We’ve had our first frost of the season. A reminder to us all of what is coming.
With the first frost, comes the abrupt reminder that now is the time for yard/garden clean-up and winterizing our buildings.
Today we’re going to focus on the yards. Before you begin your clean-up, take a look around.
Is your garden overflowing with extra squash and pumpkins?
Do you have many apple trees with falling fruit?
Have the oak trees around your yard been blanketing your lawn with their acorns?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions, I have the perfect solution for you! Rather than tossing them in a landfill or leaving them to rot where they lay (This also provides a food source for many pests that you don’t want around), scoop them up and deliver them to your local farms.
Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year! They’re great for baking and are a beautiful seasonal decoration, but the question remains: What do you do with them after Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed? Treat the pigs! Pumpkins are a great treat for them to eat. They are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and also aid with their digestion. (Please no inked or painted pumpkins, and be sure to remove candles from any jack-o-lanterns.)
Who has been apple picking this year? You’re in good company. No doubt like most, you picked way more apples than you could possibly eat or use! Let’s not forget the wild apple trees you have growing around your yard, because no true Mainer is going to cut down a perfectly good apple tree! After your pies, jellies, crisps, and applesauce have been made, and you’ve dried, baked, candied, and frozen them, and eaten all you can eat, if you don’t have a cider-press, what are you going to do with the extra apples? Treat the pigs! Apples are low in sodium, but rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates. They are also high in nutrients, vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants!
Let’s not forget about those acorns! Sure, the acorns make a lovely accessory to any fall décor, and watching squirrels hurry about collecting them is fun. But remember, squirrels are merely rats with fluffy tails (and equally destructive), and fall is the one time where those majestic oaks become major pains! Literally, have you ever had an acorn fall on your head? It feels like that questionable time when you and your brother thought a ball-bearing war would be a good idea… (Trust me, it hurts). And forget about walking outside barefoot! One wrong step, and you’ve discovered nature’s version of a Lego! Not that shoes are going to help you much if you make contact with them on driveways, sidewalks, ramps, or any other hard surface. Your innocent walk will turn into a roller-derby rather quickly. How can you protect yourself from these little menaces? Treat the pigs! Acorns are a great treat for pigs. They are high in protein, contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and are a great source of energy!
Not only do our pigs love the extra treats, our chickens will happily help the pigs finish off the pumpkins and apples! Anything not eaten by the pigs and chickens will be used for our compost that will go into our garden soil for the next year.
Now the only question left is: Where can I drop off my unwanted pumpkins, apples, and acorns? We will have a collection barrel on site at the farm, or you can bring your donation to our booth at the Hampden Farmers Market any Friday between 2:00 and 5:30pm.
Our pigs thank you!