About Those Piglets, Honey

We talked to a man about a pig the other day. At the grocery store. Not in the pork section, but over by the front door, where the newspapers and flower bouquets are. It may seem an odd place to discuss livestock, but our town is small, there’s only one grocery store, and in the winter, you know or recognize most everyone in there. Business happens between the curly kale and the navel oranges.

When we walked in, I veered right to look at O magazine, while Roy moved on down the produce aisle to talk to someone. I looked up and saw that it was the pig man. “We’ll take four,” I heard Roy say. Luckily, I put the magazine down in time to walk over and say, “He meant two.” More is always better, if you ask Roy, but if we are going to raise piglets for the first time, then I say start with two, not four. We’ll get them in the spring and it will take six to seven months to raise them to slaughter weight (250 pounds). They’ll need a pen and shelter, not to mention food. A lot of food. And a lot of water. And then of course, we will need a big freezer, which we don’t have. (One can only hope that our luck with free appliances continues.) These are Berkshire pigs (like the black sow above, right), known for very tasty bacon.

It is no secret that I am crazy about pigs. (That’s me in the  top photo, five—yes, five—years ago in my first few months on the Vineyard. I was developing recipes for my first book and feeding leftovers to some friendly sows owned by my new friend Liz Packer. I subsequently went around taking photos of pigs all over the Island. My favorite is below.) So this is surely going to be interesting. Both Libby and I have suggested that maybe one of the piglets should be a female. You know, just in case we decide to keep a breeding sow. I’m really not sure who is crazier, me or Roy. It’s kind of a dangerous combination. Will keep you posted.

In the meantime, just to gear myself up for all this, I’m going to make these delicious spareribs from Fine Cooking magazine for the Super Bowl. Or maybe these meatballs. Or this ragu. Yeah, I know, yikes.


7 thoughts on “About Those Piglets, Honey”

  1. Great shot of you, who took that anyway???
    It’s about time you got some pigs for your farmette!

  2. Oh, and you’ll be glad to know that my friend Betsy was excited to inform me that you had a bok choy recipe in the latest O Magazine, maybe that’s why you were browsing it at the grocery store!

  3. Hey, I almost said on Facebook (except that I posted the wrong picture) — and photo By the fabulous Eliza Peter (luckily I do credit you on “the cook” page on the website–ha!) Can you believe that was five years ago? Whew! Well, yes, I guess it is time for piggies. ANd yes, The O writer called me for a few greens ideas a while back so I was glad to see they made it into the mag. I actually subscribe to O, but for some reason my copy hasn’t come!

  4. Ah piggies to visit when I come for your amazing veggies and eggs!
    Will be interesting to see if two or four show up on the green farm.
    Good Luck and I have no doubt that they will be happy with their new home!

  5. Hi MJ — we will make you fairy godmother to the piggies–but no worries, you don’t have to get in the pen with them!! xo susie

  6. Hi Mom, I think you meant to comment on the other piggie blog (the one from last week), so maybe that is why you didn’t see this come up. But anyway, the piggies are doing well!!

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