Friday, February 5, 2010

A whirlwind tour of Illinois

So we needed a vacation. We got up early fed and watered all the animals extra well. We talked our son in law into walking the dogs. Got my son to agree to gather the eggs, put up the hens and generally keep things on an even keel and we were off to Illinois.
Why Illinois? Well because we want a milk cow and our friends at Green Acres Dairy happened to have one they would be willing to sell. They also wanted some feeder pigs from us. So we packed up the piglets and headed northwest. I forget sometimes how flat the upper 2/3rds of Indiana and Illinois are and just how barren it all seems in the dead of winter. Good thing Brian and I had much farm "stuff" to talk over on the trip. Otherwise Brian would have had to listen to me sing along to the radio!
We arrived at Green Acres Farm midmorning Keith and Donna came out and we all helped unload the piglets into their new barn home. Nice digs! Lots of straw and Freddy the herd dog really wanted to play with them! Then we got reaquainted with the three pigs we had sold them earlier in the year: Cagney, Lacey and Mad Max. They are really growing! After the pig rangling Donna invited us in to warm up.
Later we went out to meet the cows. There were black one, black and white ones, mousey gray/brown ones, red ones and golden tan ones. We found the perfect Jersey for us. She's not to big, not too young and very friendly. That last one is most important since this will be Brian's first experience with a milk cow.

After the tour of the milking mommas we headed in for lunch. Home made chili with crackers and big glasses of raw milk followed by home made blueberry buckle. Yummy!
I spent some time picking Donna and Keiths brains about marketing all natural pork to restaurants - article to follow in the Red Wattle Hog Association Newsletter - Spring edition. Then it was time to head on north to visit our friend Clyde in Rockford.
We took a detour out to see the sows who are expecting before we took off. They looked really happy in their pasture with the Piggy Palace Keith built.
Here are couple of pics of the happy pigs at Green Acres Dairy - Oh and of Keith and Donna!

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