Cycles of Life

These cycles of compost and plants and our animals lives are amazing.  This week we anticipate two notable points on that continuum.  Goat kids should be arriving any moment with their bouncy enthusiasm and curiosity about their new world.  They always bring smiles to those nearby.

This week we will also say goodbye to two pigs that have warmed many hearts.

Laura & Madison as a little squirt


Madison, our elder sow, who came to us as a 6 week old piglet in the fall of 2008, has come to the end of her productive breeding life.  All a bit earlier than we would have hoped, but last fall she had a rough delivery.  We thought she had recovered, but in the end some damage to her system must have occurred as despite Gellert’s best efforts, she is not getting pregnant.  She has brought us 4 litters of piglet joy as well as her own sweetness as she leans her big head against your leg, just for some love and attention.




Uno keeping an eye on Pig Tut

Pig Tut will join Madison on the trailer to Royal Butcher next week.  We never imagined that Tut would make it this far with his terribly injured leg.  He certainly has persistence, in addition to some adorable grunts.  We have a tendency to give these injured pigs a chance.  While it is not a profitable approach, they do bring extra joy.  Tut has moved up to the front field for his last week.  That is where you will find him if you want to bid him goodbye.


We will miss them both, but know that they had great lives and that they will bring healthy, delicious food to as many people as they brought joy.  People often ask, “Isn’t hard to butcher animals once you have become attached to them?”  Sure, every time the trailer heads to the butcher a few tears are shed, some moments of mourning and celebrating that life.  Even Uno has to be put on leash so he doesn’t follow each full trailer. But moments of sadness seem healthy.

I am thankful for their time with us and for the excellent, healthy nutrition they provide. I would so much rather feel some moments of sadness and experience the joy our livestock bring, know they lived happy, healthy lives, and provide sustainable, delicious protein to our community.

There are always trade-offs.  And I will take some tears triggered by my love for our livestock instead of outsourcing that pain and the even broader set of costs of how meat is raised in our country.