Take me down to Pig Town
I've now been in Sweden for 11 days and not one of them has been the same. There is so much to learn, not only in terms of looking after the pigs and keeping them happy but also in the charcuterie too.
All the pros of having your own animals also come with cons. Just as we were lying back in the hammocks with a glass of wine after a long day, we saw that a pregnant pig had clearly gone into labour. We had to separate her from the rest of the pigs so that she had a chance to give birth in peace. Getting pigs to go where you want them isn't the easiest, and if one does go, you can be sure that others will follow.
Sadly miss piggy didn't make it through her labour, and I was quickly reminded of the fragility of nature along with the fragility of having your own smallholding or business that is dependent on the lives of these animals.
There are many other piglets here too, and after discovering the electric fencing had no current running through it we had to work quickly to ensure it was back up and running, to prevent the small (and large) critters from escaping.
This afternoon I've been making mudbaths for them to wallow in and they are ridiculously pleased with their new in-house spas. Some of the smaller ones don't stand a chance of a pamper session as the porkiest ones seem to quickly take ownership of their new heavenly pits of glory. The temperature is climbing and being able to cool down is key for the piggies, so some were treated to a good squirt with the hose. Others were less than pleased at being aimed at.
In the charcuterie we have been making sausages and I've learnt different techniques for tying them - very different to the Italian methods that I learnt in Tuscany which relied on string. I will post some more on the different sausages we have made and also the meat in general. As much as I'm living and breathing both the pigs and the meat production they are very separate affairs, and it seems only right to keep them somewhat separate here too.