Holiday Hectic

Some year we’ll be all ready for winter, and just stoke the stove and start planning the garden.

This wasn’t that year. This is our 21st year here. We’ve had enough firewood twice. This is not one of the two.

I have the two heated water tanks all set up. To make up for that, one of the old irrigation pipes from our dot.com landscaping burst, and will be spraying water whenever we fill those tanks. That will give us three glaciers by spring.

Pig pile The milk bonanza does seem to be taking care of the pig’s water situation. We can give them 25 or 30 gallons of milk a day, and they will drink it before it has a chance to freeze. (we can’t give the pigs a heated trough because they will step on and break the heater. Extra points if a pig burns itself.)

So far the pigs seem to be doing okay on fruit, veg and milk. I have bread in reserve, but it hasn’t seemed necessary. The turkeys have finally decided they do like hummus, and potato salad remains a favorite. Everyone also eats bread, but they all still want a hit of pellets every day. The birds are getting a third to half of their nutrition from free stuff rather than bought feed. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, none of them seem to like beans. I’ve tried edamame, seven bean salad, mung beans (soaked and not), adzuki beans (ditto), and they just get left. Which of course is fine by the pigs.

Danny and the sheep are not forgotten. Two days out of three, there’s something for them. If there isn’t salad mix, there’s broccoli, which the pigs will carefully take out of their trough so it doesn’t contaminate the food. They’ve got plenty of balage, but a bushel of lettuce is really welcome when there’s snow on the ground.

Last year we fed the pigs pellets on December 15 and then not again until April 15. This year was December 10. Here’s hoping for April 15 again.

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5 Comments

  1. Karen
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    And people tell me I’m odd for not liking broccoli. When a serious omnivore like a pig won’t eat it, it says something. 🙂

  2. whit
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Wow, scrounging 25 gallons of milk a day is awsome. How should I go about looking for free milk. Do the super markets give you their expired products or do you have another source?

    Thanks

    • Frank
      Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      There are two big organic food operations in Westmoreland. When they have good food that they cannot sell for some reason, they donate to the local food pantry. Sometimes the health department condemns it (bugs in one box out of 100) or it’s something like a semi-trailer of milk they simply cannot give out in time, our pigs get it.

      I found it easiest to estimate the last such dump in cubic meters. We got about 6. At one metric tonne (2200lbs) per cubic meter, that was like 13,000 lbs of milk. It’s outside, frozen and at 200 lbs/day, it will last two months.

  3. Posted December 18, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I am fascinated and inspired by your use of “spoiled” food! How do you research which food is and isn’t good for whom, or is it less science and more art?

    • Frank
      Posted December 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I started out to answer you, and then decided to make it today’s post, qv.

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