Monthly Archives: September 2007

Stay of Execution

For those of you rooting (he he) for the pigs: you score one point, because the pigs are still alive!
I rented a trailer, borrowed my friend Ace’s truck, and Billy helped load them up. I fluffed up the back of the trailer with burlap bags, straw, and coffee chafe. The pigs went right in, gladly, because there was a little vat of peaches in the back of the trailer. Then I drove up to Dixon, CA and met Sylvia, the craziest pig killer ever. She wears a banana clip in her hair (think back on the 80s) and has long fake nails. She smokes thin, long cigs. Anyway, I opened up the back of the trailer, the pigs ran to their new accomodations at Chateau El Ranchito (think concrete) and Sylvia said, “Red pigs!” Turns out the bristle machine is down. The pigs will live another day. Stay tuned for this unfolding story.

Last supper

Today on a goat tour (more info later) my friend Jim pointed out that he thinks the animals which we are going to be eaten should be treated with more love. He names the boy goats which he intends to kill and eat, and makes sure they get the best food and the most hugs and snuggles. I think that’s a beautiful approach.
The dumpster tonight reinforced that idea when we got at least seven pounds of cheese–ricotta, yogurt, and mozzarella–and five buckets of peaches to feed the pigs as their last meal. They’ve definitely had a good life, full of good food, back scratches, and hose time.
I also got two clean buckets with lids (for offal) and a ton of coffee chaff (to line the trailer so they don’t smell it up). They won’t get dinner tomorrow night, and they are going to be pissed! In fact today when I went in to feed them, the little girl gave my foot a little bite. Maybe she’s just as curious about eating me as I am of her.

Last days of pigs

I feel like I’m orchestrating a murder. It’s very complicated. So many details. Like who’s going to kill them? How will I transport the pigs to the assassin? Does my friend’s truck have a trailer hitch with a functioning light? Etc. In short, I’m freaking out. A friend of mine asked if I’m going to miss the pigs and I didn’t hestitate: absolutely not. They’re so much work to feed. They’re ill-mannered/rude. They fight over food. They are not gentle. The attract flies. And finally, no spider has spun a web with pro-pig slogans. So I’m going forward.

Credit Union story

Just a quickie post before we go dumpster diving (again). Last night it was a lettuce avalanche. Our usual haunt was totally empty except for many EPT pregnancy tests. We hit the store around the corner and got about 8 buckets of perfectly lovely lettuce. The bunnies are in heaven.
Here’s the link for my latest article on

Crock score

Went over to Max and Nina’s house yesterday. Max saw a freezer on the corner, and we need a freezer. So we drove around looking for it–but it was gone. Bummer. Back at their house, we sat around and talked about Lynda Barry, chicken farming, and pig slaughtering poems (Rodney Jones has a great one where he calls the pigs the “dolphins of the barnyard”). The topic of crocks came up and Max brightened: do we need a crock? Hell yes, I need a crock I said. Within moments I had a number 6 blue label crock (sans lid) in the back of the car. Thank the heaven and earth for people who like to collect things! The cucs are out of control, I’m going to start the crock o’pickles tonight. As soon as I wash the dirty thing!

Galeuse d’Eysines

Last night, after a rough day of biodiesel wrangling, I sat in bed and read The Compleat Squash by Amy Goldman. It’s total vegetable porn but with great information. I’ve been telling people, for instance, that the squash pictured here in my garden is a Marina di Chioggia (I lost the original seed packet) but now I know that it’s the Galeuse d’Eysines, a different kind of warty monster. Goldman says the squash was bred to look like this in the Burgundy region of France (the original species came from South America). Its flesh will be quite dense, dry, and orange. I have about seven of these; and about seven of the Gill’s Blue Hubbards–plenty to make it through the fall months.
I also learned that because I planted two kinds of Cucurbita maxima varietals fairly close to each other, I can’t save the seed. Or maybe I will, and see if I get some crazy cross-breed. According to Goldman, one should harvest the squash when the skin of the squash can’t be punctured with your thumbnail. The book inspired me for next year’s garden–I’m going to plant the Winter Luxury Pie (cucurbita pepo), Musquee de Provence (curcubita moschata), Marina di Chioggia (curcubita maxima). By planting only one varietal of each species, I can save the seeds and they’ll produce ‘true’ offspring.