Year of The Pig

The Chinese New Year, that is, the Lunar New Year, does not begin on 1st of January, but on a date that corresponds with the second New Moon after the winter equinox, so it varies from year to year.

The years progress in cycles of 12 and each year is represented by an animal. The cycle of 12 repeats five times to form a large cycle of 60years, and in each of the 12-year cycles, the animals are ascribed an element (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water) with a Yin or Yang characteristic, which determines their disposition. Thus, in a cycle of 60 years no two animals are the same. The Year of the Pig is the last one in the 12-year cycle.

Basil & Borage

Back in the mid-1990s, Lisa, an Herbfarm staff member, moved to Colville in Eastern Washington to live on a farm. There she adopted a large, dark potbellied pig named Rudy.

Unfortunately, Lisa's new landlord didn't cotton to having Rudy as a house guest. He ordered Rudy into exile. Lisa dutifully drove her pig, who rode in the back seat of her blue Ford Pinto, the 300 miles back to The Herbfarm.

So began The Herbfarm's enduring association with pigs. Rudy was soon rechristened Hamlet and became a part of the farm family. Mondays at the farm in Fall City were "Mexican Lunch Day," and the office staff always bought Hamlet his own plate of rice and beans.

Hamlet was quite large for a potbellied pig, tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. He became a celebrity and was visited by thousands of guests. He readily settled into a nice routine in his new digs at The Herbfarm in Woodinville. In the winter of 2005, Hamlet went to Hog Heaven at the ripe hog age of 17.


Borage The Herbfarm Pig

The Herbfarm's new little pigs are Basil and Borage. Basil and Borage are brothers who were born on March 19, 2005 in Rocheport, a town in central Missouri. The boys' father was Gypsy's Rose's Roullon and their mom is Pig O' My Heart Maise. The kids left home when only 3 months old. They flew to Seattle and quickly bonded with The Herbfarm's Carrie Van Dyck who became their new mom and trainer. The boys are smart, well-behaved, trained to a leash, and can perform a few tricks.

When you dine at The Herbfarm, you'll meet Basil and Borage on the pre-dinner Garden Tour. Their little tails never stop wagging and they always seem to have sunny smiles on their faces. They are called "potbellied" pigs because every member of their clan sports a little (or sometimes large) pot belly.

If you like during dinner, you can go out and feed Basil and Borage from little piggy snack buckets between courses. As you'll discover, they are most-excellent gastronomes!

Basil & Borage