Friday, 31 March 2017
After a couple of really busy weeks, I can feel this part of my world taking a big slow breath out.
Last Sunday Brian and I butchered a pig. This is the pig that we keep for ourselves, and we prefer to take full responsibility for the meat that we raise and consume.
A big job. It's not pleasant either. Both of us have our set tasks, according to our strengths, and we work well as a team.
I wrote a more detailed post about the pig processing around this time last year.
We try not to waste any part of the pig, so I'm going to have another try at making brawn this time using Lucy's recipe from her blog Dawson Valley Free Range.
The first time we killed a pig I made brawn with the meat from the head, but it didn't gel properly and neither of us liked the taste, so I'll let you know how I go using this new method.
The day after we killed our pig, we took the remaining two pigs to the butcher as it's not legal to sell the meat unless it's killed in a registered abattoir.
When animals leave the farm it creates a big gap. There's less for me to look after, but there's a gap. Every year, after the pigs have gone, I'm haunted by them and I hear their playful grunting and barking for a few days. Weird but true!
I've informed Brian that I don't intend raising pigs next year. I'm going to have a break from being tied here during those five months. As well as a couple of short holidays I might take on the spur of the moment, (because I can) my niece in Victoria is getting married in February, and I think it's too much to expect someone else to look after the pigs to the standards that I've set myself.
So you can see how far ahead we need to plan things when we have farm animals. Our window for pig raising is from October/November to March/April, to avoid the wettest part of the year.
Mulga Bill has gone to his next appointment, but not without a couple of postponements.
We waited three weeks from the date that we know he mated Lavender and as she showed no signs of interest in Mulga for those couple of days, we made plans to transport him to his next holiday the following day.
The farmer was waiting for us to deliver him, but as we were moving the cows towards the yards we noticed him taking a lot of interest in Lavender. So, it was looking very much like she was cycling again, which would have meant that she didn't get in calf three weeks before.
A phone call was made to the waiting farmer, postponing his (Mulga's) delivery, while we kept a close look out on their behavior over the following few days.
After four more days he stopped following Lavender around, so we knew it was OK to deliver him then.
They didn't appear to mate again, but I'm not one hundred percent sure, and will be prepared for the arrival of her calf on the date according to the first mating. In early December.
No pigs, and no Mulga Bill bellowing his presence across the valley at numerous times during the days and nights.
My days are different too, and I'm finding time to get other things done around the place.
The chimney got its annual clean, the kitchen wood stove is burning, and turning out lots of baked foods.
Oh Autumn! My favorite time of year.
Thanks for visiting.