For quite some time we have had plans of reclaiming about an acre of farmland that is seeded in fescue. What we know, from our ten years of farming, is that fescue is not an easy grass to get rid of. Today, even though we have been plowing our fields for 10 years, we still have fescue returning each year.
Around eight years ago we planted about 75 blueberry bushes and 100 raspberries only to have the deer graze them all down. So we have reserved an acre of land within our fenced area for small fruits. Each year we put off reclaiming that acre of land because frankly we are nervous to plant perennials in an area with established fescue.
We have been discussing our options on how to get rid of this fescue with me wanting to burn it; however, last year Joe Pisciotto, who spent the summer farming with us, suggested using pigs.
So after Joe suggested using pigs, I got to thinking about a seminar I went to quite a few years ago where I heard Joel Salatin talk about his pigs calling them, “Pigovators”, and I thought maybe pigs can live up to Joel’s namesake.
Then I spoke to Wayne, who raises a few pigs each year, and he said that pigs won’t root until they are a little order and he didn’t think the pigs would till up our fescue. My husband and I being stubborn decided that we would try using pigs anyway.
I called Warren Wilson, per Wayne’s suggestion, and got on their waiting list for their piglets which we hear are of good quality. So Jed, from the Warren Wilson farm called a couple weeks ago wanting me to pick up some piglets, so then began our new farming adventure!
Right now their acre of land is covered with snow, and has been probably since December, so we are just keeping the pigs near our barn with the goats and horses. They are active little things and enjoy rooting both inside the barn and outside in the paddock.
My parents used to raise pigs on their farm and they mentioned that pigs are very hard to contain. Let us hope that these pigs don’t escape their fenced area and end up rotting around in our crops. So off to another interesting adventure on the farm into unknown territory.