This month I want to talk about pigs, wonderful creatures that give so much, twice a year farrowing up to 15 piglets each time, natural selection does seem to give us an average of 10 piglets per litter but these sows are amazing and with deepest respect i really enjoying looking after our pigs. We have gone for rare breed pigs, we have Gloucester Old Spots / Large Blacks / Tamworth and Saddlebacks, 8 sows in total.
Those of you who have been with us for a while probably know that raising pigs off of our own fermented feed produced almost entirely on the farm has been something we’ve long been experimenting with.
It’s a difficult process getting the recipe just right, and it’s something we still haven’t nailed. Our pigs grow, and it’s wonderfully satisfying to eat something raised entirely organically and through your own land and labour, but they do not grow big enough or fast enough for commercial production.
We are not trying to breed anymore pigs at The Story, we have a small supply chain and would not be able to expand too much more with the limited amount of suitable land we have. However it is amazing to see them rooting and eating pasture so readily with a strict regime of moving them into new area every 15 days we find less destruction to the soil structure, resting it for 42 days before they are able to return to the same plot. The regeneration of the rested plot recovers enough for them to eat the previous plants that were left the time before, I never thought it would work but it is astonishingly productive. We follow that the next season with a break crop of barley peas and vetch or straight barley. These crops are used for winter feeding mixing up home brew rations and big bale whole crop silage mix.