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Forested Pork

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 30 Dec 2022...

Hey Ya'll, Happy Friday!!

All is well on the farm today. We were able to start working with the puppies yesterday and a couple already come to their name and sit when commanded. These are some smart dogs! They respond better to attention and praise than treats. The big news of the day yesterday was that a new friend and fellow homesteader loaned us a YDH-1 Piston-typed Single-barreled Mobile Milking Machine. [Thank you Angel!!]. I feel like Ralphie from Christmas Story as he described his coveted Red Rider BB Gun as I describe this machine. This machine is an electrically operated piston pump that produces a .04-.05 MPa vacuum that will automatically milk up to 12 cows per hour by pulsating 64 times per minute and drawing milk into a 5.5 gallon milk barrel using a claw with four teat cups. What this means to us is that in half the time it was taking me to hand-milk about a half gallon this machine automatically milked about two gallons. Happy was relieved to be completely milked and my hands enjoyed the break. We are now on the search for our own automatic milker.

The major farm project for today is to clean out and organize our barn. We built what can best be described as a barndominium, where our living space, garage, and barn are on the same slab of concrete. This means we can walk from the porch, through the house and garage, to the barn without leaving cover. The barn was the staging area for all of the interior materials of the house build, so stuff has just collected where the project ended. I say that, but we have probably rearranged the stuff 4-5 times. Nevertheless, it is time for all of the farming items and remaining construction materials to have their own place...and to be put in that place.

There is considerable research into the quality of meat based on the quality of the life the animal lived. The research is quite convincing that the better the animal's life, the higher quality the meat will be. Thus, we spend extra time and effort to ensure our farm animals live their best life. Take our pigs for example, they live their entire life in our forest rooting and generally being pigs. They are not on concrete crowded on top of each other. We rotate them through our forest using a single electric wire. The disturbance they create removes the brambles and briars, allowing grass to grow and regenerates forest pastures. In turn, they get to be pigs everyday. We also feed them a high-quality fermented non-GMO feed. You can truly taste the difference. In the first picture above, you can see me next to our first batch as they reached maturity. You can see the single wire in the background and the disturbance they leave behind. Our goal is for them to weigh-in at 250-300 pounds and we are doing pretty well at that goal. Our lightest was 202 pounds and the heaviest was 336 pounds but the majority fall between 250-300. The bottom pic shows one of the young pigs enjoying the non-GMO feed.


Rich & Shelley

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