Monday, June 19, 2006

Milk Bar for Piggies

For the past four years, I have raised two pigs with my "partner in swine." No, not The Farmer - he's not interested in pigs. My "partner" in this endeavour is Mike Dougherty who owns a local bakery called 7 South Bakery Cafe.

It all began when a friend of ours, Kevin Gray, sold us half of a pig he and his wife Polly had raised. They fed them in their backyard and then sold the meat to friends and family. It was like nothing I had tasted before - full of flavor, juicy, and succulent. I was hooked. Every time I cooked a store bought roast, it was like cardboard. I had been spoiled. The next year, Kevin decided to take a break. No pigs. I mentioned my need for local pork to Mark and he wasn't interested. I was not deterred. My mind started spinning.

I approached Mike at his bakery and asked him if was interested. He was intrigued. I got a call later that day - he was in. I had a partner to share the chores with. Kevin became our pig mentor and we bought Storey's "Guide to Raising Pigs" . We found a source of piglets, packed up the dog carrier and we were in business. The first two pigs were Pinky and Blue (that's Julia below with them covered in mud and Phoebe, the pig dog looking on). Next came Jackie and Lee. Last year we fed Pumpkin and Petunia. It's not easy saying goodbye to them but at least we know where our food is coming from and everything that goes into them. We know they live out their lives in the sunshine, rolling in the mud we make for them and eating homemade bread and grain.

We're not sure who we will have this year but it's one of those in the photo at the milkbar. They're coming from Guilford, Vermont and we're awaiting. I'll post some baby pictures when they arrive in the beginning of July.


Bob Y said...

I've been waiting for a Julia picture on your blog for ages!

AnneMarie said...

A friend of mine always names their pigs 'Pork Chop' and 'Bacon.' Keeps the attachment down!