Fresh Bacon

It’s that time of year again. Katy’s 4H swine project is on the ground and in the pen. I know most people don’t get too excited about the prospect of caring for and preparing a hog for showing but I do. Katy is learning the ins and outs of working with and training an animal for show. She has no idea all of the lessons that she can pick up through this project.

Beyond the obvious of animal stewardship there is so much to learn in management of money. If I told her all the math she will end up doing with a well done market hog project she would opt out and play soccer.

She bought a pair of gilts and barrows that are York/Landrace cross. Nice long bodied with some pretty decent looking hams.

Compared to last years pigs this bunch are very easy going and extremely friendly. It took almost a week last year before we were scratching them behind the ears. These love lushes are ready to have their bellies scratched.

Some of our beets are beginning to sprout, as well as the asparagus.

The Garlic in the greenhouse is just blowing me away. I’m so happy that I decided to build it even though I wasn’t entirely sure what I could accomplish with it. I think Theresa is afraid that I will want to expand or build another.

Katy and I decided to try our hand at making our own beef jerky. We bought the dehydrator before Christmas and have yet to give it a real work out yet. Katy is a jerky hound. She bought a bag at the feed store Friday for nearly $6. On the way home I stopped and bought some flank steak cuts for around $12 which ended up filling two gallon zip lock bags. I didn’t weigh them but I’m sure there is more than five times the weight of the store bought jerky. Best part is Katy said she likes mine better. It’s not as salty.



  1. Ron said,

    April 4, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    Hogs! Hurray! I love them things. I hope we can find some decent shoats late-July or so. I think you’re right, kids being around critters and livestock teaches them so much.I can’t believe how big your garlic is!We love jerky too… it costs so much for inferior stuff from the store. The one time we made venison jerky in the oven last fall, we must have eaten 20 lbs in a few days. :)Ron

  2. edifice rex said,

    April 5, 2009 at 8:03 AM

    I love jerky too and really want to try making my own soon. It’s great to keep a small baggy in my tool pouches at work.

  3. Hilary Cable said,

    April 5, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    This is such a wonderful blog, and your place is beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration to do more with my little urban patch!

  4. Woody said,

    April 5, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    Ron..Hopefully we can sneak in some education between the snouts and beaks.As for the greenhouse; here’s to hope that the plastic holds out till after the freeze. She is looking pretty vulnerable in these winds.Annie..I can’t keep it long enough to take to work around here. The jerky hounds are a vicious pack.Hilary..Thanks so much all all counts.

  5. Ed Abbey said,

    April 6, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    I’ve wanted one of those square dehydrators with pull out trays for awhile now. It makes making jerky easier than my round one with stackable trays which dries so inconsistently. My favorite jerky of all time is turkey jerky!

  6. Beau said,

    April 7, 2009 at 3:52 AM

    What a great project- we’re hoping to start 4H with our son this/next year of all goes well… still feeling out his interests. The greenhouse must be really neat to get things started.

  7. karl said,

    April 8, 2009 at 5:14 AM

    our bacon is about a week away. i can hardly wait. children and animals make for healthy adults.

  8. Woody said,

    April 8, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Ed…I’m very happy with the dehydrator so far. This summer we will give it a workout with drying veggies.Beau..There is just so much that 4H has to offer. If your kid is breathing there is a project that will suit.Karl..We do love our bacon.

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