January 16, 2017

Pig Plow

Our potbelly pigs are a perfect pasture plow!

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We have a couple of issues we need to address at the moment on our homestead. 1) We need to empty, clean, and put away the pool before the spring winds come (we will then refill it in April, when it’s warmer). 2) We need to extend the season when the rabbits have fresh grass and weeds to eat – this is currently only during rain season, from June to October.

We’ve come up with several ways to grow more of the feed requirements for our rabbits, but the one we’re going to implement right now is planting oats. We figure we can use the pool water to irrigate the oats, thereby killing two birds with one stone.

We have several terraces partly made below the existing forest garden. However, they need to be better leveled and plowed a little before planting. We have decided to dedicate one or two of these to an oat crop, and who better to plow the row than our two potbelly pigs.

Abe has set up an electric fence around the whole terrace, with small electric “gates” that split the row into smaller segments, to concentrate the work in one area at a time. About 10 days ago, he put in a hoop house in the first segment and put the pigs into it. They have since been doing a great job of leveling and digging up the ground, and have now been moved into the second segment.

The funny thing about it is that the female, Shiva, is over-wary of the electric fence. So, instead of digging up the dirt and grass on the outside of the hoop house, she stays inside it and moves the house over the ground she wants to examine. That way, she gets to stay safe within her “house”, but still get to the parts outside of it.

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