Having enjoy a very pleasant June, not too hot and some fresh cool mornings, July temperatures are warming up and the piggies are beginning to feel the heat. I’ve noticed that they are covered in mud from wallowing in the pig puddle that I fill for them - but the issue has been that the water for that comes from our bore hole.
We have to be careful of our bore hole water because the lack of rain in recent years makes some of us more nervous than others about the amount of underground water sustaining our life here. It can take hundreds of years, for rain to seep down into the underground aquifers; but not all our neighbours respect and appreciate the fragility of this finite source and seem to think it is an everlasting supply – which it is not!
However, that was not the only problem… Okay, I hear you groan, farmers always say there is always a problem when you live in the countryside! But this time it is the cisterna where we hold the water drawn up from the bole hole before pumping it into the house or, in this case, to the pig pen.
It is a large tank holding many thousand litres of water, but after some years the sludge that comes up from the bore hole gathers to such an extent that it requires cleaning or the water filters between the cisterna and the house are endlessly clogged with sludge and need changing with monotonous regularity. Not a pleasant job.
So, this week it was decided. The cisterna was to be cleaned and guess who ended up as being designated small enough to squeeze through the entrance to the cisterna and strong enough to carry out the cleaning job but me.
So, on Tuesday I donned my wellington boots and having pumped out as much water as we could which we spread around the garden, I was lowered into the cisterna to continue the job with a bucket, mop and dust pan, which proved remarkable useful as we got closer and closer to the floor.
Mission accomplished and remarkably satisfying it was too. There had been lots of hilarity from the accomplices who had hauled up the buckets and given the plants even more of a good drink. And now we could begin to refill the cisterna and refill the pig piscina once more.
The piggies are delirious to have a good ol’ mud puddle to wallow in and this excitement is only matched by the pear trees in their paddock which have started bearing copious amounts of fruit. At first they were able to lift their heads and pull the sweet fruit from the trees but now I have to give them a helping hand. Mum and especially Mini-Mum, commonly known as Scoff-a Lot, or Greedy Guts, love the firm but sweet fruit as I pull it from the trees and feed them arms full of pears. There is almost frenetic activity around the trees as they anticipate the arrival of more delicious harvest. And the two babies love it too. They play with the small pears I pull from the trees and, whilst not quite as enthusiastic, they are learning fast how to bite into the small hard fruits and enjoy the sweetness that bursts from the flesh.
No wonder they are all growing in the tummy department.