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


Another story comes to a close.

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Friday, July 16, 2010

Can you believe its that time already?  It seems like only yesterday that we stuffed these four boys into the back of the Scion Xa and welcomed them to their new home.  They were so little then.  I remember thinking how cute they all were and how hard it would be when the time came for them to be butchered.  Over the past months they've grown amazingly fast considering they were raised mostly on bread, kitchen scraps, and whatever was growing in their pasture- with a bit of grain supplementation just to be sure they were getting enough calories.

They've escaped more than once.  And even once went over to our neighbor's house and greeted him in his garage while we were up north visiting my Mom.  They've eaten over a dozen chickens (I guess I should have added that to the tally of their diet above).  But they've added a bit of entertainment to our daily routine as well.  I've seen pigs racing around like its a big game of tag and the occasional wipe-out or somersault.  I've seen them hunker down next to a fire and then race around in a circle like a dog chasing its tail after they've warmed up.  Then in the summer's heat we would pull out the hose to spray them down in the afternoons and watch as they each volleyed for the best spot to get as much of the cold water as possible.  And of course they took their turns in the water trough.

Since January these boys have been members of the family; we named them, nutured them, and scratched their faces when they seemed to want more than just food.  This morning at 5:30 I opened the door to meet Randy Locke, our meat processor.  He arrived promptly when he said he would with his red truck and a couple helping hands in tow.  After the initial, "seriously?  they're in that big pasture back there?" I retreated back to the house as Kyle went out just in case any of the boys got spooked and ran away.  It was over so quickly.  No drama.  No terror.  When it came down to it, I just didn't have the heart to watch our boys meet their end, but Kyle reported that it appeared to be quick and painless.  One by one they fell, the others standing by, not understanding, but unafraid.

Knowing that four more lives have been sacrificed for us and our family is a hard reality to face, and I'm not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears even now as I write this.  Life is a treasure and I am honored to be a part of it for every being on our farm.  I feel we honor their memory at every meal, giving thanks for the life that has passed so that we may continue on.  Again, we are given peace by the knowledge that we gave these pigs far better a life than most ever see.  But the passing of a life is never easy and despite my readiness for today, in a way, I mourn the loss.

1 Responses to Another story comes to a close.

  1. EcoLife Says:
  2. *hugs*

    A job well done.

    Now... onto thoughts of bacon! :o)