Fall’s Tiny Chores Needing Doing! – I’m Not Cheap – I’m Frugal!

Curly Q. Pig now has an appointment with the butcher set for the 19th of October. By that time he will be tipping the scales at 280 – 300 pounds. The best I can tell he has averaged about 1 1/4 pounds of weight gain for everyday I have had him on feed. When Curly Q. Pig goes to market I will have had him on feed about 190 days and he weighed about 40 or maybe as much as 50 pounds when I got him last April.

Pig’s New Pen and Shed was constructed and ready for Curly Q. Pig this past July. It makes it much easier for me to keep him and his pen clean, the pig now has more and better shade with a automatic water mister system to keep my pig cool during the hot (105 to 115 degree) summer days without the need for a mud pit.

I may be forced to start doing the processing myself. Processing fees have almost doubled in the past 3 or so years. The best prices I can find this year is $30 kill, scald and scrap fee, $30 disposal fee for the bits and parts I don’t want to keep, 49 cents a pound cutup and vacuum pack fee and another 65 cents a pound for ham and bacon curing. That will make this fat little pig pretty costly by the time he’s in my deep freezer.

Still much cheaper per pound than buying pork at my local market. The best part is I know without doubt that he has not been pumped full of growth hormones and shot full of antibiotics.

Hot sauce Redo! 2 pints of homemade hot sauce that wasn’t very hot and was to thin{watery}, so I dumped them back into a pan, added 2 tablespoons of hot red pepper flakes, 2 jalapeno peppers I chopped up in the blender {seeds and all}, 1 tablespoon of oregano, a bit more garlic powder. Boiled it down to thicken up the sauce and re-caned the sauce. Smiling, Now It’s Hot Sauce!

I had just enough beets to make one pint of pickled beets. That’s now setting on the kitchen counter top cooling. Nothing special, just a bit of sugar, cloves, garlic, mustard seed and hot white vinegar. Processed in a water bath for 15 minutes.

We are still in a 5 year long drought, if we don’t get a hard rain soon to put a little water back in our catfish pond we will loose our investment in fish we stocked this past spring. If we can get a rain or 2 this fall and winter by next fall we will have catfish that weigh about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds. Not overly large but we can start harvesting a few fish for table use. I am looking forward to fresh catfish, harvested from our catfish pond.

Currently it is 60 degrees and radar is showing a T-Storm about 30 miles south/southwest of me. If it holds together maybe I will get a little rain in an hour or so. Temperature is forecast to in the low 70’s today, so my current 60 degrees may be very near the high for the day if the rain storm holds together and we get a strong Thunder Storm.

My tiny garden plot is in serious need of being tilled, but, until we get a rain or two, the soil is simply to dry and hard to be worked. I need to start working in compost and humus to prepare my garden plot for next spring’s planting. Several tilling during the fall and winter helps to kill weeds, grass roots and insect eggs and larva exposing them to the cold of winter and dry air killing them.

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13 responses to “Fall’s Tiny Chores Needing Doing! – I’m Not Cheap – I’m Frugal!

  1. Your demister is an essential for a pig that has no access to mud or water to cool off in. I am aware of a very successful commercial pig farmer who installed a shower for his pigs activated by them (one at a time, no sharing with a frriend) standing on a plate that turned on the shower. The pigs showered regularly, particularly before going to bed at night, and at times when the summer heat got a bit much for them in the middle of the day. Your weight gain is about right, but you are probably aiming your killing weight too high. A 160 lb carcase weight on the hook after cooling is a good optimum for maximum meat proportion.. Beyond that weight you will have produced a lot of fat.
    I enjoyed the blog.


    • Re: hakepa – Thanks for visiting my tiny blog.
      For reason unknown to me local commercial pig growers shoot for about 260 – 280 pound live weight at 6 to 7 months of age.
      I feed mine to about 280 to 300 pounds for 2 main reasons.
      (1). I don’t like my pork or beef as lean trimmed as most people like their meat trimmed. I have a bit of extra fat put in my sausage for a better flavor. Grin .. at my age the threat of pork fat being bad for me is not high on my list of thing I worry about.
      (2) Excess fat is returned to me and my son-n-laws sister renders it down to use in cooking and in making soaps that she sells in her little soap/candle cottage store.
      Happy Halloween


  2. That’s a fine looking pig Po. The auto-mister is a great idea. I’ll have to remember that for next year’s piglet. It sounds like you’ve been busy. Fall chores always seem to carry a sense of urgency don’t they? I do hope you got the rain you were looking for.


    • Re: Libby Keane Grinning – It seems silly, but there so many livestock herds being reduced in size (lack of grass) that I had to get an ‘appointment’ to have Curly processed and the earliest date was the 19th of October!
      Your right, many projects that I have been putting off now or very soon Must be done before winters cold arrives.
      Time for Mums and Pansies..
      Happy gardening


  3. The best part of buying half a “happy” pig a few years (yes, we did meet him before his demise) was discovering the wonders of so much of the pig you rarely find on the market — the tasty pork belly, fresh bacon, especially. My wife practically created designer pork in her consultations with the butcher. There was very little waste in that transaction.
    So we’re fully with you in touting the advantages of going Whole Hog … or half.


    • Re: Jnana Hodson – being a card carrying member of the post war generation, raised by parents and grand parents that had just survived the ‘Great Depression’ and the big one ‘WWII’ raising and caring for my food has been a big part of my live. {you know, Waste not, Want not}. My livestock often get names, are well fed and well cared for, but I never forget they are my next meal and not a family member or my pet.

      Happy farming/gardening


  4. It is a busy time of year! I’m actually looking forward to tilling the garden, planting garlic and putting the rest to bed.


    • Re: Heidi @ lightlycrunchy – I’m hoping for enough rain to wet my dirt enough to plant Fall Garlic, it simply does better than Spring planted Garlic.
      Let me know how your vampire repellent project works out 🙂


  5. Curly Q’s appointment sounds worse than a serious dentist appointment! (I’m feeling a little bit guilty over enjoying the bacon I ate this morning.)


    • Re: wordsfromanneli – Grin .. the worst part about Curly Q.Pigs appointment is the rooster that has moved in with him won’t have anyone to sleep with! I’m not sure but I think the rooster stands guard while Curly sleeps!
      Happy Fall Gardening


  6. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    That’s quite a “to do” list.
    What made my day was, “I’m not cheap–I’m frugal.”
    I relocated my cousin Dave to Washington and took care of him for 5 years. A lifetime of drink and drugs left him wasted, cranky, and demented. There were lots of laughs between the bad times. “I’m not cheap–I’m frugal,” was one of his favorite expressions. Thanks for the smile.
    You’ve got tornadoes. I’m surrounded by wildfires. Not sure what’s worse. Probably tornadoes. You can’t fight them.


    • Re: Teresa Cleveland Wendel – I think your right a fire is almost like a disaster moving in slow motion. The entire state of OK. is and has been under a Governor declared fire ban for the past 2 or maybe 3 months.
      Happy Fall Gardens


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