We’d planned to get pigs for a while… they were supposed to be piglets, you know, little 20 pound babies that would elicit adoring “sqee!’s” from my daughters. Well, I finally spotted a litter on craigslist that wasn’t too expensive (the price of piglets around here is outrageous!) and pounced on them. Yesterday we were supposed to prepare for them, and today pick them up. Well, best laid plans often go awry, and we had to order the pig panels for their panels. They will be in on Wednesday, but for now we had to improvise. and old chain link dog kennel will do for a couple of days.

One of the piglets is almost a hundred pounds… we’ve named her big Bertha and we may very well keep her for a brood sow.

Two pigs in the back of the truck

So once we got the piglets pigs home and settled, we started in on a little spring cleaning… the front of the house. Everybody but Dad pitched in, as he went down to the sugar camp to boil maple sap.

Johann meets a pig


First Crocus!


Chickens outside the greenhouse finally.
Jerusalem Artichoke

While we were working in the front bed, Pippa figured out she could pull the stalks of last year’s Jerusalem Artichokes out, and the tubers would come with it. She shouted “Look Mama! I’m fishing and I caught two fish!” as she brandished a stalk with two oval tubers dangling from it. I told her that was great, and whatever she caught we would eat with dinner that night. Glady made dinner, a cheeseburger soup, which we added the chopped tubers too in lieu of potatoes. It came out very well. Rich and satisfying after a hard day’s work.


Raking the beds out for the daffodils to come up.


Cheeseburger Chowder

1 onion, chopped fine

Brown that in the stock pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Then add:

1 lb ground Beef

Brown that and drain well.


29 oz (give or take a few oz’s) Chicken Stock

1 can pepper jack soup

1 can cheddar soup (or just 2 cans cheddar soup)

salt and pepper to taste

10 shakes (more or less, to your family’s taste) Chipolte Tabasco

7-8 large Jerusalem artichoke tubers, well scrubbed and peeled and diced

After it has simmered for 15-20 minutes, until the tubers are fork-tender, add:

1 c milk

1/2 lb grated cheddar

Stir until melted and serve.

Topping ideas: Relish, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes. It’s great served in a bread bowl, but Juliet is allergic to gluten, so we eat gluten-free a lot these days.