Friday, December 16, 2011


This morning our friends Marty and Kris Travis of Spence Farm came over to visit, and drop off our brand new piglets!  The two piglets were our payment for looking after their farm last week while they were away at a farm conference.  The two of them are the driving force behind a recent sustainable farming renaissance in our corner of central Illinois.  They started The Spence Farm Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to educate children and adults in the area about sustainable farming practices and The Stewards of the Land, a group of like-minded local farmers that work together to market their produce mostly to up-scale restaurants in Chicago, Champaign and Bloomington.  They are actually helping to start a new group similar to the Stewards of the Land of which Emma and I will be founding members!  Over the past few weeks we have been attending regular meetings with about a dozen other local, up and coming farmers to get the group up and running for next year.  Most likely we will be jointly marketing through buying clubs or CSAs, and possibly grocery stores in Chicago, Bloomington or Champaign.  Emma and I still plan to sell at the Urbana Farmers Market and run our own meat CSA in Chicago but this new group will be a great way to open up some new markets and build relationships with other area farmers. 
So our new piglets are American Guinea hogs, a rare and endangered breed that Marty and Kris are working to save by breeding a small herd on their own farm.  We on the other hand will be raising them to be eaten... but eventually we plan to breed our own pigs too!  They are going to be spending the winter in a nice big paddock in the pasture behind our house with a nice cozy shelter, also generously provided by Marty and Kris.

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