Sunday, August 03, 2014
today was a sad day. you see, we took bacon and bacon to a nearby little butcher who does such things for people with small holdings like ours. it was time for them to become the bacon they were named for. their joyful little countenances have given us happiness since the beginning of april, but it was time. if we let them get much bigger, the roasts and pork chops would have been quite unmanageable for us.
they had a very good life here with us and we thoroughly enjoyed them. but what it was about in the end was that we would know the source of our meat supply. we would know what they ate, whether they had space to explore and whether they were allowed to root around and be pigs. and they had all of that. plus, we really did fall a little bit in love with them. they are friendly and curious and happy. and we will honor them by preparing them lovingly for our table over the coming months.
they were so curious, it wasn't at all difficult to get them interested in hopping right up into the trailer. we just used some boards and blocked off and opened the ramp. curiously, it didn't feel like we were tricking them or leading them to their death (tho' we sort of were), it felt right and it was a big relief that we could load them without any struggle at all.
it helped that it was late afternoon and time for a snack anyway, so they were very keen to check out what was in the buckets we placed in the front of the horse trailer to coax them in. it was important to us that they didn't feel stressed out by the experience.
they were a little unsure of the footing on the ramp at first, but the clean, fresh straw inside and the sight of their buckets helped them overcome their fear and they were soon inside, happily munching away. it was a stress free experience for all of us, which was a big relief. i didn't go along to the butcher (they will actually be slaughtered tomorrow), as that would have been too much for me, but husband said that one of them was so relaxed when he got there that she was lying down, relaxing and didn't want to get out of the trailer.
we've not yet finished our smokehouse, so we're just having them cut up in a traditional way, into roasts and pork chops and such. i will try to make some fresh sausages, because that's something i want to learn, but we will leave the ham-making to next spring's pigs. because we are definitely doing this again. this is why we moved out here to the countryside. and even tho' i will miss them, i also know that they are fulfilling their purpose and they are helping us move one step closer to our goals of being at least partially self-sustainable and when we eat them, we will definitely be eating local.