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Sunday, August 26, 2012...


By Lori


A perfect late summer day. It is just past noon and the meadows are yellow and mauve with goldenrod and asters. The apples are turning red on the boughs and dark shadows move in the grass below…
Dark shadows??? no, cannot be.

The shadows have been busy in many parts of my property….and I’m not happy. they have rooted, wallowed and defecated in what used to be a stream bed… and it’s dried up. The soil on the hillside is dry as dust and they’ve rooted out all the forest grasses that were happy in their niche, as well as all the fungi that is safe for them to eat, leaving those they left exposed and the soil becoming even drier because of their digging.

Their little snouts have snuffed out the apples which have fallen…can’t blame them much, as the apples, this year are redolent…and smell good even to me!

What should I do? I have concerns that range from health to conservation….but what bugs me most is that this problem is on-going…and everytime they are put back they find another way to get down into my little valley. Their attack is two fronted…the pair of larger pigs are on the hillside to the south of our house and the smaller ones in these pics are to the north side…where the apple trees are. I’m tired from running up hill and down dale waving my broom and shouting.

Canny as they are…they seem to know that “he who strikes and runs away…lives to strike another day..” and when I’ve finished running the little guys off the north hill…I have to turn about and foist the big guys off the southern hill…and all this running uphill is not easy for a 60ish person. I go indoors to cool off…literally and emotionally and usually within an hour they are back.
This afternoon the larger pair decided to do some landscaping and my husband decided that enough was enough… He called our neighbour who immediately came with pail of feed in hand and faithful dog to round up the strays…He brought some sausage for our freezer and promised that the piggies would now be kept in a proper pen and on an alternate pasture. The fence along our property is not working and needs repair. (it’s electrified.)
So with the piggies in the barn, perhaps we will have some peace in our garden. I’m back to work on the stream tomorrow…and of course the new beds as planned. What a day this has been!

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My mother kept 2 pigs in an enclosed pen. They rootled out and ate all the Couch Grass roots and ate all the weeds. She then moved the pen and the pigs to another area. Planted seed Potatoes in the area they had dug over, and I can remember the huge crop.
Mum was thrilled when Catriona seed became available.
There was a window seat in our living room that opened up, providing storage space. This space was full of potatoes every winter.
If I was you I would liaise with your neighbour to have a couple of young ones in an enclosed pen on your land for a few weeks to perform this wonderful task. Would save you a lot of work.
(Mum got too fond of her pigs, and cried when they had to go to the slaughterhouse.)

27 Aug, 2012


Seems it might be under control now but .... only sausage?! I'd hold out for a leg or shoulder - or even a tasty loin!

27 Aug, 2012


Thats so awful for you, and so many big ones. We had a pig once my mother won at a hospital fete. Nothing dad did kept it in its pen it just jumped over the fence and the mess it made of the garden.
I would send the owners a bill for damage and repairs, the owners might understand that?

27 Aug, 2012


poor u....and i have been complaining about the moles....... i think u have a bigger pest there....hopefully there will be no repeat performance and maybe a few more sausages...:-)

27 Aug, 2012


Alas! I wish it was true...despite the best intentions of the farmer/neighbour...we were visited again very early this morning and the patch of damage extended to within 10 feet of the house on the south side. It's the big piggie...she is an real digger. Decided that the crop of apples on the tree on the north side is not excellent and I will use very few of there's no reason the piggies shouldn't enjoy them... They happily consumed them and I shewed them home...but not an hour later they were back for seconds! I'm running out of patience.

28 Aug, 2012


have you solved the porky problem by now Lori?
how properly secured is their pen??

12 Sep, 2012


HI M! The Piggies have been put "in the barn"...haven't seen them recently. Have seen the Llama (Bart)...he stands at the edge of the fence and looks longingly at my grassy meadow. Don't know how he finds forage as the piggies have mowed everything down. Wouldn't mind the Llama visiting but he's very tall and won't come near the electrified fence. (The piggies are small enough to scoot underneath it!) My Porky Problem seems to be solved ...for now. fingers crossed. Have two five gallon pails of apples/crab apples to take over to the neighbours for their piggies. *^*

13 Sep, 2012


Its like a wild life safari around your place Lori...we have an invasion of foxes here at the moment...driving my terriers nuts. i bet those piggies love the apples..:-)

13 Sep, 2012


The farmer up the hill has lost some of his chooks to foxes. We also have coyotes. The sound of their yips and howls would raise the hair on the back of your neck! Many hawks this year's the year of the predator. Giving the apples to the piggies might just keep us from having a visit from mr. bruin.

19 Sep, 2012


do you really get bears in your garden Lori?

19 Sep, 2012


Yes, unfortunately for the bears they do visit the neighbourhood. The local garbage facility was their home until it closed and the ministry had to relocate the bears as their source of food had disappeared and they were visiting sheds and bird feeders and apple trees, etc. They usually are no threat, but when they are hungry or have young it is best to give them lots of room.

19 Sep, 2012

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