A seed that was planted years ago began to stir and come to life. Was it possible that I could be a farmer after all? I was determined to try. We dug up the back yard and planted a 900 square foot garden and planted vegetables and flowers - bread and roses, baby! I studied up on chickens, built a chicken ark and raised hens for eggs, made a few mistakes, had a fair bit of success, and then we raised up a batch of sixteen meat birds every year for our food. We had quite the little urban farm.
I made friends with farmers, volunteered to come out to their places to help out.. Then I was able to come out and farm-sit now and then, allowing my friends some welcome time away from the farm. It was a joyful work and a contribution to my apprenticeship. From there, we planned to go ahead and try to find a farm in the Missouri Ozarks where we could, in a modest and sustainable way, raise animals.
This past spring, we moved to a farm that we currently rent and bought a few English Large Black feeder pigs. They were about the size of a football, nothing but little trotters and big ears. My pig mentor, Nance, thought I was doing well enough with the pigs that I could graduate up to breeding my own pigs, and she sold me a nice pair of proven Berkshire sows. The first litter is due in February.
All of this is just an introduction, but the essence of Farm 2 Fork Pork is the animals and the land. They are the foundation of what we are all about. In future posts, they will be the focus of the story, and so saying, I step into the background so those critical players can stand in the spotlight.
Merry Schepers lives on a farm with her heritage pigs in Nixa, MO.