Friday's Weekend Column
The Pigs Are Bacon
by James Glaser
What a difference a week makes. Even though Farmer Ron had a broken index finger and sore ribs from last weeks episode he got those little piggies to market. It was like this week all the pigs said "lets end this holdout." I think they could see a Minnesota winter coming on and decided to end it all.
At 6 AM Ron was knocking on my door ready to go. It was still dark out and we couldn't do anything for a hour, but he explained that he had been up since four and decided to come over and get me early. Lucky me!
This week we used no ramp, backed the trailer right up to the pig house door, and jacked the front of the trailer up so there wasn't much of a step to get in. Well it wasn't quite that easy. First we had to take down the pig pen and all the steel posts that were in the way. Oh yeah, we had to chain saw off part of one rafter where the trailer roof hit. Ron puts his posts at least 30 inches in the ground and seeing as it had frozen solid several times already this year, it was the "handyman" jack and chain method. We also had to move one derelict car out of the way and wouldn't you know that it had four flats.
I did happen to mention that he had a week to do all of this, in fact I think I may have mentioned that several times. Heck what are friends for, Ron would say.
Those pigs hadn't eaten for thirty six hours and we put grain on the floor near the front of the trailer. When we slid their door open and the only place they could go was into that trailer. My pig, the good pig was the first one to the feed and three others followed. The two biggest pigs just laid there and slept.
I told Ron to get in that house and push those pigs in. He said we were going in the house for breakfast. Ham and eggs. We watched that trailer and those other two were not going in. We went back out and closed the "half way gate" in the trailer that separates the front half from the back, just to make sure that we wouldn't lose those first four.
Ron told me he had a plan and I said "about time." Well as it turned out, it was Ron's wife's plan. Vicky got a few over ripe melons from her sister and we broke them open and set them in the back of the trailer. Just the smell of those melons woke those two sleeping pigs and they fought to get into that trailer and to those melons.
I asked Ron if Vicky had mentioned that "melon Plan" last week and he said she had, but who would have thought that would work? Come to find out that Vicky had the trailer to the door plan ready last week too, but really who would have thought that would work? Right. The Pigs were loaded and it was off to the butcher.
Mel and Donna Soder, our butchers do make the best bacon and smoked hams and their place looks hospital clean. Ron feeds no chemicals nor medicine to those pigs and they are treated so very well. When cooking the bacon you have to watch it close as there isn't very much fat like store bought bacon. Same with the sausage.
Our Garden and those pigs are a lot of work and then there is the canning and freezing of produce and meat. I doubt if you added everything up we were not saving any money, but it is worth the time and effort.
Next year we are putting Vicky in charge of the pig operation and Ron and I will just follow her directions. I am kind of looking forward to that and Ron has a year of listening to "I told you so." I will be there to remind Vicky about how really inventive her plans were. Heck what are friends for?
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