Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's not nice to throw things at a pig

This past weekend, Dan and I had the idea to go in search of a corn maze for some daytime outdoorsiness during what may have been one of the last nice weekends in a long time. Due to our not having internet at home, we decided we'd just drive up to the northeast a bit and see if there were any signs advertising one, but we made it to Ft. Lupton without any luck so we turned around and settled for going to the pick-your-own berry farm again.


Of course, there were no berries available for picking this time, it being way too late in the season for that. But it's a working farm and they grow a lot of other stuff, so we knew at the very least we'd end up with some super tasty produce. It turned out we managed to get some pretty good photo opportunities as well. One of the great things was that the chickens and the turkeys and the pig were all out and about, and let me tell you, you haven't lived until a fat potbellied pig has snuffed her nose into your leg begging for some attention, or until you've heard four different roosters of varying colors and sizes in a crowing competition, or until you've seen domesticated turkeys up close and in person, because DAMN those things are weird looking.

There was no gobbling, just a sort of weird alien burbling sound.

Where I grew up we had wild turkeys, which traveled in big flocks and were less than half the size of the domestic guys (they would also never have just stood still with people only a few feet away). We also had chickens when I was a kid, but never had more than one or two roosters at a time, and our chickens were all of the brown or speckled white-and-black varieties, so to see a whole bunch of different breeds of chicken was pretty cool. Especially the ones with the feathered feet.

Feathers! On their feet! Nutty!

It's not easy being normal when all your fellow chickens are all cool and feather-footed.

It was a glorious afternoon, and we came away with a great haul: purple potatoes, a delicata squash, a purple kohlrabi, candy onions, a pie pumpkin, a huge red bell pepper (the last of the season). We each got some really nice photos, and there were only two drawbacks to the outing. First, while we were there a whole lot of military families converged on the place, and the parents seemed far more interested in paying attention to each other than to what their kids were doing. I didn't mind so much seeing little boys chasing chickens around the place, but it really bothered me when the super friendly little pig settled down by the feet of a dad seated at a picnic table, and several children gathered around. At first, they behaved OK, taking turns at giving her pets. But one boy started throwing dirt chips on her, and then another one, and then all the kids were kicking and throwing dirty bark in her face. It made me really angry that none of the parents discouraged their kids from this behavior.

The nicest pig around.

Second, the eastern part of Colorado grows only a few main crops: corn, beets, and onions. A neighboring farm was "doing" their onions (I was told by the lady at the berry farm, though I don't know if this meant they were picking them or cutting the tops off or what, but damn, that was some irritating air to the eyes). Even being inside wasn't much better; the air was laden with hurty onion-ness and it felt like the worst allergy attack ever.

I think it's supposed to look like this.

Much better to look at than to eat.

All things considered, though, we had a good outing. And I finally put a kohlrabi to the use it was intended: I made cole slaw with the grated kohlrabi, a large carrot, and about 1/4 of a green cabbage sliced really thinly. It made a great slaw, but next time I'll wait to make it until we'll be feeding a larger group. I've been eating leftovers in my lunch all week.


kimba said...

People who let their kids throw things at pigs or chase chickens suck. I hope the pig is ok. (Giving the pig a hug in my imagination now...)

Just wanted to pop in and say that :-) - I love your blog and I'll go back to reading it quietly now.

the slackmistress said...

I'm usually completely silent about how people parent their children, but if I see anything like that, I get up and say anything. I start out polite. "Start out" being the operative term.

Unknown said...

we did have all sorts of chickens, including more than one or two roosters at a time. you just don't remember. We had feather-footed ones and some that laid colored eggs.
Next time you tell the kids to quit. I would.

Anonymous said...

I cannot respect parents who don't teach their kids to respect animals. It's just terrible. Poor pig.

Anyhoo, rotten parents aside, that sounds like a fun little adventure. I want to do something like that around here sometime.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Wow, that would be truly anger inducing for me. Sweet pig-George Clooney has one as a pet. Apparently they're very intelligent and loving.

MLE said...

Just so you all know, I *did* lean down and tell the kids that it wasn't nice to throw things at the pig. I even redirected one little girl and took some wood chips out of her hands. They were all between the ages of 3 and 5 (I'm guessing) and they mostly stopped after that, though I got glares from a few parents.

Kimba, welcome!

Slack, I couldn't *not* say anything.

Hi mom! I do remember the chickens that laid blue and green eggs, but I don't remember any feather-footed guys.

JT, I know! All I could think of was that these kids either didn't have pets or they didn't realize the pig was real or something. I mean, it's not every day you get to pet a potbellied pig.

Monkey, this pig was quite affectionate - I guess she'd have to be, living on a public farm with lots of strangers coming around every day.