New grain bin! Hallelujah! Holds 6 tons, just filled today for the first time, and our neighbor will be hooking up the auger up this weekend. We'll need to figure out some new grain handling systems, but I'm not sad to be done with bi-weekly 100-bag feed deliveries.
A view of the garden at the top of the hill, freshly cultivated. Things have been a bit slow to get started, and I mostly blame the fact that there's barely been a day when our heavy soil hasn't been completely saturated. Lime and more compost are in order, as well. Put it on the list of things to do this fall.
Another view of the garden, showing the lines made by the cultivators. And some stones. So many stones.
A look down the hill toward the corn/squash patch (Dos Hermanas!) and the farrowing sows. We have four with piglets, two about to farrow, and another four bred and due to farrow by the beginning of August.
And here's the Narraganset Whitecap Flint corn, interplanted with heirloom winter squash. In our lazy version of the Three Sisters, we leave out the beans and plant winter squash between the rows of corn. We plant the corn in bunches six feet apart. The squash sends out vines to occupy the understory. This isn't sweet corn - instead, we dry it and grind it into corn meal.
An overview of our farrowing pasture. When sows get close to farrowing, we move them from the nearby woods into paddocks, either alone or in pairs. Each sow gets some fresh grass to graze (and root!) and a portable hut to farrow in. Sows stay in this area with their piglets until they are ready to wean. After we wean the pigs and put the sow back with the boar, we work up the soil a bit and plant cover crops.
Liz, tolerating 6 hungry pigs. These pigs are about 5 weeks old and growing well. Clearly the pigs have had a serious impact on the pasture, but with a little tractor work and some strategic cover cropping this pasture will be better than what we started with.
Petuniah, the champion, doing her favorite thing - eating! She has a huge litter of 12 pigs nursing. They're just a couple of weeks old and doing great.
Amelia getting a brief respite from her 7 pigs, enjoying a quiet breakfast. Even at two weeks old, the little ones are already nosing around in the dirt.
Mathilda and Mandy, ready to farrow in the fancy new huts. Ideally, we like to have 2 sows sharing a pen when they farrow. This only works if the sows farrow within a week of each other. These two are due on the same day, but we'll see what happens.
A quick trip over to cow town. Hanging out in the shade, pondering the meaning of it all. I assume. Joy's idiot calf on the wrong side of the fence, as usual, almost certainly not pondering anything at all.
Another look back at the farrowing pasture in the distance. The lush pasture in the foreground has already been grazed once this season. The waste-high timothy and red-clover understory are ready for another round.
Last winter's pig paddock planted to a buckwheat cover crop. The buckwheat helps to capture nutrients, smother weeds, and restore soil structure. The buckwheat will get incorporated into the soil later this summer, and we'll plant some fall forage before pigs are back here this winter.