Giant Foxtail, Hogs in the Mist

August 20, 2010

Giant Foxtail, (Setaria faberi).

Giant Foxtail is an invasive weed from Asia that we have entirely too much of on our farm.  It prefers high ph soils that have been compacted.  Our soil, mere feet above a limestone base, is consistently neutral to alkaline.  This picture was taken where the cows compacted the soil, last march.

I had some hogs in what I thought was a secure pasture.  I was encouraged, because they were nibbling on the foxtail, as well as the other grasses and forbs.  If hogs would eat it, maybe I could tolerate it.

Unfortunately, one morning I found a gate popped off its hinges and some of the pigs gone.  I locked up the other pigs and set off into the woods looking for them.  This is what I found.

I felt like Dian Fossey, the first time she observed gorillas in the wild.  Hogs like hoop buildings and alfalfa/grass pastures, but they love the woods.

But alas, the fence surrounding this woods is not hog-secure, and I’m not going to be known as the farmer who introduced wild hogs to Lafayette County, so I herded them back to their pen.

Wild hogs are nothing but trouble.  A guy released some in Crawford County, Wisconsin and they survived the Wisconsin winter and have become a real problem.

But I like the idea of fattening hogs on apples and acorns.  Joel Salatin does it. Why can’t I?