|Our three pigs worth of organic-ish pork.|
We were inundated by family and friends wanting to buy some, and decided this year we would up production slightly. In a bid to learn more about the pig business, we spent a day helping out at the wonderful Marshfield Organic Farm near Bath, to try and pick up some practical skills.
Lesson 1 being how to load pigs into a trailer. Someone once said to me about pigs:
'Never wrestle a pig. You get muddy and besides, the pig likes it'
|Slowly slowly catchee piggy...|
So true. You just cannot force a 15 stone pig to do something it doesn't want to do. Hence we tempted 7 of the 8 pigs into a trailer with food. One just would not comply, so Oli did an excellent job of 'driving' it accross the field by cunningly laying a trail of pig nuts. Apart from one incident where it ran off to chase some sheep, it was a great success.
|Mud up to armpits = happy pig.|
As it is lambing season, every 3 hours, the farmer scoots around on a quad bike, checking the lambs. This one is a triplet who was very skinny and weak. It's mother didn't have enough teats for all three, so decided to cut her losses and stop feeding this one. It will need to be bottle fed for two months at least - if it survives - and is currently living in the boiler room to keep it warm. We have offered our services if it picks up, so watch this space!
Days like today really restore my faith in British farming. Marshfield has sheep, cattle, chickens, laying hens and pigs all reared organically. Intensive farming is often cited as the only way to feed the growing world population. I disagree - Marshfield Farm is proof that small scale mixed farming can still work if we consumers are there to support farms by buying locally.