Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This little piggie went to market
Thanks to the Graphics Fairy for the use of this image. (I just love vintage images, don't you?)
Have you noticed there are no pictures of livestock on this farm blog? That's because we don't have any animals.
In the past, we have raised a couple of pigs. We wanted to identify them in some way other than just “the pigs”, but avoid making them pets by giving them pet-type names.
This dilemma was solved by referring to them simply as “Left and Right”. The names were interchangeable, and used each of the three years that we raised a couple of pigs on our vegetable trimmings.
But what to name them the year we bought three piglets? (Other than “The Three Little Pigs”). The easiest and obvious choice became Left, Right and Centre.
In our experience, piglets are cute enough for about the first month. Then they rapidly progress to being big and mean. One invariably becomes the boss of the other, ignoring their own side of the food trough in order to push the other one away.
I recall one cold fall day when my husband Big Guy was off the farm and I was on Pig Patrol. It was cold and damp, and I dragged Kitten out to the pig pen with me at feeding time. I was not especially happy with this chore, or with the pigs whose ugly snouts and big teeth rose up close to my hands while I tossed in their food.
“This is not why Mommy went to university”, I kept repeating as I chopped squash with an axe (I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined myself holding an axe) on an old piece of concrete block.
It’s surprising how many visitors (non-farm types) would come to the farm and remark “What do you do with the pigs in the winter?” There was always an awkward pause as we considered how best to phrase the answer.
Possibilities included “We move them into our garage (whisper softly: freezer)”, or “They finally make themselves useful”. There was usually a confused look in the eye of the listener; then you could see the light come on as they realized - oh my goodness you are going to eat them. Well, yes. Now let’s all go inside for a nice BLT sandwich.
On um, harvesting day, Kitten and I were always careful to make ourselves scarce. Luckily it always seemed to coincide with some good sales at the mall.