In a farm day (warning, graphic pig talk)

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The pigs were thrilled with some scratch and dent veggies from the neighbor, and the chickens also enjoyed a pumpkin, that is, after they freaked out and ran from it!

Today was a great day. I woke up early and read more of Cold Antler Farm, with coffee, and that is a great way to start the day even if it was 6am. I’ve written endlessly about the pigs and processing them, and today I had another FIG moment. I’ve written about FIG moments before. Fate Is Great. This is how it played out this time…I called the locker this morning to discuss coming out to tour their facility today. This is the one I already (or I thought) was on the books for, all I had to do was go see it, and of course we had to build the loading out facility, because we could not find anyone to do it any other way then loading live. Well, here’s the part about FIG. I did not know there were two lockers with nearly identical names. When I called them they didn’t have me on the books and in fact said, we don’t even have a kill floor here, we do strictly on farm kill. Now to say that is music to my ears, might sound very strange to most people, it does even a little bit to me, but this is what we want and I had all but thrown in the towel that this was even possible to find. They have no problem with us having raised pigs for others, and none of us have problems with “not for sale meat” because…we are not selling it. There will be some differences. They will not only come out and kill the hogs but they will have them in two halves each by the time they pull away. We will be left with (I warned you) the hide, the head, and the offal (term for organs and entrails). They will leave us with the organ meats we want, but it is up to us to package those, they only package what they take with and they take the hogs already in halves. This will be a learning experience and Holy Homesteading, Robin, this is as close as it gets to doing it ourselves. I am glad to have resolution to all this and to know it can be done on the farm the way we think is kindest to the animal.

So, that was my morning, getting this all figured out over the phone and drafting a letter to those we are raising pigs for, and then finally I went out to check the animal waters and I decided I deserved a bit of playtime on on the farm after finally getting this whole thing done. So… I plinked a bit with my new air rifle. Got it sited in quite nicely, actually.

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Yep it was fun.

The kitchen where I bake, is closed for a run of days this week, and so I planned ahead and filled all locations up prior to the closing. This leaves me with a window of three days this week to myself, with no baking and nothing needing to be delivered. I spent some of today emailing new venues to see if they would be interested in carrying really granola and heard back from a couple already with good potential, and one yes. Then time for more outdoor time… taking the tarps off the cold season veggies (frost warnings), opening up the mini greenhouse, fed the pigs some ears of corn and walnuts, watered in the green house, and went and delivered a last minute ordered bulk bag of granola to my neighbor who kindly delivers it to his clients with his produce. He sent me home with loads of squash and pumpkins for us and of course for the pigs and chickens.

Afternoon coffee was accompanied by reading website after website explaining the 3 varieties of Highbush Cranberries and finding out they are quite edible, and found especially in Alaska and parts of the pacific coast natively. We were both pretty sure that was what they were,  it was a random shrub ordered with a tree order, we think… turns out these make a delicious jelly that would be wonderful with what else, pork! (I am reminded of eating mint jelly with lamb as a child, about half a jar at a meal!)

Back at the granola desk, I ordered all my ingredients and solved a few sourcing problems and answered a few emails.  This was followed by shoveling up the pile of garden debris I left piled by the small garden and and putting away finally the last of the tomato cages. Then feeding the cattle for hubby and then the pigs and chickens. Hubby is working on rehabbing a house that was damaged in a tornado. The hope is to sell it in the Spring, it’s an exciting project for him and today was “truss day” and it was a long one. There were a few problems but all that said, the trusses are up!

The last part of my day was going to pick the cranberries. Here they are below.

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It was a beautiful night to be picking them…

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Very grateful for this farm day today, and already grateful for my farm day tomorrow. Not sure how I got so lucky.

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