Archive for July 17th, 2009

Pork and Chop or Spot and Pinky?

By Tom Read

Spot (obvious) and Pinky take a drink after some serious rooting in the grass.

Spot (obvious) and Pinky take a drink after some serious rooting in the grass.

They’re here! Yes, it is pig time at our homestead. A pair of two-month-old weaners born on a small farm on Vancouver Island arrived here at our place a little over a week ago and settled right down to rooting, snorting, fertilizing and, most of all, eating. This is our first experience raising pigs, so we’ve been getting advice from local veteran pig-raisers, plus doing some reading, naturally.

So far, so good. I’m quite pleased with the effects of rooting. What started as thick, tall grass now looks much like soil that I’ve dug with a shovel, except lumpier. After a bit of raking it should eventually make fine garden beds, no rototiller needed.

We generally do not name our food, so when asked if we’ve named these young pigs we make a joke out of it by saying, “well, we call ‘em Pork and Chop.”  Or maybe “Meat 1” and “Meat 2.”  But the truth is much more personal, at least for me. The surprisingly quick movements, wide range of sounds and aggressive rivalry of these pigs are quite fascinating. I can’t help but feel a familiar fondness for the little porkers. Our friend and chief animal-raising mentor, An, assures me that naming creatures in our care should be considered a normal part of animal husbandry. Perhaps every bit as normal as someday killing and eating them.

But for now I’m starting to think of “Spot” for her spots and “Pinky” for his complexion. I’ll keep you posted on progress with these two, since we intend to enjoy their live company for another four or five months.

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