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I’ve been totally remiss in posting lately. Not that we haven’t been busy with our garden, animals and plans for the new house. If anything, we’re busier than ever. Hopefully the next couple of posts can make up for it.

So. Pototoes. For the last two summers, the weather was so wet, my crop of spuds was pathetic. Last year in fact, my entire crop was drowned by June rains shortly after it was planted. Other years, the wetness caused the weeds to thrive and my seedlings to cower and shrivel under them.

How to get rid of the weeds and get the garden back on track? I couldn’t even use the soil elsewhere is was so full of roots. I refused to use Roundup or any other chemical for obvious reasons. At one point I thought I might buy a propane torch and burn the weeds and their seeds. Then Nora said one day, “Why don’t you get pigs? They’ll eat everything on the surface and down to about a foot underground.”

Well, that was a revelation. Next thing you know, we had two weaners lined up to buy from a neighbor. That deal fell through when a bobcat or coyote got in a ate all her weanlings. But we found a couple of 100 pounders shortly after and the owner was glad to deliver them.

The idea was to give the piggies the run of the garden till fall and then… well, bacon time! I have had trouble with store-bought pork for years now. Believe it or not, I would get incredible insomnia after eating something as simple as a pork chop. I later found out this is a common reaction to eating pork from old animals who have accumulated toxins. We didn’t eat much bacon or pork at all anymore and this would be a great opportunity to fill our freezer and revive some favorite recipes.

So, the piggies arrived the first week of March. They were about 50lbs, so a bit bigger then weaners. It was still too cold to put them outside, so they lived in a shed for a couple of months. Not knowing anything about them and hearing that Nora had been bitten once by one of her hogs, I was somewhat hesitant at first. But slowly, I coaxed them with treats and by second week was giving them big scratches and pets at feeding time.

Then came transfer day, the day when we had to get them out of the shed and into the fenced garden. I had completely forgotten all the nursery rhyme illustrations I’d seen in my life of piggies fleeing farmers and their pitch forks. It was a long day. The piggies loved the forest adjacent to our house. They refused to be herded, coaxed, yelled at, trapped, danced to or ignored. Nothing worked to get them home but that favorite of all fleeing beasts, scrambled eggs. One whiff and they would follow me anywhere. Out of the woods, up a ladder, skydiving, you name it. Scrambled eggs were the pièce de résistance and we finally got them home and into the garden.

But then – what was I thinking? – I thought I would hold off installing the electric fence till I saw that it was necessary. Ha, ha. Yes, more scrambled eggs were cooked and consumed before the piggies decided to stay home. By the way, I did not know that piggies scream like people when they touch their noses to an electric fence. “Aaaah!” Just like people. “Aaaah!” They learned. “Aaaah!” I laughed. “Aaaah!” “Stop that!”