Playing With Baby Pigs
Last week Tad, Jill, and I made a trip to our friends' farm. Cara and Shawn own Wild Farm Soap, which is a small family farm that raises pastured, non-GMO meats, fresh eggs, and creates the most amazing soap that I honestly use every single day. It's beautifully crafted, smells amazing, and lathers like no other. You should grab a few bars and not just because we are friends! Cara called me up and said the new lot of baby pigs had arrived, so we packed ourselves into the car and headed out. Farm life is still a new experience for me; we've coming up on our fourth summer here in Iowa. I grew up in a small town that liked to call itself a "country town" or a "farm town" but you never saw the farm. The town was large, bustling, and there were fast food restaurants, big box stores, movie theaters, chains, and gas stations everywhere. It wasn't that small, especially in comparison to where we live now. The only part of any farm that you saw was corn field after corn field, soybeans, and a house. I think I can remember one specific time that I ever saw an animal out on pasture, and that was someone's pet horse. While I have not been back to check in a long time, I can only assume that most of the farms near the place where I was raised were confinement farms.
As we drove to the farm, I came to the realization that I had never touched a pig before. I shared a post about Wild Farm's meats last month and how their hogs, chickens, and turkeys are raised. It was fun to see the adult hogs that became the meat for our CSA program, but I must say it was absolutely adorable to see the babies. It's an odd conundrum, raising an animal that will eventually be slaughtered, and it's a subject that I probably bring up all too often around everyone! As a controversial topic, to eat meat or not, I can only hope that raising an animal to live a happy life, outdoors, not too crowded, and kept in a clean environment is the way to go about it. We were able to hang out with the pigs in their living area, to pet them and feed them. Their children walked among the animals, from two-years-old and older, with not a worry. It was true farm life, where animals and people coexisted.
I was glad to be able to snap some photos of their family among their livelihood! Of course, Tad had to step in there, which made everyone laugh. That piglet was too pretty to resist with black and white coloring! Shawn caught a few piglets for us to say hello to, and I even held one which was strange. It was like holding a small, fat dog... It actually reminded me a lot of an old Jack Russell Terrier that we used to have. They curiously rooted at our toes and sniffed the back of jacket when I squatted to take photos. They were some of the first pigs I had come across that didn't run squealing when we approached.
The kids played and laughed. We had a great time; I am so thankful to be able to have these experiences, for Tad to have them too, and to have such generous friends who allow us to see what they do every day. Thank you, Cara and Shawn!
As much as I do not think I could raise an animal that I hope to eat, I am thankful for the farmers that are able to. I don't personally eat meat, but other members of my family do. My job is to feed them from a farm that cares about their animals. We are both small farms that are not certified organic but try our hardest to stay away from GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. We believe in farming naturally. Our farm is currently preparing itself to become certified, which is nerve-wracking and exciting! The best I know how to do is to be transparent about how we grow our food.
We are all so thankful to the people who have decided to try our CSA program. You are supporting our families and our dreams! June seems so far away, but I know that it is right around the corner. Cannot wait to feed our people! For those of you who live local to us (we are in Wellman, Iowa) we are still currently taking applications for our CSA, but all spots are currently filled. If you would like to apply and be put on our waiting list, we'd love that! If anyone drops out, we will let the next person know and also keep you on the mailing list for next year. If you have a question, don't hesitate to send a message! (: