Awhile back I mentioned that our son Zack decided to pursue his college and baseball education over in Washington State.  Well, sure enough, Zack recently signed on with Green River Community College in Auburn, WA to play baseball … which is close to our farm there in Enumclaw.

Zack at age 14

We figure the community college route will be better for Z because he should get more playing time vs going to a four-year school and competing with sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Plus, this school is so close to our Enumclaw farm!   And, since heʼs interested in the medical field academically, heʼll be able to get some of those basic courses – chemistry, physics, etc. out of the way before he gets to the university.  Thatʼs what his folks did.


So, weʼre expanding our hog operation a bit at our Enumclaw farm to help Zack through college and actually be able to take in some games.


We started this business a few years ago with a primary focus of helping fund Zackʼs college … where he can actually help put himself through school by helping out on the farm … what a concept!  Zackʼs hard work played an important role in the development of our little hog farm … so this work is starting to pay off … isnʼt this the way it should be?


Please join us in wishing Zack the best on his new journey …


Iʼve been going back and forth for the last couple months getting the Enumclaw place ready for their new hooved inhabitants … will I ever be done building stuff?? … where all the hogs will be on grass and rotated among pastures … itʼs going to be great!  Hogs do extremely well on pasture as this forage provides vitamins and minerals that they need throughout their life cycle.


Our Enumclaw farm is in a great location, backed up against forest lands and really blends in well with that landscape … and weʼll keep it that way!

‘Spring’ 2013

Spring in Montana can be many things. In fact, spring here can concoct just about every form of weather that has existed over time. One day several weeks ago comes to mind … just to give you an idea of what Iʼm talking about …

The day started early as I awakened to a refreshing warm mountain rain… wonderful! It was so great that I wasn’t bothered by my oversight of roasting coffee the previous day … no coffee! … so I got the roaster out and got it cranked up outside and watched the rain make its way down upon our little farm. The hogs like these rains … it softens the ground up just enough and many were out early brushing up on their plowing skills …

Then the rain stopped, and the sun came out to make thousands of little light prisms out of the raindrops … glorious! This scene coupled with the caffeine so aptly delivered from those fresh ground Costa Rican beans got me thinking about that wood pile that had been standing in front of the bin for some time now … perhaps it was time for me to get that split up and stowed before it became a permanent refugia for voles and gophers – Montanan ‘Columbian Ground Squirrels’ ‘gophers’… so, when in Rome … gopher’s they are.

So out I went to attack that stack of doug fir with vigor and multiple layers that began as a t-shirt, standard long-sleeve cotton shirt (plaid, of course), and heavy Carhart overshirt. After a few dozen swings of my trusty six pounder this ensemble was reduced to just the t shirt. The entire process of getting chord wood into the bin and stove is one that I have always found to be quite satisfying … and a good way to stay in shape … but, sure, like a hog farmer really needs additional exercise!

About 20 minutes or so into my bout with the wood pile I saw this giant wall of dark cloud approaching from the northwest. Ah, it’s going to miss us I thought, as these systems typically travel from the southwest to northeast here … so, back to the splitting and stacking … splitting and stacking.

Then came the swirling wind … the tarp I used to cover the wood I think touched all 360 points on the compass over the course of about 5 minutes.  Then the temperature began to plummet and the layer process began once again … just in time too, as it began to sleet … or what those untrustworthy folks at the weather channel would call a ‘winter mix’… then it was hail – little styrofoam looking things that looked like they fell off your acoustic ceiling … then the wind stopped and it began to snow … then it was like standing in a snow globe for a few minutes – big flakes floating down in a seemingly peaceful way … then the wind again … not swirling this time, direct from the north with teeth and purpose …

Spring in Montana looks a lot like winter in Iowa!!!

We still have some of our original hog huts … simple architecture really … a wooden deck with two metal cattle panels looped over to form an arch with one of those heavy duty tarps you can get for about twenty bucks in a two-pack at Costco attached to the structure the best you can … anyway, there was one of these out in a circle pen originally designed to exercise normally free-loading hayburning horses that we converted to a higher purpose … raising hogs!

The wind was fierce by now and it dislodged the tarp from the windward side of the hut … but those heavy electrical ties I used to secure the covering to what was now the lee side of the hog home was holding …! (a farmer must take pause during these rare moments when one of our ideas actually works) … so there was this 20 ft tarp, stretched out and whipping like a flag on Gillian’s Island … but this was only half the fun … as I said on an earlier blog, pigs just want to have fun.

Well, the 180 pounder feeder pigs that were in the pen at the time where doing just that trying to catch the lee end of the tarp flag and just having the time of their lives … fantastic! By now, it became apparent that I had to address this situation with nails and hammer and the snow began to compete with the wind for maximum impact … it was a blizzard, plain and simple.

So, it was now time for an additional parka layer, gloves and a beenie and into the blizzard and swirling pigs in the feeder pen … awesome!  White out. The pen is only about 75 yard from the house which I could no longer see …

A 180 pound pig is formidable enough … but six of them running in and around your feet and ‘through the wickets’ in a driving snowstorm was a bit unnerving … but we got through it together, with grace, good humor, and only a smattering of profanity … for which I apologize.