Thursday, January 8, 2009

How we became Large Black Pig People

I grew up in "The City." So every once in a while it occurs to me how far I have wandered away from where I started. Not geographically, but culturally. Just so I am disclosing everything, my Dad came from the old country (Norway) and my Mom's family spent a large portion of their lives being quite rural. Grandpa worked in the outside as a logger and later as a Fisheries Biologist. Mom spent lots of time in rural, coastal OR and WA. So I don't really come from a long line of City Slickers, after all.

But I my world view, up to this point, I was a "City Boy." I met my future wife, we got hitched, and moved to her home town. There's a lot to that, but that's a long story for a different time. The long and the short of it is that 10 years after we were married, my "Farmification" was complete. Well...almost. Then I saw something about Large Black Pigs on the History channel.

The show was on the history of swine, I think. I saw pictures of trotting Large Blacks and heard about how they grazed on grass, were weather hardy, didn't sun burn, were mellow enough to let your kids hang around with them and they had big floppy ears. Great small farm pig they said. Yep. My inner farmer proclaimed: "Them are the pigs fer me!" Being a rather impulsive fellow I decided then and there I had to have them. So off to to the Internet I went to find some sellers. Turns out the Large Black is farily rare, and was probably never that common in North America. Main breeders are in the UK, here is the breeders club. The nearest folks with any stock I could find were a 4000 mile round trip away in Kansas and Texas.

Inner farmer says: "Sounds good."

Deposits were paid, time scheduled off, trailer borrowed and driving buddy located (my brother...who I also kidnapped and dragged out to the country).

Next time I'll give you the tale of 4 days of roads, hotels, LOUSY map quest directions and really nice folks in different states.

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