Friday, 20 April 2012
Gone are the days when the morning routine could be done on the run in 20 minutes, fetching the water alone now takes half an hour to quench the thirsts of various critters. Last night at not long before midnight I found another litter of piglets as I took water to the three little pigs, who are now not so little and still alive despite various threats to their well being. So now one who should be sausage is a mum, mercifully only two Mangalitza piglets who exploded with rage on being picked up to be taken to a place of safety. Trying to separate new mum from goat, shitland mare, dogs and Ryelands in the dark when all you want is your own bed was an exercise in patience.
This morning both little piglets were alive and kicking, as were the 19 others of various sizes, some of which are getting quite big.
The plan for the weekend is to secure another pig pen, build another pig ark and hopefully get some planting done in the garden. High on the jobs list has been fix the fence, the one that marks the boundary between our world and the militias. Its fallen into disrepair, trees have grown through it, posts have rotted and at one point you could, if so inclined, step over to lush green pasture. Our critters are too well trained (read stupid) to do such a thing, but the Berners have been looking longingly at the lamb chops grazing so rather than risk a potential conflict I decided to fix it myself. Having watched various large men put up fences and being an experiential learner I knew the theory and in practice this went far better than I had hoped.
Skipping off work late this afternoon I allowed myself three hours to complete the task, in the end it took three and a half which included clearing up. Key to success was using Hazel as a wire tightener, a complicated wooden structure was screwed to the end (two planks) and tied the wheel carrier. Three broken ropes later a nylon strop was found and voila, piano wire tight fencing and all without ripping the back wheel carrier off the door. By the time evening rounds were due the sun was setting on a nice new fence, see above inspected by Reuben, the old fence can be seen where it had fallen. So happy was I with crossing this job off the list I set about felting the roof of the pig ark built last week and used the only thing that tidies up a farm yard better than snow to clear our yard. A bonfire. 11pm a final check, the yard is almost clear, save for a pile of gravel, the fire is burning out, the fence is still standing, but best off all there are no new life forms.