This year I've tried to couple the two. I have friends (Eve and Nick) who live in Ellensburg and used to be my next door neighbors in Seattle. They are one of the reasons I moved out to the area because they planted the seed in my head of living on this side of the mountains when they moved to Cle Elum in 2016. Now that they live in Ellensburg, they have a mini farm complete with chickens, goats, a steer and four pigs (Idaho Pastures).
|Apples and pumpkins
I don't remember how we got on the topic of picking up all of our downed apples (both from my two trees and Dan's) and the neighbor's pears to finish their pigs, but they've made a number of trips to Roslyn to collect fallen apples and pears and, most recently, I saved all the pumpkin guts and pumpkins from our Halloween carvings. I don't have composting set up yet and it kills me to throw any of this in the garbage, so it's been a great exchange. The pigs are more than happy to eat the apples and pumpkins and the yard gets cleared of ankle snapping apples. It's a huge win!
|Doe eating apples
The only critters unhappy about the situation are the deer who have made it a habit of routinely (like 4 times a days), jumping the fence into my yard to eat fallen apples. Friday night they jumped the fence while we were sitting by the fire, playing music and making a considerable amount of noise. It was a little unnerving, but they just stood there and stared at us for a few minutes before jumping back over the fence and going elsewhere. At least the black bears aren't as brazen.
My friends will probably make one more trip to clear the ground at Dan's place and mine before the pigs are processed. They are not sure if they will be raising pigs again next year but, if they do, I hope we can help by supplying them with more apples and any other extra garden produce we can't eat or preserve. In the meantime, the local deer, bear and elk populations will help with clearing the rest of the yard.