The pigs are really in their element around the waters of our pond. I’m fairly certain the beavers don’t know what to make of them. And they are everywhere! Except for when you jump the fence…all you see is their dust!
But slowly, they start to come out.
They size you up.
Are you friend or foe?
Or perhaps you’ll have something delicious to eat.
And when that notion gets into their head, then they come check you out in earnest.
A couple stayed by the wallow.
But practically all of the others needed to get closer to inspect my bag, my boots and perhaps take an exploratory nip at my leg!
Boy did they get close!
So I beat a hasty retreat and captured them shuffling off back to the wallow…
There have been some beautiful days to get out into the fields and take some great photos of the animals. Last week, I pulled over at the Martin tract and captured both the sheep the pigs. There were so many good angles that I have to post the pigs separately!
Of course Bea came right out. And as you can see below, these vicious guard dogs are always on red alert. After a good scratch and some TLC, that is.
Directly following all the niceties, she went back to her station to resume surveying the sheep.
We now have a mixed bag of sheep, trying to get the animals a little bigger. So, there are some hair sheep and some wool sheep all mixed in.
They were enjoying the day, and the shade…
Miss Bea is what we call ‘full-figured’ right now. And I think this has contributed to the matting of her fur. Right now she looks like I did when I was 6 years old and tried to cut my own hair: a little here, a little there… Brett and Orlando have been trying to keep on top of her matting, but Bea’s coif has been a summer-long struggle. But she doesn’t seem to mind her present ‘do!
NJ Monthly featured our farm in their September issue. The emphasis was on the slaughter facility and we are grateful that Pat Tanner and the staff at NJ Monthly took such an interest in telling our story, and a balanced look at what we do.
Enjoy! (click on picture)
In other news, our hazelnut grove is the second largest in the state of NJ. Dr. Joseph Heckman, from Rutgers University (cultivator of the largest grove in NJ), was on hand to examine the trees.
And we have fruit this year! In reality, it takes novices like us just about 10 solid hours to extract the hazelnut from the shell and get a quart of nuts. The kids wander off after about 10 minutes of the roasting, picking, cracking, shelling, sorting, repeat, repeat, repeat. You might remember The Great Harvest of 2014.
But we are not the real consumer! The pigs will eventually get into the grove and eat the nuts. These trees are also infused with truffles. so the idea is… the pigs will lead us to truffles as they feast on the fruit. Problem is, the pigs also love the truffles. Can we train the pigs to find the truffles and not eat them? More to follow.