Horkesley Pork

Work to be done...

The newest arrivals to the farm, three Berkshire weaners.

These pigs are tasked with clearing the farmstead we call 'Bethlehem'.  Formerly a cattle yard and shed (hence the name), this area is somewhat overgrown - a des res complete with harrows, a seed drill, a plough and the remains of a cart used to transport casualties in WWI (so the story goes).  We've cleared away all things sharp and nasty and today the Horkesley Porkers were released to dig and snuffle their way through the site.  Free-range living at its finest!

Windfall Piglets

   It's time to catch up with our apple-mad pigs.

   The pigs arrived the day before Open Farm Sunday, and refusing to sign an involvement contract, spent most of OFS hiding.  Fortunately, pigs quickly learn that humans = food and if you bite that human, you get to the food faster as buckets fall and the air turns a little blue.  So here are the big, bad piglets now...

   They have (fingers crossed) literally grown out of their escape artist phase, but are still popular with walkers along the lane.  Those who cry "Here Piggy Piggy!" on Water Lane are rewarded by our piglet display team performing a screeching, ear-flapping yet balletic sprint in the wrong direction - their echolocation is about as highly tuned as Humbug's, and they tend to head to the food bowl first.  Something I can relate to.  But all the exercise and snuffling makes for a tasty free-range pig, and at this rate, we expect a full complement of bacon, sausages, joints and gammon for Christmas.

   Currently, they are guzzling their way through a vast quantity of apples.  With competition in our little orchard from the chickens, help is at hand from the people of Nayland - in particular the magic porridge pot of apple trees in Fen Street.  If anyone has any windfalls they would like cleared, we can put them to good use!

   In other great news, it is finally dry enough (with a little rain-dodging) to muck out the barn.  This window of dry weather has all the local farmers excited.  For us, it means for the first time this year we can transport the muck over grassland without damaging the fields.  We like the barn to be spankingly clean for the cows when they head inside for the winter and it's good to finally see that muck heading up the lane.

I am so thankful, I even papped a trailer load of manure.  I'm off now to start writing a talk for the East Essex Food and Farming Group next week.  I promise not to include the muck photo.