We got 18 inches of blowing and drifting snow just recently, and winds up to 40 mph! And that was on top of the foot or so of snow that hadn’t melted. On the first day of the storm, Will brought in two little piggies that weren’t getting enough milk and/or were getting chilled. (We can’t run a heat lamp down in the farrowing shed because we’re off grid and the batteries won’t stand it.) The wood box was cleaned out due to Will working on the rock wall behind the living room stove, so I added a couple of old towels and put the piggies in it. Now I’m giving them a bowl full of calf milk replacer every 2 hours all day then getting up at night a couple times to feed them. At first, they seemed chilled so I filled up a gallon apple juice plastic jug with hot water and gave them a hot water bottle to cuddle up against. Now they’re warmed up and doing fine.


The little black and white boar was real scared and aggressive when I first picked him up to feed him. He’d bark at me and scramble to get away. But he quickly figured out that being picked up meant getting fed. Now he jumps up, right into my hands when it’s time to eat. We called him Jumper, for good reason.


Now we’re set to get another 3-6 inches of snow. Bummer. I got out my copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, The Long Winter, to read. At least we don’t have it that tough! They were twisting hay to keep warm and ran out of food. We still have firewood and plenty to eat. But winter does get long…

The newscasters are calling this “The Relentless Winter” and it’s the most snowfall in Minnesota’s recorded history for April. — Jackie


  1. Sue,

    Yes, that’s a good description. Our piggies are starting to run around and go outside. They’re already rooting in the dirt. Yesterday we took Pinkie and Jumper back down to their mom. They’re doing fine and Mom took them right back. In fact, last year she let baby pigs from our other sow nurse and visa versa!

  2. It seems like my grandma had a sickly runt pig in a box by the stove at least once a year. So far we’ve been lucky and ours have been able to stay out. We are able to run heat lamps though.
    Baby pigs are so much fun! I read someone’s post that they’re like a bunch of “hot wheel racers right out of the box”!

  3. I’ve always said that I love the last snow of the season, because I could enjoy it’s beauty knowing spring was coming soon and I could plant to my hearts desire—-weeellll there doesn’t seem to be a last snow this year, just keeps on a coming. should be nice this weekend, and I’m planting my pots, I need spring color—NOW.

  4. Wow. And I was surprised to see a half-inch of snow on the deck Sunday morning. Good thing you’re well versed in growing season extension techniques. And that you have piglets to distract you :)

  5. Hang in there, Jackie and Will. Spring has to come sometime. I got out my copy of The Long Winter to read, too. That’s one of my favorite books. Often when I use my coffee grinder to make my coffee, I think about the Ingalls family sitting around their woodstove grinding wheat in their coffee grinder. That’s really ‘working’ for your food. I’m glad you and Will are warm and fed while the snow flies.

    P.S. My Bill Bean tomato plants are looking good. I can’t wait to taste them later this summer.

  6. That is WAY TOO MUCH snow! Yikes.
    Hopefully the summer will be long and wonderful.

    The piggies are so cute.

Comments are closed.