We are continuing the process of downsizing our production in order to accomplish some of our goals, such as building an agritourism vacation rental to generate income, and to build ourselves a place to live so we can stop paying rent. As part of this plan, we have leased out our sow Mary to our neighbor for a year and we are delaying breeding our other sow, Nellie. The sheep flock has been pared down to the best breeding ewes and their lambs. Three or four yearling lambs are available for purchase this summer.
Moving Mary to the neighbors’ farm was a new experience for us and went more smoothly than we had expected. With the combined efforts of Roy, Zeb, Rebecca and our neighbors Meagan and Brady, we led Mary from her grassy paddock towards a mobile enclosure that Roy rigged together from hog panel fencing. The guys each held a section of the fence that enclosed her and Rebecca walked backwards up the driveway and down the street, leading Mary forward with a bucket of treats. (Photo by Meagan Schalich) Meagan directed traffic away from our little parade with an orange flag. We provided a lot of amusement that day for the people along Middle Two Rock Road.
Mary is one smart pig, and when she got to the border of our property she hesitated, reluctant to leave. But once we convinced her to move forward, she smoothly trotted along the rest of the way. She is now happily installed at Old Seeder Farm for the year, where she is receiving much love and attention from Brady, Megan and their toddler Riley.
This story appeared previously in the Newletter of Green Goose Farm.
Rebecca Bell Black is a member of Slow Food Russian River and is co-owner with Roy Smith of Green Goose Farm in Sonoma County where they raise heritage pigs, sheep and poultry.