Thursday, July 28, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Fifth Week of July 2016

Have you ever heard the expression, “Sweating like a pig” when someone is sweating profusely?

It’s a particularly strange statement since pigs don’t sweat much.   They have sweat glands but they are not effective, so pigs wallow in mud to keep cool.

This week in Massachusetts every day has been in the mid 90’s with heat indexes about 100F.   It’s been miserable.

Hazel Marie, our 200 pound pig, has never liked getting wet.   Before we adopted her, she lived indoors and never experienced the hot of Summer of the cold of Winter.

This week, she learned the joys of cooling off.   I started giving her cool water sponge baths, which she tolerated but did not really enjoy.    We set out a cool spray and she stood a few feet away, taking in the mist but not relishing the full stream.

Yesterday, she decided that water was her friend and now can’t get enough.   She begs us to spray her, rolls in the full stream, loving her baths.     Clearly my next farm invention needs to be a snout actuated pig shower.    Tofu, our smaller pig, still prefers his mud.

Every month on the farm has its focus.   July is a month of harvesting basil, cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, garlic, and honey.  

Farming just like gardening but on a larger scale.  Here’s what a honey tank looks like after spining a few frames.

We continue to scale up all aspects of our honey production - wax melting, spinning, settling, and bottling.

This week we let all the young guineas and chickens out of their mini-coops so they are now free ranging.   Given the hot, dry weather, we’re watching them closely since our predator load is high - there’s not much to eat in the forest at the moment, so young birds are very tempting.

Much of our evening and weekend time is spent keeping our creatures cool and hydrated.   The good news is that temperatures will drop to a comfortable 80 degrees on Friday.   We’ll continue to pray for rain!

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