Sorry excuse for a Redneck …

We took Petunia to the processor last night and when we got there, we discussed how we wanted her processed.  We decided on boneless pork chops, sausage and straight ground pork.  Then the processor asked about the ribs.  I looked at Wally, he looked at me, then I said that we’d take them for the dogs.  The processor (a good ol’ boy himself) didn’t say anything to me, he just looked pointedly at Wally.  It took a few minutes, then I realized what was happening and told the processor that yes, we’d take the ribs to barbecue.  This made the processor and I’m sure Wally very happy.

What southern-born Redneck would feed pork ribs to dogs?  Unfortunately, this Yankee has no clue how to cook ribs.  Guess I’ll have to learn.

It doesn’t get any easier taking animals that you raised to the processor.  There was no avoiding watching her be shot and dying.  It was quick and hopefully she didn’t feel anything.  I try to make myself feel better by remembering that she had a good life while she was here.  She lived better than most pigs.  On the way up there, we discussed whether we even wanted to raise another pig because she wasn’t easy to keep.  We could do a better job at containing the next one(s) and the ability to use food that we’d normally throw away was a wonderful thing.  As a broke an egg for Wally’s breakfast this morning, I looked for the plastic bowl that I was keeping Petunia scraps in and then realized, she’s gone.  It is sad not to see her out in the garden.

Wally said that it was nice to know what went into the meat we’ll be getting and he’s right.  We can easily buy locally-grown pork sausage (the other cuts are not as available and quite expensive), but I know what most of these pigs are being fed and how they have been raised.  There’s a man up the street (he grows sweet potatoes) and one day while we were up there, he showed us the pig he was going to butcher soon.  That pig, a huge neutered male, was in a pen that was only large enough for him to turn around and back up a few feet.  I noticed that Petunia used one end of the garden for her toilet.  Pigs are clean animals, if allowed to be so.

I guess next year we’ll plan better and get the pig(s) (we’ll probably get two because pigs do better in company) and make sure that the garden is secure before we put them in.  We’ll get the pig(s) right at the time where tomatoes and other vegetables are abundant.  I plan next year to plant pumpkins and other winter squash.  Not sure where I’ll plant that yet, but it’s in the plan.  We’d also like to get two calves next year.  Buster has done amazingly well.  I noticed he was riding the sheep a bit yesterday, but I think he may only get the opportunity to do that when they are distracted by the Border Collies.  I need to do some research to see if castrating a bull calf will stop that behavior or not; but perhaps if there are two calves, they’d just ride each other.  I believe intact animals grow faster than neutered ones.  On the way to bring Petunia, we also talked about next year’s goat kids and what we were going to do with the buck kids.  I’d like to leave them all intact, but I guess that will depend on how many buck kids we have.

Speaking of killing what you eat: those damned cats are bringing in animals right and left.  Chipmunks galore!  Nettie landed a squirrel on Sunday.  I rescue what I can and put it back outside, but many of them are too mauled to save.

Until later …