Posted by: A Part of the Solution | May 17, 2010

Very like a Farm

Today the farm crossed a threshold.

In February the farm purchased a Massey-Ferguson tractor and set a greenhouse’s worth of seeds germinating. Despite the name, this farm didn’t feel like a farm to me then. More a kind of experiment.

In March our mini-flock of Wyandotte chickens arrived at the Post Office. But I didn’t feel like the place was a real farm even so. I know people in the suburbs (and even in urban situations) who keep chickens.

In April we began setting out seedlings and direct sowing seeds in our two acre truck garden. And I still wasn’t feeling the farm vibe. Big vegetable gardens are popular these days.

At the beginning of May, I’d hoped the arrival of the bees and the situation of their hives on the hillside overlooking the pond would finally let me feel like my home was really a farm. Even this additional layer of farming diversity didn’t trip my agricultural trigger. I knew a number of active bee-enthusiasts in my old zip code (Hi Takoma Park). so bees don’t automatically spell ‘farm’ to me.

All this brings me to today. Today is the day the concepts all precipitated and formed a deep connection to my assessment of our status as a farm. Today is the day the pigs arrived. Maybe it takes caring for a non-house mammal for me to rock the farm thing.

Plants, bees, chickens and tractors are all well in their way. But there isn’t a mammal in that inventory. And mammals are different. Mammals make a place like a farm because they require a different order of committment from the farmer. A mammal is year round. A mammal has emotional  in addition to safety  nutritional and other health needs. So now we’re very like a real farm–in my mind at any rate.

People ask how many pigs are we getting when I mention that we have some ordered. I always say, “Why three of course. We’re getting three little pigs. TamworthOld Spot crosses–they’re good foragers. And we want them to be able to go a-foraging.” The three little pigs have landed.

Due to a shortage of barrows (young castrated male swine), we were given two boys and a girl instead of three boys. And we weren’t charged extra for the girl either. The folks at Farview Farm were very fair with us.

One of the three little pigs takes after the Old Spot side of the family. He’s a pale pink piggy with a fine coat of hair and some greyish, smudgy spots here and there upon his person. The other two are Tamworthy. They’re smaller than their Old Spottish brother. And their hair is thicker. And it’s red–as is their skin. All three pigs are fine looking.

They were unhappy to leave the enormous dog crate in which they’d been transported from mid-state to here. They’d snuggled together and napped most of the way, according to the farm manager. But we settled them into their temporary pen in the barn’s lower level. They ate in a shocking fashion; but if we are like a farm, they are very like pigs!




    Also – get YAP (Your Anonymous Partner) to get some updated farm pics for your blogs & such showing leaves on the trees!

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