The week before Christmas, I bought myself a present of 3 female Kunekune piglets, about 12 weeks old, from a breeder down south near Whangarei.
Their purpose is to help me with weed control – specifically an overgrowth of Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminosa), reaching seriously epic proportions in the rich volcanic soil all around my house. This weed is becoming a real problem here in NZ, wherever it gets a hold. I’d been asking the Lord for a solution for months – no years – but not one solution I investigated seemed to be workable. Frustration!
I’ve had Kunekunes before. They are a delightful pig, smaller than the large commercial meat breeds, but the boars can tip the scale at 200 lb nonetheless. A few weeks back I was led to look at a blog I wrote at the time, and the fact that Kunes eat wandering jew hit me in the eye. Of course !! At that time, the problem was less serious, which is maybe why it had slipped my mind.
I knew from previous experience that Kunes need to be very strictly contained in their first days in a new home. I carefully strengthened up a side pen to my goat race up at the shed, and when I got them home, installed them there.
It has been very successful, with the double advantage of getting me walking on rough ground again (now that I am largely pain-free and no longer limping – thank you Lord!). So I carry feed up to them at least 3 times a day – water too, until I solved the problem of why the tap up at the shed was suddenly not working. Now my legs are getting stronger again: one single solution to more than one problem. Doesn’t the Lord love doing that?
So now swathes of wandering jew are being pulled out and fed to these little darlings by the sackful – the dastard weed goes in one end and out of the other comes great fertilizer – AND it’s not the least likely to sprout again!
It’s a wonderful solution, because normally the big question when you pull some of this stuff out is – now what do I do with this? Every little scrap of this plant that is dropped or thrown on the ground somewhere, will grow as a new plant. The only really successful solution I’d read was to put the weed into a 44 gallon drum, top it up with water and put the lid on. 12 months later voilà – some great fertilizer. But I hate to think how many 44 gallon drums I’d need – or maybe a few water storage tanks? And an impossible amount of work. Hmmm…
Burn it? The strictures on lighting fires up north here are massive, plus I’ve no desire to start a raging bush fire in the kikuyu grass. So the wandering jew problem seemed insurmountable. The only other option was to get a contractor in to spray the stuff – not guaranteed to be a success, and the cost and toxic chemical exposure potential are both pretty prohibiting.
So the cute piglets (growing like weeds on kikuyu, tradescantia and feed pellets) really are an inspiration – as well as being great fun. I’m getting ready to let them down into my back garden, once I’ve tidied up the fencing, with unlimited access to grass and jew. And ultimately I can rotate them around even more areas where the jew is flourishing…
This whole episode has been a huge lesson to me in the value of waiting on the Lord. The wandering jew problem is of long standing – going back to when I looked after my mom with alzheimers full time – and one possible solution after another has seemed to be blocked.
How often has that happened to you, when steps you might have taken don’t materialize and then later, the solution comes along and you find yourself thankful that you waited on the Lord’s timing for that solution to appear and didn’t do whatever else you had in mind?
How many times have I thought to myself, “Maybe I should get a contractor in…”? We often wait so unwillingly! Or berate ourselves for ‘lack of action’.
The bottom line is, I could not have done any of this until I could walk pretty much without pain again – and that has happened only in this last 5 or 6 weeks. Amazing!
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.“ Isaiah 40:31