We have just got two piglets from a friend to help us manage our farm and give us sustainable food. We look forward to learning how to look after pigs and use them as workers in an effort to offset more carbon and produce more food.
The breed of the pigs are half Mangalitsa, half Bisaro and they will live in our pig house for two weeks whilst they get used to us. Our farm is officially called ‘Vale Leitao’ meaning Valley of the Piglet. There were already three stone build pig houses on the land when we purchased it. We had been using one of them as a chicken house until the recent completion of our new chicken house and run, so the pigs are currently in the old chicken house.
We plan to raise these pigs first on the pasture at the bottom of the valley. We hope they will turn the soil and uproot the bramble and fern roots down there. This will reduce the fire risk on our land. As they move through the terraces at the bottom of the valley we hope to plant summer vegetables on mass without the need for a tractor. This includes beans, sweetcorn, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and zucchinis.
As summer arrives, we plan to move them through our reforestation field with electric fencing to clean up the long grass. This is because we will not be putting the sheep here to graze as they will eat the new trees planted there.
Later in the summer we plan to move the pigs into our cork forest which is very much overgrown with broom, brambles and baby cork trees. We hope they will clean up this area and reduce the fire risk on that part of the land.
If all goes to plan in the next year these pigs will clear up our land for us, reduce fire break and create over 100kg of sustainable meat for us to sell, share and store in our freezer. As we only eat meat on rare occasions it should last a very long time.
After this point, if we have enjoyed the process and can manageit well, we will either do the same again or breed our pigs to increase the potential income and land restoration that we can get from pigs.
We look forward to getting to know our pigs and integrating with our and the sheeop and chickens that we already have.