In June this year I moved our little family out of the rented townhouse stuck in the corner of two railway lines to the country. Well sort of. I work in the CBD every day, so it can’t be too far out. However, I am surrounded by farms and my daughter goes to a small village school, and the only other public building for miles around is the old community hall. And I don’t have a ride on mower! I only have a quarter acre block excised from a paddock, so we have cows and horses nuzzling our fence, and occasionally blocking the driveway…
I have been fantasising about raising our own protein – R2 is allergic to eggs, and the chickpeas won’t cut it every night. At first I was really into the idea of my own cow and goats, but was reminded of the limited nature of my land and the need to milk every single day. Then, after reading about the chemicals in commercial bacon and ham, I decided that pigs would be the way to go, and R2 was very enthusiastic about the idea as he would live on sausages every day of the year if he could.
Anyway, yesterday we were invited up to the farmhouse on top of the hill (Governor Lamington’s former residence) to look at our neighbour’s new pigs. This is my neighbour who has a herd of 4 cows which he keeps for meat, and which he names…. Yes, next year it is likely to be Betsy which goes on the bbq. He now has two pedigree black pigs (I will ask what the breed is) named Barnaby and Doris (nearly called Joyce), and one runt called Poo. And they smell…so there goes my idea of keeping them on my house block sized property. But did you know that pigs are highly hygienic creatures? They will only poo in the corner furthest from where they sleep.
Our neighbour plans on breeding and smoking / curing his own pigs / ham.bacon.sausages.chops. And lucky us, because while he is unable to sell his meat commercially, providing a few chops to his neighbours should be ok. This is what I love about my community. I am slowly transitioning out of the dependent food paradigm we used to be enmeshed in, and hopefully will be eating better, more healthily, cheaper and with more variety.
But the idea of naming and then eating the animals?? I would prefer to name them Chops or Sausages or Bacon, rather than to look down at my plate and know that I am eating Poo.