This photo isn’t from today but rather last Saturday. Unfortunately things have not changed much. It is still glorious sunny, snowy weather here about. Yesterday someone was telling me they drove down to Connecticut and helped plant a garden. Hard to believe when I’m looking up at our house window to where the snow level is 3/4’s of the way up the glass.
People sometimes ask how our kids handle life and death on the farm. My wife Holly recently emailed this story to family:
The other day we were taking a pig to the butcher. Hope (age 4) was with us and she loves to have me “be the voice” of various characters so that she can have a conversation with them. I have been the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, her teddy bear, anyone of dozens of her imaginary friends, our dogs, characters from the books we are reading (boy does she have a word or two for those bullies) and even a cloud in the sky. The list goes on and on. Fortunately, she does not really want me to change the sound of my voice. She just wants to have a conversation with them.
So anyway, Hope asked if me if I would be the pig’s voice. And it went like this:
Hope: Hi, pig.
Hope: Pig, do you know where we are going?
Me/Pig: No I don’t.
Hope: We are going to the butcher. They are going to kill you and cut you up.
Me/Pig: You’re kidding!?!
Hope: Nope. We’re farmers and that’s what we do. We take good care of pigs and then we take them to the butcher. Lots of people like to eat meat.
That’s the thing about farm life. It’s right out there in front of you. Life and death. There is no hiding it. It just is.
By the way, Pi is the name of a pig who was traveling that day. He was so named because he had a mark inside his right ear that was shaped like the mathematical symbol Pi. If I could have kept every great boar I would have kept Pi. He had amazing musculature, conformation and a deep well marbled loin. He tasted delicious. He had more chops than the average pig by far. In addition to having beautiful shoulders and hams, as well as a great docile temperament, Pi was one of these mile long pigs measuring 54″ long by 41″ in girth. That is a long ratio which makes for lots of extra loin and bacon. One of our selection criteria, taught to us years ago by our pig mentor Archie, is to look for long pigs. Unfortunately for Pi, only about 0.5% of the male pigs get to stay on the farm and breed. Females fair far better at about 5%. Like in nature, only the best of the best of the best get to breed and pass on their genes. The rest are Pi in the Sky dreams.
Outdoors: 32°F/28°F Mostly Overcast
Farm House: 55°F/46°F
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/55°F