Farm Journal: 6 May, 2020

Another nice day. High 15. A little splatter of rain out of no where, but mostly blue skies with puffy clouds and quite breezy.

In fact, breezy enough that it ripped the tarps off the pig shelter. That was an unexpected twist in the plan that happened just as we were on the way to pick up a yard of horse manure from Bee Barry. The tarps need new grommets (which means we need a new grommet maker). The manure looks pretty good (not quite “finished” but close). We plan on using it in some raised “kitchen garden” beds near the barn.

Today’s lojong is: “abandon any hope of fruition” and it was, unfortunately, sage advice.

Most of the day was spent on Emotus and community work (Ben pressed Roland into service as proofreader while he spent time on Island coordination and food security efforts). It’s amazing how much time that stuff takes and see above for today’s lojong.

Ben cleaned out the pig sty and added more straw on top of the straw Roland added this morning and added the pig shit to the compost heap. The pigs are soon to outgrow their current shelter [insert pic]. We need to add expanding the pig shelter to the task list.

The compost pile is currently baking away at about 100 degrees in multiple places. This is the first we’ve noticed this level of activity. Previously, we could find a few spots at 90 or 100, but most were reading around 80 or less. We have plans to turn the compost pile soon (which might involve building a new compost bin out of pallets), but decided to let it go since it’s humming at the perfect temperature for now.

We’ve been playing with pig food amounts. Yesterday, we fed a nearly perfect amount of 7 pounds 12 ounces 3 times. There was very little left between meals and the pigs were pretty laid back about feeding times and at the end of the day there was just the slightest trace of food left in the trough. We decided to convert to metric because calculating numbers in pounds and ounces in crazy making. So, 7 pounds 12 ounces times 3 is 23 pounds 4 ounces (carry the seven) which is 10.55 kg (or 3.5 kg per meal).According to Erica’s chart, at this stage the food increases about 200 g per day, so we rounded to 3.6 kg per meal today and there was a TON of food left after dinner – maybe half of the last feed! They will probably have eaten some more before we close them in, but it’s still a bit crazy-making.

Ben played with the pig water barrel. First, we had to figure out how the bulk head worked (the secret: right LOOSEY, LEFTY tighty!) Then there came the challenge of “The Changing of the Circular Hole Cutter” (solved by Roland by hitting it with a hammer). Until, finally, our heroes were felled by the “Unmoving Barrel Head” enigma.

Tonight’s cocktail was a disaster turned into a quite acceptable “white wine spritzer.” Truly, everything is better with citrus.

That seems like all for now. Another day in the life of a couple of farmers.