Thinking about pigs (497)

by Max Akroyd

The view from my office...


The second half of January is turning out very nicely weather-wise if a bit dull blog-wise: just digging, weeding and bed preparation. Compared to being stuck in a snow drift this simple activity is an absolute pleasure though and, uncharacteristically, I can’t wait to get started each morning.

The gentle, repetitive action of fork in soil induces all sorts of pondering. When I’m not worrying about the prospect of hyperinflation, these thoughts tend to turn to the animals and the pigs in particular. Six months ago the only pigs in this family’s life came as sausages in a styrofoam pack from the supermarket. Now we have approximately sixteen of the things sharing our acres and a lot of consideration has to go in concerning their comfort.  I confess that, at the outset, I had no idea how much of my scarce mental energy would be consumed in this regard!

Their ability to exhaust areas of land quite quickly means a constant cycle of renewal is required. We are now at the stage where every one of the three separate groups of pigs on the farm need a new allocation of meadow. There’s nothing as dejected as a pig without turf to turn over (which makes you despair about the million of pigs with none) so it quickly becomes an urgent consideration.

Tomorrow the fork will be put aside reluctantly and the many accoutrements of electric fencing picked up and rearranged three times over. Or maybe just twice: it depends how stir crazy the mummy pigs – who’ve been confined to their barn for the past few weeks  – are tomorrow. If they need to get out to preserve their sanity I’m going to have devise a way of splitting their barn and thus penning the piglets who are simply too bonkers to release into the great outdoors!


A kind sky ... for January