Well, the last couple of weeks have seen big changes in my life. Just a few weeks ago it was work, work, work; trailering pigs here there and everywhere, packing meat, delivering meat, having sales meetings, working around the clock; nothing was more important than my job.
Now it’s all change as a result of one little man. His name is Richard and he was born on 9 August, weighing in at a healthy 8lb 5oz after keeping us waiting for two extra weeks; my dad assures me this is fairly common in “old sows”.
In my last article I said that in my next life I would like to come back as a pig. Now, having the experience of recent events, I would just like to add that I would like to be a boar specifically. No way could I endure farrowing more than twice a year. And don’t even get me started on having to suckle multiple units.
So I think we have a new apprentice stockman in the making for Anna’s Happy Trotters, although it appears the butchery staff already has designs on him, with his rather impressive guns – perfect for lifting carcasses.
Life on the farm is still looking rosy with the fantastic weather we’ve been having and the arable lads are really pushing on full throttle through harvest. It always impresses me the lack of breakdowns seen during our harvests (I am touching wood as I write this!).
My brother, who runs the arable side of the business, puts a huge focus on maintenance of machinery throughout the “down times” of the year and it really does pay dividends in the busy times.
And in the butchery, we’ve never known it so busy. Looking through past volumes, we are busier now than we were at Christmas, whereas June, July, August can usually be a little flat. So I reckon we must be doing something right.
Maybe I should take more time off – they seem to run things better without me. And in all fairness, my new role as a human milking parlour is keeping me pretty busy!
Anna Longthorp runs Anna’s Happy Trotters, a pork wholesale business supplying butchers, restaurants and farm shops with free-range pork from her family’s 2,100 breeding sows