Farm Journal 1/30/22

$30 order minimum for delivery into Pittsburgh

Where to find our stuff! Place your online order here. Give us a 24 hours heads up please.

The Farm – WEDNESDAY (11 – 7). We’ll set your order out, you come pick it up. (If our driveway is treacherous, we’ll set up a table down by the purple garage).

Northside – Wednesday 12:30 – 1:00 at the parking lot on Union Place by Allegheny Commons. Ask about delivery options.

No limits for eggs this week. Don’t get greedy- but you can certainly order 2 or 3 dozen eggs this week, if you need them.

CSA Share Sales are Available! – Prices increase on Feb 1st!

We’ve made it through 2021 and are ready for 2022! Shares are now open and are at the 2021 prices until Feb 1 – when we’ll give them a bit of a goose and raise prices then.

You can buy basic weekly pickup and half shares at the farm, Northside Market, East Liberty Market, Squirrel Hill Market, and Mt Lebanon Uptown Market. Limited amounts of shares are available at the markets, as we only have so much room for hauling!

Barn Life – by Jen

It seems like it’s been moonnnths of 8 pm, midnight and 4am visits to the barn. With so many single digit temps at night (and during the day), we go out to to the barn and check that all the pigs have enough hay bedding and unfrozen water. We double check the sows with litters and make sure the heat lamps are working and safe. Otherwise, the little piglets burrow under their 500 pound mom to stay warm, and that never turns out well for the piglet…. We have two more sows that we’re waiting on to farrow. Every four hours, Greg or I will go out and check if “anything’s happening yet”. We report back to each other, so the next night shift-er can know what to expect.

What do we look for in a immanently laboring sow? Did she get up to eat? Is she drinking water? Are her teats so full they stick out sideways? How droopy is that vulva? (yes, we’ll well versed in pig vulvas….) Is she actively building a nest? (Sows will grab mouthfuls of straw and arrange a cozy place to labor). Does she have a milk-line? (You can see her milk has come in all along her belly – less than 10 hours to go!). Lastly…. we milk the pig – a couple tugs on the teat and we can tell that her milk has come in and she’s most likely going to go into labor soon!

Luckily, we’re pretty hands off to the birthing process. Part of our breeding selection is that we’re looking for good mothers, with good sized litters, good mothering instincts (but not aggressively protective), and an uneventful birthing. No Drama is our policy!

We do like to be there for the birth. Every single time we’re able to witness a farrowing it’s still amazing and exciting (the kids ask us to wake them up for the event!). We like to hang out and quietly watch as the wee babies slide out. It’s a calm and peaceful. Sometimes we’ll be there with old towels to wipe off the birthing fluids, clear out the piglet’s mouth, dry it off and guide it towards the teats. We don’t necessarily need to do this, but as humans are so inclined, it’s hard to not be nebby and think that we can improve the situation. Nature takes is course and when the conditions are right, and the stars line up…. the piglets come!

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