Tuesday, August 16, 2011

farm thugs

We keep geese and ducks on the farm for a number of reasons. Ducks are too funny as they waddle in single file all over the property, occasionally making funny sounds. They love to bury their bills in the soft earth and eat all sorts of things that are dug in down there. We have very few mosquitoes here and know it is because the ducks spend all day searching the surface of every water holding vessel on the property, and scoop up the eggs whenever they find them.

Geese are another story. Large, impressive..and thuggish. They always travel as a gang, they are raucous and loud, quick to spread their wings to the entire 6 foot span and always willing to goose (grab a fleshy part of a human with their beak and twist) at every opportunity. On the plus side, they rarely allow anything on the farm that should not be here, and have distinctive calls for when they are annoyed or when someone, human or animal, has entered the fence line. The geese are great watch dogs but now that we have 4 of them they are quite the posse as they roam.

video
This film was shot in the way back of the farm: all the way below the woods, were the pigs dug up the ground. Always with pigs comes heavy destruction of ground. As pigs love to root with their snouts the areas they leave behind are full of divots and even large holes. The ground is stripped bare. Fellow farmers who do not have pigs are always asking about the damage done by pigs, the wide areas of bare ground left in the wake, the problems of erosion. Here is Homer's solution:

video
There is corn, watermelon, cantalope and squash growing where the pigs were a few weeks ago. We just need to leave them all alone and pull when the plants die back..but we get curious and want to harvest..planting far away from the house helps reduce the curiosity factor.

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