Its been almost a month since my last post, so much has been going on that I simply haven’t found the time to sit down and get blogging. The beauty of this is that I have a lot to tell you.
Going back a bit now the Masterton A&P show was on the 15th February and Jeremy from Longbush had invited me to come and view the rare breed pig judging in order to get a better understanding of the different breeds and their characteristics. It’s a two hour drive from Woody’s Farm to Masterton so I set out early to avoid the rush. Of course being New Zealand early on a Saturday morning the rush consisted of two cars and a horse float, not so much of a traffic jam than a pleasant distraction from the wonderful scenery and 100ft drops off the side of the road. Having passed through Masterton I arrived at the Carterton Showground dead on 10am as agreed only to find my reliance on Google Maps had been a little short sighted. I quickly realised I was at the wrong location, turned off the GPS and used my brain to find the Masterton Showground in Masterton. Arriving at the pig display I was very pleasantly surprised to find an excellent environment for the pigs (very different to the Royal Show in Fielding) and an amazing display of the greatest and largest pigs in the country, Large Blacks and Berkshires a plenty were supported by the Duroc, Large White, Landrace, Saddleback and Tamworth breeds. I spent my day slowly get sunburnt as the pigs were raised from their slumber to grace the ring and hopefully be judged best in show.
The day was a great success, I learnt about the judging requirements for each breed met some great people and had a stomach load of hotdogs with lashings of ketchup.
Leaving the show a little early I had another exciting visit on my hands. This time it was to collect our latest addition to the farm. Jeremy had given me the heads up about a 12 week old female Large Black that was available from a friend of theirs in Carterton, she was a registered pure breed and related to the Large Black sows being shown at the show (see above photos), she would make a perfect breeding sow. Clayton and Leanne own Wallowing Heights which, aside from being a stunningly clean and modern pig stud, is a children’s garden and farm park. Both Clayton and Leanna are lovely people and having shown me my new little girl they introduced me to their total breeding herd, a fine collection of good looking, happy pigs and if anyone wants to see a good range of different types of pigs I can highly recommend a trip to Wallowing Heights. We then had a good look at all the other animals, giant bunnies, miniature ponies and real life dragons before loading Maggie into the stock crate on the back of the ute. Maggie was quiet for the two hour journey back to the farm and was clearly very happy to get back onto dry land.
I introduced Maggie to Delia and watched as they got acquainted. I thought that Delia might bully Maggie, being a few weeks older and quite a bit larger. Initially Delia put Maggie in her place but by the next morning Maggie was starting to show her true colours and by the end of the week Delia looked like she had become the little sister in the relationship. A few weeks on and they are a delight to watch together as they skip around the paddock, bathe in the wallow and generally act like little lambs.
A week after Maggie arrived the pigs had to take a step back in priority as the farm was transformed into a sparkling venue for Claire and my wedding. We had been planning this for months and the moment we bought the farm we knew that the reception had to be in our back yard. The last few days before the wedding were a manic rush of preparation, decoration and organisation (some of which I forgot to do, but that another story.) Claire has already written a wonderful blog here about the day so I am going to leave you with a picture of my beautiful wife and a very happy, and quite dapper, farmer. See you next time..