Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tillering With Pigs - part one

The latest two piglets I have are great rooters. Some folks would find that to be a negative trait, but I'm using it to my advantage. My attitude....let the pigs do the hard work! 

I've been moving the piglets from place to place, a feat made possible by their reasonably lightweight, flexing pen arrangement. The panels are heavy and stiff enough to prevent them from lifting them up and getting out. But light enough for me to lift and move. 

In the photo below, the piglets have just been moved to a new location. The grass is rather rhick and long, though it got knocked down by moving the pen. I'd like to start converting this area to food production, namely sweet potatoes and taro, which tolerate partial shade. But the tropical grasses have to go first. I've learned by experience that hand digging it out is work, harder than working out in a gym, for sure. The grass roots are beyond what even I would term "challenging". Hum, try "impossible"! If I had to do this project by hand, I'd be very tempted to spray round-up. 

The piggies had a blast being moved to such long, thick grass. For the first ten minutes they frolicked and ran figure eights. Occasionally diving under the grass, they barked with excitement. They can be such fun to watch. Happy piglets makes the heart smile. Soon they settled down, so I filled their food buckets then let them settle into their new digs. Digs....literally. 

Above----- eating like a pig. Talk about getting into your food! 

48 hours later things sure look a bit different. No serious rooting yet, but all the juicy green grass is gone. Yes, pigs graze grass. Most people don't know that. Over the next couple days, even the coarse grass stems will get consumed and we should start see lots of pig snout rototillering. 

I'll post about their progress in a few days, 

1 comment:

  1. I hope those "bacon bits" do a good job of simultaneously cultivating and fertilizing the soil. Is the main grass they are on composed of Cynodon dactylon ( aka devil/couch/Bermuda/kweek grass? If so, the stolons can extend as much as 6 feet down, so regrowth even months later is common. I know - many years ago, I double-deep-dug a garden bed in a high desert area, sifting out every last twig and stub of that bermudagrass, building "perfect" compost-rich sandy loam for vegetable growing. It was totally grass-free the first year, but two years after we moved, I learned that it had reverted to weedy bermudagrass, as the new tenants were non-gardeners. (I'm just happy to be out of the desert...)