Rose and Blanch aren't so little anymore.
We are finally moving on to the second chapter and the highly anticipated moment when all the sacrifice and struggle will pay off. Is the soap business expanding? Are we building a new facility? Has Target picked us up? The answer is no. I am talking about the little pigs we drove across the state to acquire, placed in a dog crate in the back of my car under the advisement of one bibbed wonder, and then traveled four hours with them squealing, biting, and defecating in the rear of my vehicle. Dorthey, Blanch, and Rose are Large Black Hogs. A heritage breed of pasture pigs who are sweet, docile, and known to produce the highest pork quality. As we call them, the Three Little Pigs are all expecting their first litters in the next week or so.
To say my bib overall wearing buddy is excited is an understatement. Not only does this man love his porcine princesses, but he is also like an expectant father racing around to make sure everything is prepared for his new offspring. These three litters are the first litters to be registered from stock here on the farm. Apparently, that is somewhat of a big deal to The Bibbed Wonder. He does not plan to raise these babies and send them to market; he intends to sell them as piglets and, hopefully, help others create herds of the Large Black breed.
The Large Black breed is currently on the threatened species list. In 1973, the breed originating from Cornwall, Somerset, and Devon, England, almost became extinct. The breed was placed on the Rare species and threatened livestock list. I am saddened and frustrated at the number of livestock breeds that go extinct each year. This is partly due to industrialized farming, the destruction of the family farm, and the overbreeding of certain breeds dictated by market trends. These species have provided sustenance and benefit to family farms for centuries, and they are cast off and forgotten only to disappear forever.
This is why it is essential to know your farmer. Know your farmer's practices in animal husbandry and care, and know your food source. Eric believes the pork produced from the Large Black breed is superior to other breeds he has experienced. Although he loves his Hereford breed as well, he feels the Large Black is superior. Eric's pork customers concur with this belief. The hope is, with the birth of this litter, we will be able to help sustain an exceptional breed. That will be worth all the ear-piercing squeals, the smell of poo, and the odor I struggled to remove from my car. Sigh.
You can be sure The Bibbed Wonder will be posting pictures of the new babies as soon as they are born. I can guarantee there will be other blog posts about the birth and development of this new chapter. Until then, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, have a wonderful weekend, and keep washing your hands.