Normally we feed fresh produce every day to all of our animals. Carrots, broccoli, lettuce, bananas. Whatever is in season or available. We have no control over what shows up which makes management of the food a pretty intense job. When you have three pigs, it’s not that big of a deal. When you have over 100 pigs, a little shortage starts to be major. Since we feed from the farmers market, that means we feed with the seasons and there are times during the season when the produce doesn’t flow as well. Right now we are between summer produce and fall produce and there has been a lull for a few weeks. What that means is that we have to feed potatoes.
Feeding potatoes is good because they are energy dense. We can feed part potatoes and part what produce we are getting and give a balanced diet. And we can get potatoes most any time of year from one of our farmers. However the downside to feeding potatoes is that we have to cook them first. Pretty much all day, every day, for the past few weeks, we’ve had our scald pot going with about 500 pounds of potatoes boiling away. As soon as we are done we hand scoop them out and into a bin for feeding, and hand scoop in another batch to start cooking again. All the while tending the fire and of course doing our normal jobs on the farm. It’s not a big deal, but it requires a lot more time than we always have. Thankfully it’s time for pumpkins to show up so we’ll be back to giving the potatoes raw to the cows (who love them!) and we can feed pumpkins to the pigs for a while.