Hogs are sold out for 2019, but we’ll be back at it again next year!
Since before we bought the orchard in 2010, we’ve wanted to raise hogs among our apple trees, which is a traditional way of orcharding in England. Last year in 2018, that dream came true and we got to operate our “swinery” for the first time. We had such a great experience that we expanded to raising eight hogs this year.
We’re looking forward to providing them a great life. Our pigs eat a varied diet composed of mash, table scraps, lots of apples, clover, and other forage. They are starting their lives in a small pen with plenty of sunshine to keep them warm and will eventually rotate into a few spots in the orchard: first to prepare a site for planting more tart cherries next year; second to prepare a site for planting more pears next year; and then finally into the existing orchard in the fall to help clean up weeds and windfalls.
When we butchered our hogs last year, we realized that a good death is as important as a good life and though we wanted to expand this aspect of our operation, we didn’t want to load them up into a trailer and truck them to a butcher shop for their final hours. Stress makes for inferior meat quality, so it’s important to us that our hogs have a quiet, peaceful end at home. To that end, we’ve enlisted Mobile Meats for on-farm butchering.
These hogs are Hampshire/Duroc crosses. They should be hardy in the field and have a good balance of muscle and fat. Your cost is $3.95/pound hanging weight payable to us and about $1.00/pound hanging weight payable to Mobile Meats, which includes bacon, ham and sausage. The hanging weight of hogs like ours is usually about 170-190 pounds. You’ll be able to pick up your packaged meat here at the orchard on a date to be determined late this fall. Choose a half-hog for a deposit of $150 or a whole hog for a deposit of $300.