Monday, January 9, 2012

Mangalitsa - Berkshire Piglets

Three Little Pigs

Three of Link's piglets came over to Orcas from Horsedrawn Farm on Lopez Island yesterday.  Two barrows and one gilt.  They are almost two months old to the day.  Very frisky and quite cute.  Link seemed ready to move on from her litter, as they had all been weaned and were investigating the farm.  Catherine really likes to give the piglets 8 weeks with the sow, which can be hard on the sow, but Link really looked great.  Typically factory farms wean piglets at 3 weeks and start them on antibiotics, as they tend to get sick when pulled from their mother too quickly.  The other four piglets will remain on Lopez, with two different families who wanted to raise pigs with Mangalitsa genetics.

Because they are half Berkshire and half Mangalitsa, we may breed the gilt back to a pure Mangalitsa, which would yield 3/4 Mangalitsa, providing most of the characteristics of pure Mangalitsa with faster growth.  After a snack of Mangalitsa Coppa, Salami and Speck, we headed back to Orcas Island on the ferry.
Anyone who wants to drop by the Inn to see them is welcome.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back on Orcas Island

          We have just returned from a trip to the east coast, where we witnessed weather from 5 below zero in Vermont to 55 F in New York City.  Coming home we were greeted with mild weather and rain.


            Basically unblemished Chidori Kale, Swiss Chard, Lacinato and Arugula in the garden.  Hard to believe it is January 4, 2012, the temperatures have been in the 40's F both day and night.  The winds have been strong and consistent, whipping everything, but very little frost damage.

Winter Lettuces

           In the greenhouse, everything is looking great as well, normally winter crops just sit through this period, until daylight time lengthens and it warms in February.  This year, the relative warmth has everything growing slowly.  I can't help but think that we will slip into a deep freeze very soon, but I will keep my fingers crossed in hopes that does not happen.  In the meantime, we will enjoy slug free fresh greens.

          Off to Lopez Island on Sunday to pick up three Mangalitsa cross piglets from Horsedrawn Farm.
Pictures to follow.