Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seventh Heaven at the Piggly Wiggly

Earlier this month we sent our pigs to the county fair.  After 3 years of raising pigs over the summer, we finally figured out:

A) How to get the pigs from the very back of our one-acre lot- through the farm gate, past the garden (which they could destroy in point-five seconds)...and between the yard gate into a waiting trailer.

After much hoo-hawing and general running around, my father-in-law saved the day.  "How about we corner them into the horse fence and drag the fence through the yard."  The horse panels are strong and light, so Herm-Daddy, The Mister of the House, and Mrs. Olsen lugged it over the creek, up the hill, unlatched it through the gate, blah blah blah.  Pigs!  But my garden was safe, we got them in the trailer, so it was all worth it.

In order to have "fair pigs" they need to be born in January or March.  Here they are in August. They weighed in at 277 pounds for the girl and 305 pounds for the boy. The boy was disqualified because he was too big.  My girl (my actual girl, not pig girl) walked them and brought them scraps every day over the summer.

Some years (like before this year) it's easy to find a good fair pig.  This year?  We had a tough time.  We ended up getting pigs from an ornery old-timer who seemed to think the world (or at least city zoning laws) were out to get him.  Cause they were.

These pigs had "poo daggetts" encrusted all over when they came to us in the spring.  What are poo daggets?  Nuggets of dirt and stinky pig poo dread-locked into their hair.

We hosed them, soaped them, scrubbed them, chased them, hosed them.  I was so grossed out but at the same time, felt like I was doing a rescue mission.  Here pig, let me save I can eat you later.  Messed up?  Maybe.  But they had a good life, enough space to keep relatively clean, organic feed, and plenty of water.

Here's Chloe tap-tap-tapping her pig around in front of the judge.  After watching a few rounds, I noticed they started taking pigs one by one and putting them in individual stalls.  Eventually, there's just one or two pigs left and these are the prize pigs.  So the first one in the stall = last place pig.  

So here come The Olsen's with poo dagget pig mutts and I wonder if  the judges would notice.  And yes, every pig from zoning freak got last place.  The judge tried to be nice when they exited the arena. "This pig is adequate size...adequate weight.  But like I said I just wish I could take this pig apart and put him back together".  

FYI, short squat with wide hips win the day.  I have no idea what I'm talking about. 

Lucky day Grandpa Anderson visited the pigs (and the Olsen's) at the farm.  It's fun to ask advice from my dad.  He grew up on a farm and fled fled fled for a better and cleaner life.  I'm sure he wonders where I came from when I run to the dirty germ-infested farm life (wait, that's my mom).

While looking at tractors with Chloe, he laughed when she saw a small tractor and exclaimed "Oh that tractor is A-dorable!".

Here's Olsen's-Don't-Know-What-They're-Doing Part II.  We sold 7 goats a month before fair, just wanting to get them off the property and be done. 

Lo and behold we see one of our goats showcased at the fair, with a purple grand prize ribbon.  We wanted to yank it and put it on OUR chest, after all we bottle fed these goats for two stinkin' months.  Give me that ribbon!

Here's Chloe in the last-place stall with Petunia the Pig.  We're just starting to realize that there's a good chance that the fair will be during Leif's birthday every year.  So this little trooper hung out at the fair while everyone puffed about sister and her pig.  She got $11 for showcasing her pig, and little brother couldn't believe it!  I know he was calculating what Legos he could buy if he had that money.

Here's a little reminder at the fair.  Leif's holding up 7 fingers so we know that this fair year, he turned SEVEN.

Leif is great.  Here's what makes him an awesome part of our family:

He loves his baby brother twin.  Every morning he gets him out of the crib and brings him to me.

He is quiet and observant, but surprisingly confident.  I was afraid he would be sensitive about things (friend troubles, or ?) but he is always quick to laugh.

He and little brother Isaac play together all summer.  Isaac's friends are all Leif's buddies, and Leif lets him tag along without a complaint.  They really are best little buds.

He is an awesome reader, the best in his class.

We had a party for him before the fair, so we made sure he felt special on his day.  Buenos Dias folks!


LGH said...

Amber, I love your writing style...

What a great thing your kids are learning....

Aimee said...

No fair about the goats! But at least you know you did a good job with them ;)
And Happy Birthday to Leif! He's a sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

You make farm-life seem fun! Our grandkids are learning a great worth ethic. We love you all. From Grandma A.

Holly said...

Love it! Your kids are so lucky to have such awesome experiences and parents like you guys. Miss you!

Lee Family said...

I didn't know your goat won - yes, you guys deserve that ribbon. How come you didn't talk about getting knocked over by pigs? Maddy would be begging for a trip to Logan if she saw this. Vanilla is awesome! I concur - he laughed so hard at porter this summer - they had a great time together.