we were surprised when Emma can running breathlessly in to the house yelling "Grace! GRACE! "Mrs." did it, she has babies!" "Mrs" is one of the female Ossabaw Island Hogs. We had seen no evidence what-so-ever that the male was inclined to do the manly thing and make babies, so we were totally caught off guard! She had seven but we lost two in the mud due to not being prepared. The five that survived have thrived. We are so excited about this! They say that there are only 200 Ossabaws on the mainland United States, they are a heritage breed that is extremely endangered and much desired for charcuterie. They are also the porcine stars in the book "The Perfect Pig" by food critic Peter Kaminsky. We are hoping to find Texas chefs and artisans who are interested in reviving interest in the breed because by developing a following for what the breed has to offer we hope to gain ground in preserving them. Essentially we think that by eating them we can save them.

Lastly, a few short weeks after Paris and the piglets were born, our own twelvth baby was born. Dixie LeeAnne was born healthy and whole at 7lbs 11ounces and is adored by all. Although we now have twice as many girls as boys, we were thrilled to have a newborn wearing pink in the house for the first time in eight years. She has been going to farmer markets since she was five days old and could well be considered a veteran by now, at an ancient eleven weeks old.

Those are the additions here at Swede Farm (along with the baby goats that we kept, named Frio, Santa Fe, Opelousas, Dick Dowling, John B. Hood, Bluebonnet, LaBahia and more!) Sadly we also had subtractions, having lost more than the usual number of milkers this year. That is the nature of farming, but it is never easy. We also managed to squeeze in a litter of kittens (for the barn) and Great Pyrenees puppies (livestock guardian dogs). So if anyone has a herd to guard...

No comments: