Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Bacon Scramble

Yikes - looks like there might be fewer feeder pigs this year. Does everyone know about this? The virus that is killing piglets?

That is a beautiful pig. So much bacon...

We'll be looking for pigs in the next couple of weeks. This virus tho, is some serious business. This story talks about how quickly it spreads and how it can wipe out a new crop of bacon seeds fast. The good news is tho, if the piglets make it, they will be fine. And no, doesn't look like it is a threat to people. Altho lack of bacon is a crime.

The last sentence of that article is staying with me, "We're all used to: 'We've got plenty of food, it's cheap. We'll eat what we want to,'" Meyer said. "We Americans are very spoiled by that, but this is one of those times that we're going to find out that when one of these things hits, it costs us a lot of money."

For a lot of reasons I've been thinking about this very thing. I'm concerned about the drought that has been on the West Coast - and if we are going to have a hotter than normal summer... and if we are already heading into the growing season without a lot of bacon. You know that food prices are just going to keep going up.  And no joke... the drug cartels in Mexico are killing each other over... limes. So what do you think is going to happen if there is a real food shortage and not just a garnish fruit?

What do you do?

Make your own food. Get a garden growing, get some meat chickens, do what you can with what you have. I know a bunch of folks who raise meat rabbits for their table and do a bang up job. Rabbits are easy to raise, easy to process, and well... breed like rabbits.

Well. They are made of meat....

As for us... we may have to look at alternatives to pigs. Very soon we are going to be flooded with goats... so this could be the first ever Year of the Goat BBQ. It is the world's most popular meat.

I'm also keeping my eye open for lambs. The trouble with lambs around here is that everyone wants them for 4H projects. Which is great - unless you are the person that wants to just have sheep and don't need the fancy, ribbon winning ones. They are expensive.

Another option would be to swoop in and scoop up some bull calves from the dairy operations around here. If we are going to have buckets and buckets of goat milk, well then, might as well feed out a bull calf, finish him on pasture, and call it veal. Is that horrible? No - what do you think they do with all the male calves on a dairy?

So we'll see what happen. But however it turns out - this could be a very interesting year in farming.

Happy Friday everyone - do you have your meat strategy worked out?


9 comments:

Kaela said...

I can tell you from experience that raising rabbits is way easier than raising sheep. Sheep have this unfortunate habit of dying for no damn good reason. Stupid sheep.

Tanmay Roy said...

Love the photos. Thumbs up!

♥ Jessica said...

We have 2 lambs (found some NOT listed for 4H prices), chickens for eggs but I was thinking maybe meat chickens (maybe), 2 pigs coming in 4 weeks, and we buy a 1/4-1/2 cow from local friends who raise them.

I also garden with plans to yield as much as possible for our family of five this year. I'm tired of the grocery store...

Anonymous said...

Hello...I came here from the Cold Antler site..

in answer to your query: what about beef? I'm rather biased, being a beef farmer, but we share the same living situation (!) "living in a flyover zone" - I'm in Iowa. 8-)

anyway, pigs are disgusting (sorry, I'm just trying to persuade you); beef is much better, but goats will do in a pinch!!

it's warm here today so I'm out the door without my usual 4 layers of clothing!!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes I saw that on the national news last night, sad. Time for pork in the freezer!

Jody said...

We can't raise pigs here. So we've pretty much gone without. This year I finally found a farmer who will raise one for us the right way. So bacon, here we come! Yes! Sorry to hear you could loose yours. Hopefully at least the younger ones will beat the virus.

Ann from KY said...

We raised 4 calves on goat milk last year. They really did wonderful on it. The calves LOVED it! They would just about do a little dance when they saw us coming with the bottles.
My vet said that goat milk is the universal donor milk. It all does good on goat milk. Also, we had zero problems with scours. My vet wasn't surprised.
Just go slow switching them from what ever to the goat milk. That's the hardest part about it all since the calves are so stressed from early not wonderful life.

David said...

Do what you can. Rabbits sound like a great idea.

Mollie | Jennings Brae Bank Farm said...

We are finding out just how difficult it is to get feeder pigs this year! It's almost impossible. We are working on it, but I'm just as concerned as you about the bacon shortage. Everyone is telling us we should just start raising our own, but I don't like the idea of feeding them over the winter. Grain prices are up, so that's an expensive proposition.
I'm not sure where you are in OH, but I've heard some really horrible stories about this virus. Hope yours stay healthy!

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