Ah, the exciting life of a published author. If someone had told me 15 years ago that I’d now be living on a pig farm, I would have told that person he or she was crazy. But 14 years ago, my husband and I bought a small farm in Upstate New York with our daughter and son-in-law — ostensibly for them to grow fruits and vegetables. A couple of years later, my son-in-law brought home a pair of Yorkshire pigs and started Tinhorn Farm, his pastured pig operation. Pastured pigs are pigs that are put out in fields to root and roam, rather than kept penned in a barn. Among our resident pigs, we have Yorkshires (Benny, as a youngster), Old Spots (Clarence), and Berkshires (Nubbins).
Having pigs can be exciting. For example, one snowy winter evening, the first year we had them, I came home from work and turned into our driveway to see 400-pound Benny, his 300-pound partner Mama, and their two half-grown offspring marching toward my car. They’d broken the fence surrounding the barn. My daughter and son-in-law and their family were in in Florida visiting his father. My husband was working late. I called a farmer friend and he and I got the group back into the barn. When my husband got home, they repaired the fence.
Tinhorn Farm now has much better fencing, along with the watchful eyes of Mr. Buttons (left) and Xena (right), both black lab/boxer mixes, to keep the pigs in their pastures.
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