In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine



Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, June 17, 2010

We drove into the city last night for a lovely dinner in Burlington for my sister-in-law's birthday.  Its always nice going out with family.  The way home felt long, though; I was exhausted and lingered somewhere between sleep and gazing, dazed, out the window.  Kyle and I were discussing the next big home renovation now that the guest room and upstairs bathroom were finished and sometimes its just a bit overwelming when there is so much to do.  But we arrived home and there was a sweet, mild breeze in the air that greeted us.  I went out to the barn to shut in the goats and chickens for the night while Kyle checked on the pigs, who had been moved back under the trees next to the house.

We scheduled a date with the meat processor for July 16th, a mere month away, and we wanted to try to get them to eat the greenery and till up the soil there before they left us.  They were happily running around, like the pig races you see at the fair, and we watched them for a little while before heading inside.  As I was getting into bed half an hour later the dogs started barking wildly.  I looked out the front windows to see a neighbor's friend leaving our front yard- he must have been at our door a minute ago.  I mentioned it to Kyle as I looked out the back window- the pigs were out.

I hastily threw my jeans on again as I watched Freddy make a bee-line for our freshly planted garden, the other three were ahead of him in the tall grasses.  I ran downstairs to grab my boots hoping that the novelty of being loose would keep Freddy from exploring the soft soil in our garden beds.  Sure enough, by the time I rounded the corner to the back of the house they had moved on and were headed for the road.  I freaked at the realization that they really were loose and not contently eating grass in our backyard like they had done the few times they escaped before.

As I called them from the top of the hill, carefully picking my way down along the edge of the drop-off, Kyle arrived with a bucket of grain.  As soon as they saw him they forgot all about their adventure and trailed along back to the barn.  We're lucky the neighbor stopped by, if we had gone to bed with the pigs loose, who knows where they would have ended up, or the damage they could have done.  Once they were safely back in their fenced-in pasture we surveyed the electric-net fence that we hastily put up over the weekend.  Brick Top must have been chasing one of them because it appeared that one of the pigs had gone straight through the fence, leaving a nice hole in the netting.  I'll have to fix that so we can resume using it for the goats and chickens.

So, now the task is to get a better fence up out there for the next few weeks so they can continue eating the grass and ferns.  Kyle has the next two weeks off so he'll have plenty of time to work on fencing.  But I'll say it again, I'm ready for some bacon.  Pigs.