This time of year the pigs are eating the best of the best. Tall green stalks of corn with the ears still on, sweet corn after our neighbors had all they wanted for the freezer. Green tomatoes, and red, squishy overripe ones. Mangels thinned from the winter fodder patch, many of them over a pound, or two, or three. Beans planted for nitrogen after the potatoes were harvested, then cut while the pods are still green. We take some beans for canning — forty quarts or so, so far — but the majority are like the green sweet corn, planned excess to feed the animals. Milk, buttermilk, and whey from the dairy, where we are making something in the neighborhood of twenty-five pounds of cheese a week right now — and it will be that much again when the calves are weaned.
Today we cut the winter squash and set it out on dry grass to cure. The meteorological forecast is for warmer, drier weather for a bit, so we hope to have a week to get it all into the barn and the dry cave. We speculate that the two-hundred eighty-some squash — butternut, blonde pumpkins and cushaw — weigh in the neighborhood of nine hundred or a thousand pounds — the cushaw especially being about twenty pounds average. The best will store for our table, and the monastery table, but the pigs will get all that threatens not to keep.