The grass, at least in patches, is long and healthy and it’s the first time since I hived it off that there’s any visible difference from one side of the fence to the other. All through this corner section the growth is strong. They reckon it’s still another couple of weeks before the grass really gets going, but at least one bit of my place looks like it’s ready to surge forth.
Today it snowed. Not quite snowed here, but at 200 metres above sea level the precipitation was more likely to be gentle flakes than fat raindrops. It chucked it down all night, which is great for the paddocks in spring, but when the thermometer only gets to about 9C you can see why not a lot of plants have really hit their growth spurt. It’ll take a while for the ground to warm up. I think it’s always this way, just when you think the worst is over, Tassie throws one last wintry phase at you. Curiously, spring has been worse than winter so far.
I eventually moved Peter Pan, the boar, though not without issue. The missus ended up with a tusk through the jeans, and Peter wasn’t happy about the trailer I put him in. Tried to break out through the door and stood on his hind legs like a grizzly. He wasn’t ecstatic about the whole thing, until I rounded the corner with the trailer and he smelt the paddock of his new paramours, when even his lop ears pricked up and his snout twizzled and he couldn’t wait to get out and check out the herd.
It’s like a holiday for him, though enticing Peter back here may not be a short-term project. Moving him this time took five days, two trailers and some serious questioning about the wisdom of breeding pigs. Then, suddenly, he was in the trailer, with me at his head trying to leap out the cage to shut the gate. In the end, as it always seems to be with pigs, frustration turns to elation, and what looms as an impossible task one minute is a breeze the next.
I managed to finish the fencing on Saturday, despite cutting one last little bit of fencing wire a little short. There are patches of looser wire on the creek, extra netting in deep cuttings and I still have to put a skirt of chicken wire on the gate. But the huge flock of sheep (two young rams, three ewes and the four lambs) are now out on the other side of the road, nibbling through an old paddock that is starting to become dotted with wattle.
There’s so much to eat that there’s no chance of them going hungry over there, though I will cut into their territory with the next lot of porkers once they wean. A good home under the trees for summer. From my rough calculations, two hectares (about five acres) is now under fence, so there’s plenty of room for all.
I ended up with nine piglets from Tinkerbell. A week after being born they’re still as skinny as skun rabbits and as cute as baby pandas. Today they started frolicking in their paddock and nibbling grass with their mum. I worry for them on days like today, though most of the time they’re still sleeping and hiding away from the world in their shelter. It’s hard to believe the five remaining porkers that are digging up the bottom paddock are from the same parentage, they’re so big and tough and fat and sturdy. It’s their last week on the farm, with most going to the cutting shop on Monday.