Thursday, October 22, 2015

My pancake patch: Prepping for winter wheat with pigs

I'm going to grow a few acres of winter wheat this year; I'll harvest it next summer.  I'm tilling the ground to do that, but without using a drop of diesel or an hour of tractor time.  Pigs do a great job all by themselves, and they enjoy doing it.  

I've got a couple of lengths of electric net fencing that I use mostly to keep the cows away from the pig feed, and partly to keep the pigs in, but mostly the cows out.  The pigs feeders are full; despite having free-choice feed available they'll eat every bit of their greens with relish, and even dig up most of  the roots.  

After on the left, before on the right
I will probably use a little bit of tractor time once the pigs have done their work - I prefer wheat on a flat field, and the pigs will tend to leave little divots and wallows, but 10 minutes with a harrow will fix all of that, and then a pass with the grain drill, and all is good.
Tillage in progress
I have to give Gene Logsdon credit for coining the pancake patch; in his book small-scale grain raising Gene talks about growing small quantities of grains for your homestead use, and I thought that was a good idea.  I purchase a little electric flower mill, and I'm all set.  Something pretty satisfying about your own sourdough from your own grain; more so than store-bought.

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