Back in December when it was suggested we add a few piglets to the farm, I remember thinking, "Oh, piggies! How cute." And boy were they cute. Five little bundles of pink. Each of them just a tad bigger than a bag of potatoes, but much more wiggly. I had no idea how much trouble those adorable little buggers would be.
And yet, all these months later, suddenly the destruction of each house built for them (the house of straw, the house of sticks, the proverbial house of bricks) the divots left in the yard--both here and at the neighbor's house--during their frequent escapes, and the fear coursing through my body each time I had to step inside their pen to feed them, all seem like mere bumps in the road. I've enjoyed their odd brand of company, their sweet faces--even as they were smeared with mud and muck--and even their horrible smells...ok, so maybe not the smells. But I'll surely miss them once they're all, well and truly, gone.
Yesterday, the IDP and I went to pick up the pigs we'd dropped off on Monday. On this trip, they rode, not in the back of a trailer, but wrapped in small packages and tucked into boxes. There were no more of the barking sounds I had no idea pigs made. No more bumping me with their flat noses. No more trying to eat me. No, this time, they were on their way to being someone else's dinner, and as much as I told myself I wouldn't be sad, I was. No matter how hard I tried to dislike them, in the end, they were pretty sweet piggies (Hey, I'm being sincere here, not referring to their delicious taste.)
But sadness aside, this was our first major sale on the Leaning Duck Farm. Though we ended up breaking even when you factor in the initial cost of purchasing the pigs, add in the food costs, and the actual processing costs at the end. But despite the "break even" cash outcome, we'll still end up with a year's worth of food in the freezer out of the deal, and a valuable lesson learned. We'll definitely do things differently next time.
Still, we ended up with very happy customers. People who have already told us they can't wait for the next thing we have to sell...turkeys for Thanksgiving...farm fresh eggs on a weekly basis...goat's milk in the future. And more pigs. So as crazy as life was with pigs around, I guess we're going to do it all again.
But not yet. I think I need to rest for just a little while. Being a farmer is serious business.
Until the next time...I'll be working on my next book.