I admit it, we are horrible at naming animals. It’s been that way for years, ever since a stray dog wandered into our yard. We kept thinking he’d be claimed or head back home, but he wasn’t and didn’t, so we called him Dog…original right? Next opportunity to come up with an oh so unique name was when we bought the jungle that would eventually become Sweet Liberty Farm. Apparently our “vacant” property was actually home to a sweet little dog who we named Lady. We’ve had a donkey named Jack, a black and white Hampshire show pig named Oreo, and Broke-Leg, the hen with a limp from a healed broken leg.
I know, it’s a problem…thankfully we have some pretty original kids. Their first foray into naming was with our very first pigs. They came up with Maple & Crispy, otherwise known as Mrs. & Mr. Bacon.
Our first heritage piglets were a Red Wattle gilt who we were going to raise up to be a momma, and her brother who was destined for the freezer. Boy 1, tired of hearing us call them “piggy”, decided they should be Lucy and Stanley. Such originally silly names for pigs, right? Oh, but how their names suited them, especially Stanley’s.
Now I know a lot of y’all out there just don’t know how we could ever eat something that has a name, especially a something that we’ve raised from a sweet little red, floppy eared piglet who squeaked like a squeaky toy whenever he was talking to his sister. So, I’ll tell you what I’ve told myself and the kiddos…we love bacon, and pork chops, and pulled pork sandwiches, and ham, and sausage, and, well you get the picture. Since we will never stop eating them, ever, we have a couple choices. We could continue to buy our pork products from the grocery store with all it’s pretty packages filled with nameless animals that have most likely never seen sunshine, never wallered in the mud or played in the sprinklers, and have possibly chewed on the metal rails of their tiny pens until their mouths are bloody…a sad reality in most large commercial hog operations. Or, we could fill our freezer, and bellies, with the product of a happy pig named Stanley who gets to not only play in the mud and bask in the sunshine, but who gets to chase his sister and other herd mates thru the pasture. Not to mention the daily belly rubs that can make a 400 lb Stanley weak in the knees. We know that Stanley got to live, well, like a pig and we loved on him every chance we got. I won’t lie, it was hard to drop him off at the processor, but we know that he was given the best life a pig could have. He has also served his final purpose by providing us with such unbelievably tasty bacon…must’ve been the belly rubs 😉
As a final tribute to our boy Stanley, and to avoid boring name choices in the future, it was decided that all of our future meat piglets would be named Stanley…ahem, even if we were raising more than one at a time…I told you we were bad at names.
Meet Black Stanley and White Stanley…otherwise known as “The Stanleys”.
They are out of our two litters this last winter and will be heading off to “freezer camp” sometime this fall. Black Stanley is kind of grumpy, but you’ve never seen bliss till you’ve seen him being sprayed with the water hose. And, oh my, White Stanley is such a happy, sweet, easy going boy who has his momma’s quirky personality…I am dreading that final goodbye…but not nearly as much as I despise the idea of promoting the practice of factory farming by buying those dry, tasteless supermarket packages.
If you would like to raise a Stanley of your own, but don’t have a way to…why not let us do it for you? We currently have limited openings in our Half and Whole hog CSA Shares. Please see the Pastured Pork page on our farm website www.SweetLibertyFarm.com, for more info.