Category Archives: Pigs

Making the most of it: Blood Sausage

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Blood sausage is a central aspect of harvest day. Large-ish animal harvest day, that is. And it’s one of the central acts of honouring the animal’s life, as well as getting close to the act of the animal’s death, because it’s something you must make the same day you slaughter.

Blood sausage is a central dish of whole animal eating – it doesn’t get much more thrifty than this. Doesn’t get much tastier, either, if done right. And it’s not very technical to make, if you’re up for it…

**please note – this post contains photos of people making blood sausage, from start to finish**  Continue reading

Pig Tractor update: from Orchard to Market Garden

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The Holistic Orchard site is now officially ‘tractored’. Our family of pigs have done a sterling job of turning this site from wonky pasture into well-plowed and manured soil.

Next up at the orchard site, we’re planting a green manure seedmix to fix nitrogen, generate lush biomass and generally ‘hold the space’ back from opportunistic weeds until the winter installation of this site begins.

So the pigs have done a great job of prepping this area. Thank you, ladies! Next up, they’re on to the market garden…  Continue reading

Making a Pig Tractor

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Sadly a ‘pig tractor’ as we know it is not a pig in a jaunty hat driving a little red tractor. But the reality is even better. It’s an excellent low-energy, high return way of preparing ground for a new garden or an orchard: removing all grass, roots and weeds with the aid of a biological device. Namely pigs.

We’re just about to finish the prep stage for our new holistic orchard, which the pig tractor has been a central part of. We’ve all been really happy with how prepping this space from tough pasture to fruit-tree ready ground has gone, so I wanted to share the process with you.

Pig tractors are relatively simple to set up (once you have your pigs) and the returns of this system are many. You get happy pigs being moved onto fresh ground regularly, snuffling and rooting up the ground. You get a tract of ground cleared of everything bar the shrubs (and the soil turned over to boot). You get added nutrient inputs from the pigs manure. And at the end of it all, you get pastured bacon. This just might be the ultimate integrated system. Continue reading

Great opportunity to learn pastured pork + beef systems and get paid for it: Boxgum Grazing

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Bit of a golden opportunity, this. Boxgum Grazing is looking for a paid farm hand near Young in NSW. And Boxgum Grazing happens to be a darn fine family-run, holistically managed, pastured beef and pork operation, who want to pass their knowledge on as part of it all. Excited yet?

The story goes that when Joel Salatin made his first trip to Australia in the 90′s, there was one small farm that he went to that he said was unlike anything he’d ever seen in terms of stacking animals and yields. That farm was Sam and Claire Johnson’s place. And Boxgum Grazing is the Johnson’s current farm. Continue reading

Pig update: the system is working!

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Just a quick update on the Milkwood Farm piggies who are tractoring their way through our future holistic orchard site. You know that training technique I mentioned for getting them used to electric fencing so we can minimise their fencing and maximise their pigginess? It’s working. Continue reading

Learning to be ethical omnivores

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This week marked a big step for us at Milkwood Farm, as we got the chance to follow-through on the stewardship of our pastured pigs by taking them all the way to the plate.

In the spirit of honoring both life and death, we wanted to make the most of our pigs, and learn how to process every single part of them so that nothing need be wasted. An intense two days of learning and considering what it means to be a part of the full cycle of life.

* A note that this post contains pictures of recently dispatched pigs in the process of becoming nourishing food. If this isn’t your thing, please check out our many other posts and resources. Continue reading

The art of home-made Bacon

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As promised, here is Rose’s nitrate-free, home made way of making bacon from scratch.

I say ‘way’ rather than ‘recipe’ because it’s still in development in terms of quantities. But if you too are a tinkerer rather than a straight-up recipe follower, then come on down and join us in the glorious land of home made, DIY, no nasties, bacony goodness. Continue reading

Training the piglets to respect 2-strand electric fence

Figuring out the puzzle of successful pastured pigs has been interesting, but luckily we’ve got excellent mentors like Joel Salatin to help us along the way.

One technique Joel explained to us during his visit last year is how he trains his piglets to ‘respect the fence’ at an early age so you’re not chasing after runaway piggies. This year we got a chance to try it out and it’s proved a really useful technique – simple, and effective… Continue reading

Return of the Pigs, and Floyd

The pigs are back! 6 wessex saddleback piglets, about 8 weeks old, are the new pig tractor team of Milkwood Farm. Welcome little ones.

Back is not of course the correct term as the previous 2 pigs have now been turned into everything from terrine to bacon to roast pork to feed the oscillating numbers of crew, wwoofers and students who pass through Milkwood Farm, but you get my drift.  Which brings me to Milkwood Farm’s new animal enterprise manager, Floyd. Continue reading

Moving the Pigs at Polyface Farm

So what does moving a mob of pastured pigs look like, and how does it work? Our friend Derek has just finished up interning at Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm, and he sent us some photos of a recent ‘pig move’.

As you can see, this method of pastured/forested pig production is many worlds away from the process of raising industrial pork. It’s a great life for the pig, and their rootling nature means that, when well managed, they can regenerate ground as they go… Continue reading

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