Singing to the pigs

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

I was one of those kids that grew up on a farm. My grandparents raised milking cows, beef steer, and eggs layer chickens in one of the big metal chicken barns so well known now in Maine history. They had an orchard, a family vegetable garden as well as beautiful flowers outlining their home. We would help hay the fields every summer. It was the same story every year. We would get the call on the hottest possible day, "we have to put the hay in today, tomorrow is forecasted to rain! "

My parents carried on the farm tradition minus the hay and cows. Instead we raised pigs. I have vivid memories of using the wooden pig pen rails as a balance beam singing my heart out to those pigs. We had Duroc crosses at that time. They would till up our fields like no tomorrow. If I remember right this was my Dad's plan, to get rid of some small trees and shrubs that had overgrown the area. Numerous times the pigs broke out of the fence and held up the traffic in our small country town.

Fast forward through the school age years, I got married, and we purchased our first home.

Within the first few years we decided to have our own little farm. Everyone knows that chickens are the gateway animal. We enjoyed collecting our very own farm fresh eggs. The next kind of animal that we added to our farm were pigs. I am a pig farmer at heart. This time we raised a Yorkshire cross. We dabbled in milking goats at that time as well. Our children had a lot of fun helping us with this first family farm.

Since then we have moved multiple times.

Each time we moved we gathered a new group of animals, learning new skills, failing in some ways thriving in others. We opened our first "real farm" in 2012, we named it Grazing Hill Farm. We sold our eggs, pasture pork, and breeding stock pigs and sheep. We had a whole lot of pasture land to allow our chickens, sheep, goats and even pigs graze there. Wait a minute, did I say pigs graze? Yup, it was at this point that we found the Kunekune breed. They have a short upturned snout making them very good grazers! Oh to be clear, we tried the Idaho Pasture pig first. We found them to be inconsistent in many ways and not a true grazer.

Today we have reestablish our farm as GHF, this is our original herd abbreviation with the American Kunekune Pig Registry. After all the moves to get where we are we truly feel Grace Hope Faith fits us well. We have been back here in Fryeburg Maine for over three years now and are well settled into our new homestead. This is not only the home of the Fryeburg Fair it is also the home of the Fryeburg Academy, where I graduated. It feels good to be back at my home again.

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