The Mast-Head: We All Eat Greens

I surprised Lisa for her birthday this year with a membership in one of the South Fork’s growing number of community-supported agriculture farms

Leo the pig has been in hog heaven these weeks as the bushes, grasses, and shrubs around our yard come into full, high-summer lushness. My wife, Lisa, has been reveling in produce too, although, unlike Leo, she does not waddle down to the edge of the lawn to munch grape leaves right off the vine.

As I have mentioned, I surprised Lisa for her birthday this year with a membership in one of the South Fork’s growing number of community-supported agriculture farms. Each week since before Memorial Day, we have picked up our box, and as spring has moved into summer, there has been an increasing variety. There is more, in fact, than we are able to keep up with some weeks. The pig and our few remaining hens are the beneficiaries of what we deem a little too long in the crisper.

Regular readers also may recall Leo’s story. Over my protests and warning that I was going to move in with the hens, Lisa and our oldest child somehow convinced themselves that the Texas breeder they found on the Internet was on the up and up when she promised he would not exceed 10 pounds when fully grown. I countered that he would, at best, end up the size of our Labrador mix, albeit with shorter legs. Now at about 50 pounds and counting, I rarely miss a chance to say “I told you so.”

Leo’s days are like this: He gets up a short while after I do from a child-sized couch in the master bedroom, which he has taken as his own. After a quick trip outside to water my dooryard herb patch, he badgers me for breakfast by assaulting my ankles with his snout. If that fails or I boot him away, he heads over to the pot rack to make so much noise that I am forced to comply and give him a bowl of pet-pig food. (Yes, they make this stuff.)

Next, he heads outside to snuffle for fallen shad berries or nibble fresh grass. The chickens, who we keep locked up because of hawks, can only look on with envy and make cackles of outrage. Then he sleeps in the sun until his ample belly starts to rumble, and he starts on his rounds once again.

At dinner, after the kids have been fed, Lisa and I sit down to our plates of greens sauteed with garlic and lemon juice or zucchini with tomato and purple basil. By now, Leo is done for the day and bedded down. We, if the children settle down, are not far behind.