Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Then And Now

Four years ago, I was fresh out of college and traveling abroad.  Along a winding trail or 5, I made my way to Spannocchia, which is certainly one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.  Having never worked around farm animals before, I was unsure how the experience would affect me and influence my views on food, and the world at large.  

Well, now here I am.  Living on, or actually, owning a small farm.  Whoops... how did that happen?  We have a pig due to farrow in the next few weeks, and two more that are probably a month out.  Two pregnant goats, 6 broody ducks, 2 broody turkeys, one broody [and very cranky] hen.  Genesis.  Five years ago I had never considered farming as an occupation, even in passing... turns out, it's an occupational hazard.  It gets into your blood and keeps you going on nights and weekends, like some organic, compostable drug.

The picture that crowns this blog was taken four years ago, in the hollers of West Virginia where I had the pleasure of learning from one of the greats of swine husbandry, Chuck Talbott.  Among many other things, Chuck taught me one of the most important things I know about raising livestock, when one day I lamented that the newly-born pigs were so cute that all I wanted to do was sit out in the field and watch them, shirking my many other duties.  

But Kato, he said emphatically, that IS part of your job.  You should always be out there watching.  

So now, when I come home from work and know I have eleventy trillion things to be doing and cleaning and taking care of... I remember what Chuck taught me, and I go sit with the pigs.