Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Piglet Who Could

If this is your first time to my blog...Welcome ! If this isn't well then once again you have my sincerest apologies for anything I might say or do that is over the edge. It's a long standing habit of mine.

For your first timers...the rest of you just use that handy scroll down thingy on your rat, I mean mouse, whatever. I've only had one pot of coffee, be kind. I am doing the (sing along, its good for you) Getting to know you, getting to know all about you, blog because I am participating in Farm Festival Friday on The Renegade Farmer.  Yes, I am aware it is Thursday. But my editor Zan asked that I do it today and I heart her so I am doing it today. May I continue ?

Its a wonderful way to promote your own farm oriented blog. And by "farm" you'll be happy to know the definition is quite broad. Read all about it here.

I am 52, and work full time farming with my husband Keith. Mother to 4 and Yaya to 3. We and the bank, own a small certified organic dairy, beef and pork farm. We sell raw milk, beef and pork carcasses and meat by the cut in our farm store in order to make ends meet. Our customer base includes a few restaurants, a few grocery stores, over a hundred raw milk customers and even more individuals who visit our farm store. I also write part time and make soap when I need a manure break.

I used to be an RN, retiring last year from that gig after 25 years of pure joy working with physicians who still thought I should give them my seat whenever they entered the nurses station. I never budged.

Our farm is for sale.

WHAT ?!?! Yes, life is good and we are ready for something even better, even smaller. You can read about it here

Now lets get back to important stuff like Gimpy the Piglet. I blogged about her awhile back. Born with a deformed back leg we worried about her ability to keep up, her ability to support the weight of her rapidly growing body and we worried about her comfort level.

We're strange farmers that way. Our animals are (primarily) raised for meat but we feel strongly they need to have good lives until that last walk (trailer trip) down the Green Mile. So we've been watching Gimpy for signs that she should be a roaster hog instead of a whole hog carcass.

Yesterday I watched her hang with her mother Spot

Spot, mama pig and 6 week old babies
Spot, in the middle of the ring, is weighing in around 600 pounds and our official 'Guard Pig." She actually barks, sort of, when something isn't right on the farm. You have to see and hear it to believe it. From day one she has treated baby Gimpy as if there was nothing wrong. As good a mom as Forrest Gump had. And since Gimpy was never told she was handicapped, she never acted the part.

Here she is running like the wind

Add Caption (Stop telling me to add a caption. If I wanted to I would have)

Finally she stops long enough for me to capture a picture of her affected back leg. She rests her weight on it when standing and keeps it elevated when running. In the 6 weeks I have known her I have never heard her complain. She does not ask for special privileges and my offer to build a ramp for easier access into her hutch was declined. She is a bit of a hero here on South Pork Ranch.


Today South Pork Ranch starts advertising their raw milk in the local newspaper.
 We refuse to be afraid of our own government.
Get those coins ready for bail money.


  1. the unfortunate thing about pigleys is that they grow FAST!!!!

  2. Oh yeah they do. yet her back side has compensated so well fro her weak leg. Her other ham is so well developed. If I didn't know that carrying litters would be hard for her I'd keep her as a breeder but that wouldn't be fair to her. I do so like her Sam I am. I really like her well developed hams.


  3. Look at that poor little leg. She will eventually get too heavy for it. Poor little soul. Still..she will fulfill her porkpose in life (oops purpose)and provide some good eats.

  4. Donna,

    Kudos to you for advertising your milk! (middle finger to those who passes such an assenine law).

    On another note, do you have a website for your farm store or products? I have a small spot on the side of my blog for free advertising for small businesses and if you'd like me to put you there, just let me know what the http:/ thing is and what you want the header to be!

  5. Wow- newspaper ad that is fantastic!. I have downloaded complaint forms for judge Fiedler, but i have to say i hesitated yesterday when i saw the size of the firm he is now a partner in. yes a mere 4 weeks after ruling against the right to your food of choice he is a freaking partner in this huge law firm which has defended monsanto. Yep those greivance papers are going in!

  6. Guinness book of World Record for the largest ham from a hog in the future? Maybe famous as Charlotte.

  7. You can have my change jar. Not much there but it is allllll yours.

    Illinois has laid off most of their food safety officers this week.... so I think you are good to go for a while! :)

    Gimpy is pretty awesome. I'm totally impressed at declining the offer for a ramp. After all, I have had customers that want my farm to be wheelchair accessible with hard surface paths.

  8. MBJ, Don't worry, we are watching her closely. If we feel she is hurting in any way she will go to the locker sooner than later.

    Carolyn. What a generous offer. Our web site is The header could be "Certified Organic Raw Milk and Meat for Sale" many thanks !

    Best of luck Hickchic, You go go go!

    Anon. She is indeed cute as Charlotte

    Miss Eff. REALLY ? They wanted ramps? Everyone wants ramps. Craziness. Believe me I understand the difficulty in getting around if you are handicapped. I just don't understand why it is everyone elses responsibility to "accomodate" you.
    You are so in my thoughts with your recent health care issue. Makes me so mad !!

  9. Couldn't the leg be broken and reset?

    Congrats on the advert'. If the worst happens, we'll send a file in a cake!

    re Miss Effie: I used to work cutting stone, and our products were exhibited in an ancient converted stone-built barn. We spent a huge amount of time and money making it all wheelchair accessible, but never had a single wheelchair arrive. C'est la vie!

  10. I have never seen a pig that big before! I'm happy you give your animals comfort and kindness.

  11. Ahhh! The memories! We had three little pigs that we were feeding up and a pack of dogs in the neighborhood got in with them and killed two and slashed the third from hip to hip across his little red back. He healed, but he could never run, or even walk really well. And he got huge! My husband was building a chute to load him into the truck to take to market, but it took him a while and Nog the Hog ended up weighing in at just over 600 pounds. He set the record for fat. Six inches of it! But man, that was the bet pork - ever!