St. Charles' Primrose Farm is bringing home the bacon like never before thanks to its latest addition. While modern farms are busy adding hulking machinery to make work easier, Primrose hopes to be busy adding hulking pigs to its roster of residents.
For people not accustomed to farm life, Primrose Farm is probably pretty close to what you would expect if you've seen even one episode of "Little House on the Prairie." The farm, near Bolcum and Crane roads, is a flashback to life in the 1800s that anyone can come experience for themselves.
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"This is the kind of farm people think about when they think about sole-proprieter farms," Farm Manager Kirk Bunke said.
Now those thoughts will also include the keeping and breeding of pigs. The farm just added a new female pig that showed at the Lake County Fair last year. The idea is to breed the female, see what type of mom she is and, if she's good at it, the farm will have a whole new pig operation running. It's just another way for people to dive into the agrarian history of the Midwestern farmer. It might not smell good to people unaccustomed to farms, but Bunke said it is and was part of the way of life for many residents in the Fox Valley's history.
"That's the smell of money to a farmer," Bunke said while advising a visitor to watch his step.
The new pig came to the farm with a name, but that will be stripped away and forgotten, Bunke said, because farming is a business.
"When I look at her I see a plate of bacon and a good size ham," Bunke said.
Pigs, including Primrose's newest resident must be respected, Bunke said while shooing the farm's new pig away from gnawing on his boot.
"Pigs are on the same level of the food chain as humans," Bunke said. "In fact, she's probably looking at me right now and thinking, 'Yeah, I can take him.' "
In addition to checking out the new pig, the farm also offers a chance to milk a cow, interact with chickens and sheep and take instructional tours of the entire farm operation. The farm also offers some special opportunities to try your hand at beekeeping, broom making and blacksmithing.
For more information, go to stcparks.org.