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May is a great month to be raising Grass fed beef in Minnesota! The cows are back on lush pastures, calving season is just about wrapping up, it’s not too hot, and the bugs are not bad yet.

 

At Pettit Pastures, we almost done calving (4 more to go), and we have had a great calving season. We have been busy checking and fixing any winter damage to our fences, running water lines for the cattle to have drinking water in all of the pastures, and moving the cattle onto fresh pasture. We have also been getting ready for our newest addition to the farm, Berkshire pigs.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.19.3″][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.19.3″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.3″]In some of our pastures, we have an invasive brush species called Buckthorn. Buckthorn spreads like crazy and is very hard to kill. If you cut it down, they recommend spraying the area with herbicide for the next 2-3 years, otherwise it will come right back. We would rather not use herbicide unless we absolutely have to, so we are going to try to use the pigs to root out the Buckthorn instead of spraying herbicide. We spent last winter building a portable enclosure that we can move to the areas we want rooted up by the pigs. It is a 20′ long by 8′ wide skid made out of pipe and pig panels. It has a covered shelter on the back end and also a feeder and waterer permanently attached to it.  We have pick points on the front and back, so we can tow it in either direction with the tractor. We will let the pigs root just long enough to tear up the Buckthorn roots and then move them on to fresh ground every few days.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”3.19.3″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_image src=”https://www.pettitpastures.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/may-update.jpg” _builder_version=”3.19.3″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.19.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.19.3″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.3″]

We bought three Berkshire hogs because they make excellent pork. If you have never tried one, you are missing out. Their meat is extremely flavorful and a darker red meat that is very tender. Berkshire hogs are hard to find.  We had to drive down to the Minnesota/Iowa border to find ours. They also are slower growers and require more feed than other breeds which makes them more expensive to raise. But that is fine with us as we would rather raise a high quality product even if it costs more.

 

I will give updates throughout the summer on how the pigs are doing controlling our Buckthorn. We will be keeping one of the pigs for ourselves and selling the other two this fall. We will sell them by the half pig on first come basis. If you are interested in one or have questions, you can email me at Pettitpastures@gmail.com.

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