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Meanwhile Back at Mamas...

I was a happy homestead-mama this weekend. I enjoyed the birds chirping, coffee and dog walks, ranch work, and we even snuck a date night in!

We got the pig pen built in preparation for three little pink piggies! I found that the only meat I had still been buying at the grocery store was pork, which just seemed silly - what is one more feed bucket to fill up? So, here we are, embarking once again on a journey with pigs.

We last raised pigs in 2018(ish). They were American Guinea Hogs, which were neat in terms of heritage breeds, and a nice manageable size, but we didn't get as large of a yield from them as we would have liked. This time, we're going with traditional pink piggies, in hopes of a bigger return on our pork. We will have ONE pig's worth of pork to sell! Standby for more news on this! We also began clearing a new space for our meat birds (chickens and turkeys). We had used a portion of our pasture last year for them but they had gotten out repeatedly and made quite a mess roosting on my front porch... After a long "talk" with the Homestead Husband, plans were made to ensure they were contained better (haha). They will now have a sizeable enclosed (open air, but enclosed for safety from predators of the woods) run to grow and forage in.

More land clearing is on the horizon, both to remove trees in our current paddocks, and build a bull pen to separate our bulls from the herd of cows and calves. The cattle will be moved back to the summer pasture as the ground solidifies and the grass grows in. Just in time for the "first cut". When discussing hay, the "first cut" is the first cut of the grass of the year, usually in June, pending fair weather. There is usually a "second cut" as well, towards the end of summer. This cut is richer in nutrients than the first cut. Some horses may prefer to eat second cut instead of first cut as it is usually more tender too, even after it has been dried to become hay. Just a little hay-lingo for you!

In moving the herd there will also be reductions to it, which means more beef coming to market! We have many new calves that will enjoy a natural, tranquil life here, and we will serve them until it is time for them to serve us. We are always working on methods to expand our ranch and herd, and will continue to examine opportunities (we went to go see some cattle prospects this weekend) to grow so that we can continue providing beef to our many interested parties (thank you again for your patience!!).

A side note - Orlando Bloom, the calf that had a little trouble entering the world, I am happy to report is thriving. He is nursing and playful!

We managed to snag a date night this weekend, too. If anyone needs a good recommendation, "Via Sophia" in Kennebunkport, ME is wonderful! "Wild Bevy" in Wells, ME also makes for a great liquid dessert stop!

I love a productive weekend at the ranch - when you are so tired at the end of the day, you can barely keep your eyes open. I love feeling like we have earned every ounce of that exhaustion. It's especially rewarding when the family can do it together, helping one another, and teaching our youngest how to operate things. The cow-kids are so looking forward to interacting with all of the baby animals, and helping to care for them. They have helped with planting the garden full of vegetable and flower seeds, too. When all of the soil and sun have been washed from their tiny hands, and we get to sit down to a Sunday family supper, and our beds call to us all cozy and warm, it has been a good day in my book.

Stay tuned to see the little porkers when they get to the ranch in another week or so! Happy Trails,

~The Ranch Wife


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