The Good Life – The Pig Co-operative of St Boswells

Another reason that I love living here is not just the wonderful rural countryside!  But also the sense of community there is in St Boswells.

Community is important to all of us and we all have different things that we want from a community so one size does not fit all.  But what is important is that you feel part of the place that you live in, feel that you contribute to it, that now and again it challenges you and that you have people there who would be there for you if you needed them.

I’ve never felt part of a community as much as I do in the one in St Boswells!  I did in part feel that I was part of the community of Morningside though now I reflect upon it I only actually knew my neighbour in the flat beside us and it was really the fact that we were part of the local church that gave us the sense of community there!  And although I think a church is an important part of a community I also believe if you just surround yourself with church you don’t get to meet others in your local community who might challenge you, who share the same interests as you and who are also important members of the local community.

So I like the fact that in St Boswells my kids do take part in Church activities but they also take part in football, golf and tennis all very active clubs in St Boswells.

My husband and I also take part in local activities.   My husband is a member of the drama in St Boswells and the annual play in March is a highlight of the year.  And I love being a member of my book club which takes place in Mainstreet Trading once a month.  One of my great interests in life is books so I was delighted when the bookshop opened in St Boswells a couple of years ago.  I was even more pleased when an evening book club was set up and this has not only given me a new circle of friends but also challenged not just my reading but also my views on life as you see how other people view a book!

Nothing though has challenged me more though than our pig co-operative!  I have always loved the Good Life as a TV programme it used to be the highlight of my thursday evenings when I was younger!  Did I ever think that I would do a Tom and Barbara?  Well no not when I was younger.  Do I now?  Well untill the pig co-operative came around no.  Today though if we had the resource and had the land would we go for the Good Life?  Probably yes.

I must admit when the idea of raising pigs was brought to me fait accompli last year after my husband had attended the drama coffee morning.  I was not amused and thought more work for me!  I am so glad though that my husband won me round and we didn’t lose the opportunity to be involved as it was such a great experience for us as a family working with other families in the village.  And showing the kids from first hand experience where their meat comes from.  I am prone to exaggeration but I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best gammon that I have ever tasted. As I tasted it to celebrate firstly my sister in-law passing her GP exams and then at New Year it felt that the project had come to an end in a very good way!  By celebrating the lives of two pigs who has been raised and reared locally with lots of love and care.

So this year I wasn’t the reluctant one in the experiment but desperate that we would be able to do it all again!  Sourcing pigs this year wasn’t as easy but finally after a long search we did.  They arrived last night two Tamworth girls!  So on Saturday my daughter and I joined the other families as the small field we use and got it ready for the arrival of this years pigs!  I watched my daughter as she played with her friends.  Talked to the cows and chickens, played in the stream and helped get the pigs home perfect for their imminent arrival.

I don’t know what the future holds for my daughther or for that matter my son.  They may do the opposite of me city girl who always wanted to live in the country and go and live in the big city!  But I hope the pig experiment will always remain with them.  The sense of looking and caring for animals, being part of a team, enjoying the rural area and tasting some of the best meat you will ever eat!

I hope you like the picture of this year’s Tamworth pigs!  Here they are giving each other a head butt otherwise known as a Glasgow kiss!  See you can take the girl out of Glasgow but you can’t take Glasgow out of the girl!

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About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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