I Can Raise It Myself
Well of course! I truly believe that most people really can do most anything they put their mind to. Yes, there may be financial obstacles, social obstacles, physical obstacles, etc. But at the nuts and bolts level; I believe that most people are capable. I can’t tell you the number of times people will come to our tent or a neighboring tent at a market and say, “Wow! That “xyz” is so expensive.” .'”I can raise it myself – cheaper.” Or, “I bought “xyz” from so-in-so last year and it was only this much!” “It didn’t cost me that much to raise.” This comment is usually followed by, “But I’m not doing it this year.”
We; the farmer and I, truly encourage everyone who is interested, to grow or raise some of their own food. We encourage, even if that means we are losing a customer because of it. Not only do we encourage, but we offer help and a cheerleading squad to go along side. We want people to live healthier lives and we want people to experience and know what time, money and commitment goes into raising food. We want people to experience the satisfaction and gratitude that comes from sitting down to a meal made with food that they have had a relationship with.
Maybe? I guess possibly. It really depends on how you raise or grow them. Pigs are on my mind because it is the time of year for us to purchase piglets for ourselves and customers. For the last couple of years, we have paid, between $110 and $125 for piglets. This is not top secret info and when we tell people this, some say “Wow! That is a lot.” And some say, “I’ve bought piglets for $50 each!” Two opposite exclamations, both correct.
You Get What You Pay For
Please don’t get me wrong. The farmer and I are as frugal as they come. Our vehicles: all second hand. Our clothes: mostly all second hand. Our furniture: older than most people reading this blog. We are practical and choose to live a life of a tight budget in order to do what we love to do. Farm!
Farming, the way we farm… is not cheaper.
A person “could” find a piglet for $50 each. Yes, that is true. Most likely from a random person, who found themselves in a situation that they are trying to get out of. Or from a person who is selling piglets in the late fall because they don’t want to feed and house them all winter. Not fun for anyone, FYI ! But unlike our second hand “things”, for our livestock, our food, your food, we pay for Better which means we pay More.
Better Start = Better Finish
Each person, each homesteader, each farmer has their own way of doing things. There are many different ways, many different reasons and you really just have to find that way that works for you. One of my mantras, “Buy the best you can afford at the time.” And throughout our lives this will look different depending on the season. As far as livestock goes: We believe that a better start in life equals a better finished product.
All Are Not Equal
Last year our piglets came from a local Maine farm. This year our piglets will come from a local Maine farm. A certified, disease free farm. A farm that we visit quite regularly throughout the year and know what the set-up looks like and how the animals are treated in every season. We feel good about starting our food – your food off as a piglet from this farm. They are healthy, strong, and great quality. Those traits will carry through as we raise the pigs. It is worth the money.
We have contacted local places in the past, that were offering piglets cheaper. For a reasonable fee, the person will deliver the pigs. Score! Un-score.
Thankfully we learned a valuable lesson before it was too late. We like to see where our livestock is raised. Talk to the people raising them and look at the overall set up. We want to make sure that the livestock we purchase has started out in a way that will help us be successful and help us in raising an exceptional food for our customer. The farmer and I have literally driven down driveways to “farms” and turned around and left. You get what you pay for, and we were not paying for that!
You Are What You Eat
So you’ve decided that you want to eat better quality food. That phrase can mean many different things. Local, pastured, organic, homemade, pesticide free, farm raised, no growth hormones, no antibiotics, etc. But for whatever reason, you have decided to eat a particular way. What we want in our food, is food that lived its life as closely to how it was created to live. We want it to live a healthy, strong life and in turn become food that gives us health and strength. We choose to woodland raise our pigs. They have a large area to roam, root, dig, eat acorns, bugs, natural vegetation and live as pigs were intended. We also offer them a locally sourced, all natural grain. It is balanced nutrition and contains all of the natural elements that pigs need for healthy growth. It is the best we can afford and we feel great about what we are doing.
Another option. A cheaper option. Is to give your pigs a small area to live. That way, they are not moving too much, running, wasting energy. Rather, they are sedentary and turning energy into meat or fat. They grow fatter, more quickly. Another cheaper option is to feed your pigs slop, food scraps from restaurants or stores, loaves of bread, any type of food you can find that is cheap or free! They will eat it and they will grow. Pigs are omnivores; they will eat anything.
We Want To Offer The Best That We Can Afford
We don’t want fat pigs. We want muscular pigs, with some fat. We don’t want our pigs to eat junk food, because we try to avoid junk food. We want our pigs to eat naturally, because that is how we want to eat. We want them to start off and remain healthy, because that is the goal for us: health. Is it possible to do things in a better way then what we do? Of course! There is always a better way and we learn, grow and change each year. But, we do know that we do the best we can. We do better than many. And we do what works best for our farm and our customers. Could we raise our pigs cheaper? Yes of course. But we are worth more. And you are worth more too!
Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit about our farm practices. Please let us know if you have any questions or leave a comment below. Share your pig raising experiences with us. We love to learn from others! -Staci, the farmers wife