Dispatches from the Hill — Pigs RSS



Of Hogs and Hugels: Creating a Perennial Food Forest

As regenerative farmers, our top priority is to sequester carbon into the soil. There are many methods to do this—and the most effective method for a piece of land depends upon the makeup of the land being regenerated. Since our farm is mostly pasture, we use sheep and poultry to holistically manage the land’s water, carbon, and nutrient cycles. The system we’ve built mimics the natural grassland ecosystem (of hundreds of years ago) and takes advantage of the fast growth of perennial grasses and forbs. The sheep graze, trample, and poop their way across our fields, the birds follow pecking,scratching and further fertilizing, and the pasture comes roaring back—rebuilding the ecosystem from the soil up. Using this system, we’ve been...

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Room to Romp, Room to Roam with Studio Hill's Pasture-Raised Pigs

Last week was a big one for our pigs—they graduated! Assured that they had reached a good size to fend for themselves and were sufficiently trained on the electric fence, we let them out of the training paddock of their piglet youth and into the 5 acre parcel of pasture and woods prepared for them on the hillside above their shed. After a few minutes of warily snuffling the invisible line where the electric tape had been, the pigs found the endless sea of green grass too alluring and began poking their way into new territory. Within three days they had already marched their way to the top of the grassy hill, munching and rooting as they went, and this...

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How We Raised Pastured Pork in 2014

Last year, as one of our early pastured meat experiments, we raised four Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs from Hidden Nest Farm in Argyle, New York. As we strive to provide any animal we bring onto this farm with a full, safe, and interesting life, we circled a 1.5 acre hillside—complete with an old horse stall, trees, grass, and a stream—with a one-foot high electrified fence. (We also chose the spot we did because we hoped that the pigs would do some work of clearing away the underbrush that make access to the aging trees impossible.) We were HIGHLY skeptical about the ability of a one-foot high fence to contain four fully-grown pigs. But, because we read the tip in Living with Pigs...

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