How to prepare gardens with pigs
These 2 piglets named Ham and Bacon were the first batch of pigs that we grew. We had no idea what we were doing. We learned a few things. First off, it is possible for your pigs to get hurt the first day on your property. We felt like complete failures when our little piglets jumped up on the roof of their slanted pig hutch that connected to the pig fencing. We had no clue that their hooves would get caught in the small rectangle part of the pig fencing. The roof of the pig hutch was freshly built by us and we were pretty happy to have a perfect spot to put our new farm additions. So they were stuck on a slanted slippery roof that was tin and when they pulled their feet up to get some grip their feet would get caught on the edge of the metal. We had two baby farm animals with cut flaps of skin on their legs that were all bloody! We felt horrible!
I wanted to give them back to the farmer we had bought them from and tell him we couldn't handle pigs. So you see little farm babies can get hurt on things you wouldn't even think about. Luckily, we have learned a few things along the way and haven't had any situations like that since. I tell you that story so you know that mishaps will happen. Hopefully they are minor because you want your animals that are in your care to live peaceful, enjoyable lives; and frankly you don't want expensive mishaps.
This first batch of two oinkers started off in a patch of ground that was about 16 feet by 16 feet because that is the length of the pig panels. It was in the middle of the field. That only lasted 1 summer because I didn't like it when they had nothing left to graze on. As you can see, it doesn't take long for them to root up a small fenced in area. One thing that you have to remember is that pigs don't sweat, so they have must have a mud hole that they can cool off with. However if they have access to a shaded wooded area they don't need a mud hole that ends up being a stink hole that collects flies. My goal for having a farm is good management so it isn't stinky. I want to enjoy the fresh country air.
The next spring we noticed that it was a perfect spot to plant a few pumpkins and squash. I have used that spot ever since for a garden. One trick I learned is to use spent bedding from the animals as mulch as long as it's not too soiled with poo. The plants love it. I like to put plants like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage, because they tend to clean the soil.
How cool is that? Don't put in any root crops in that area if you are mulching with soiled bedding just because there will be some pathogens in the mulch. I think having crops that are above the ground work out really good. I do have a fence around the garden that keeps the chickens out, but I open it up in the fall for them to till up and clean the garden.
Of course, this is after I take what I want. This last summer was the 3rd summer I had used this area and had amazing broccoli and cabbage. More than I could handle, which is fine because I just gave it to the hungry critters around here and they love it!
Here's a verse for you:
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a
beautiful woman who show no discretion.