It has been over 20 years since I spent 10 days working on a pig farm at a friend’s place. There were 800 pigs running around and it was a very different place from Grassroots Organics and how they raise their pigs as part of the Kawartha Ecological Growers.
Mark and his family have a small number of pigs – I believe the total is 5. They have free access to the open air and (literally) muck about the yard. They are practically domesticated and appeared to run towards us as they were called.
We had a quick lesson on the utility of raising pigs on a farm such as this and I found it fascinating. A small number of pigs are raised at the farm each year and they are given free range of a different part of the property each time. As they eat, walk, play, fertilize and dig in the ground, they actually do a wonderful job preparing it for planting in following years. It is just by living their lives that they transform hardened earth into a garden which can be planter year-after-year.
I love hearing stories of clever farming such as this. It’s another dramatic reason supporting the idea of diversification on a farm and how one can work with nature to help nurture and grow her bounty.
I also think that the pigs are adorable and, once again, wanted to share some pictures:
Some of these remind me a lot of Babe: Pig in the City. I recently saw the movie again – it was as bizarre as the first time I saw it!