Archives for August 2012

The Humanity Of Hogs

This really tripped me out.  We have 2 female hogs.  Big Mama is our American Guinea Hog and Sugar Baby is our Large Black Hog.  They have always been competitors and Big Mama actually ripped a slice in Sugar Babys leg once – we had to sew it up with dental floss.  Anyhow they both just gave birth.  The daddy is our American Guinea “Tank”.  They have both had one litter before and did great.  I believe we made a huge mistake this time however.  We left Sugar Baby’s little baby girl in with her.  She is over a year old; but when Sugar Baby started producing milk I think the little girl (Sugar Baby’s little Baby) may have thrown Sugar  Baby into early labor. She was nursing,  and probably producing callouses on sugar Baby’s teets.  Her little piglets were born skinny and pathetic looking.  Sugar Baby was extremely nervous and restless.  Both sows had 9 babies.  Big Mama’s were thriving.  But, Sugar Baby’s  were walking out in the open field.  My son actually saw sugar Baby’s Little Baby fighting the newborns off.  One disappeared for  2 days in a row.  We dragged the little girl out of there and she will be harvested soon. (milk fed pork.. LOL)  Anyway – one more died the next day.  I don’t know if it was from that or a predator.  But a couple of days ago I noticed Big Mama was in the area of Sugar Baby’s pigs and was feeding them.  My son verified this today.  Her seven little pigs look 100% better now and Sugar Baby is calm now and full of milk.  Lesson learned – don’t leave an older pig in with newborns.  I didn’t really think it would be a problem.  We had sheep, goats, and the male in when they had babies before with no problems.  But what really amazes me is how Big Mama fed her  nine pigs and Sugar Baby’s  seven pigs.  That’s more humane than most people I know.  Big Mama is a sweet girl and I’ll tell you more about that later….  Big Mama my sweet girl

My First Taste Of Goat Meat.

Yesterday I drove about 2 1/2 hours south to Monticello, Florida; an enchanting place called Golden Acres Farm.(they have a website BTW)  I was there to purchase 2 goat hutches http://www.ezhutch.net/goathutch.php . But I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of this place.  They had Huge oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them.  Lots of goats, sheep, chickens and guinea fowl on beautiful green pastureland.  And a huge beautiful home.  While I was there I purchased some goat meat.  It was very expensive; at least for me.  She told me it’s very lean and the best way to cook it is low and slow.  I have a crock pot; but actually prefer to cook something like that on the stovetop.  That way I can control the temp better.  So I braised it this morning.  Then I added a little water, some patis (fish sauce), and some turkish seasoning.  I let it simmer on low until the meat was almost ready to fall off the bone.  I then added slice portabellas and vidalia sweet onions.  It simmered a little longer and then was ready.  I must say it was excellant.  It had a very faint hint of a gamey taste.  Reminded me of a cross between venison and pork.  Well, now I can relax.  The reason is, I’ve invested quite a bit of money into my South African Boer goats and wasn’t even sure if I’d like the meat.  Whew. LOL!!

South African Boer Goats

South African Boer Goats

 

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Hello World!

Welcome to our homestead.  Come on in, take your shoes off and sit a spell.  We’ll talk about homesteading and self sufficiency.  I’ll tell you about my little homestead and everything we are doing and learning.   We have sheep, goats, chickens, and lots of pigs. Oh, and I can’t forget about the bees…  Gardening is always fun and challenging.  Food preservation and cooking are on the agenda also.  And of course I’d love to share my recipies and methods of cooking.  I hope you will share with me too.

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