Makin’ Bacon

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Pasture fed pigs have intrigued me for a few years. But, memories of pig manure on grandpa’s small farm near Frost, MN weren’t all that pleasant. Even worse, driving by a hog factory(huge modern pig farm) is enough to make even the most cautious driver put the pedal to the metal to escape the gagging.

Last summer our family went to Apple Prairie Farm, operated by our friends in Warroad, MN, with the express purpose of checking out their pigs. Later, we purchased a Guinea hog and my mind was totally changed about pigs. I went from hating to loving pigs during that visit. Brent and Rhonda have used pigs to improve their farm and the stink was almost non-existent to my sensitive nose! Check out their website to get some great homesteading ideas or just to see a small family homestead in action.

We have a piece of land that I would like to improve. Don’t we all? Something just isn’t right with the grass and I’m getting hungry for bacon!

This past winter I found a local pig farmer that raises pigs using red wattle and large black bloodlines primarily. These are some of the larger varieties of homestead pigs that I’ve found.

My son Micah and I often work very hard on the farm. For years he has worked like a man. It almost makes me cry just thinking about the great times we’ve had together. He’s seen me at my best and worst. Together, we added additional electric lines and “porked up” the fence to withstand pigs. We currently have a multipurpose one-acre plot built with t-posts, cattle panels, and 14 gauge wire. On my larger 10 and 30 acre pens I have chosen high tensile fence with high tensile wire which is much harder to work with but is more durable.

Recently, we brought 2 pigs home and they are adjusting well from a very small pen to hog heaven.  It started out as hog hell with lots of squealing as it took some getting used to the electric fences. As an optimist I ordered 5 pigs. As a realist my wife modified the order to 2 pigs. Together, we make better decisions.  Happy wife happy life.

Never stop learning and put relationships first today. In the end that is only this that matters!!!

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