Y’all, we have finally done it! We have our first farm animals on the new homestead. Thanks to our local 4-H program, my Buddy has two pigs. He has named them Bacon and Moolah since the program allows the family to keep one and sell the other at auction. Our young man spends his money with intention and already tends to save it more than spend it, and he is excited about venturing into a potential money-making project. We are proud of the lessons in consistency and responsibility that will naturally come with such a project. The whole family has been eagerly awaiting the day we had animals, so we all celebrated.
I will admit, however, that those pigs are intimidating! We have never had an animal that big to care for on the homestead; it makes me a bit nervous. The pigs were in their enclosure for a total of an hour before we began discussing ways to get a couple more to put on our market garden spot. They certainly do a thorough tilling job!
One of our intentions with this place is to force ourselves to keep it one step at a time. When you start checking off that goals list for a homestead, the momentum can easily drive you into overcommitting to new projects. The excitement of one kind of animal or one garden spot drives you to want to start all the things on the wish list. We learned the hard way last time, though, that is not the way to do it. Unless you can quit all other responsibilities and focus solely on growing that hobby farm, pick one thing. Do the one thing well, and make sure your systems are easy and simple and serve the animal or land well. Once that is done, the next goal on the list can be accomplished. For now, we will learn right along with our Buddy how to properly care for pigs.