We raise pigs on the rolling hills of Alblemarle County, VA. We rotate our pigs on pasture in the spring and summer and through the forest in autumn and winter, where they have access to a diverse array of nutritious forage including; grasses, forbs, acorns and other tree nuts, roots, shoots, wild fruits, insects and mushrooms. We supplement their diet with a ration of locally grown non-gmo grain.
The nature of a pig is one of curiosity and seeking delicious omnivorous treats, much like us! This, combined with their stature, makes for a creature that is able to bring about great change in the landscape while following their nose. We recognize this as a great attribute of pigs, but if left untended, can lead to an unsightly and unsound ecosystem. Therefore, we place great emphasis on stewardship aimed at maintaining and improving soil depth and health, rotating our animals frequently based on ground-cover and soil disturbance amongst other factors.
We typically move our pigs 1-2 times per week with a goal of maintaining a substantial percentage of vegetation after they have moved through. This, combined with long rest periods for each paddock before they are grazed again, possibly multiple years, creates a harmony of disturbance to bring about more diversity and richer soils in our pastures .
We believe many pig producers allow for too much disturbance. This often leaves the soil bare for extended periods which can lead to extensive erosion (soil loss), overly compacted soils, polluted water ways (excessive nutrient/manure runoff and erosion) as well as simply a lack of plant forage for the pigs to eat.
We know that the flavor and color of our pork reflects our management and is a major perk to the ecological mosaic of disturbance that our pigs create as they pulse through the landscape; improving the quality of our pastures for generations to come, including improving the quality of and diversity of our pastures for our cattle to enjoy!
We buy in weaned piglets from other local producers and we are not committed to any 1 breed of pig. We have continued to find that management is the biggest factor in being able to provide the highest quality of flavorful and nutritious pork to our customers. We seek breeders that select for traits that do well on pasture in our system and that ends up being crosses of different heritage breeds and sometimes pure breeds.