January 2013 – Hard decisions

What a wet winter. The poor pigs found it hard to cope with all the mud and so did I as my welly boot’s sunk ever deeper. The books never tell you the important things like not setting up pig pens on a slope, or that two pigs need about an acre of land to keep them in grass. You only learn through experience. Within a month in their new pen the pigs had removed all the vegetation and with heavy rain the soil slipped down the slope resulting in knee deep mud! Watching my soil wash away was very distressing. Most of my land barely has an inch of soil with shale beneath, but in the orchard it is deep and rich. In the end I decided it wasn’t fair on the poor pigs to keep them in cold, wet mud all winter and with the weather that followed, it was the right decision. The day came for the farmer to collect them. It was so sad, but I consoled myself with the fact that they had had a good summer and had enjoyed the autumn feasting on the apples in the orchard. Now huge their time had come. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience these wonderful animals, but although the farmer offered me two piglets for the spring, I won’t be taking them on.

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