Rotationally foraged pigs, minimally supplemented with Certified Organic, non-GMO and Soy-Free locally milled feed.
We proudly raise and breed Gloucestershire Old Spots (GOS), a rare heritage breed developed in England in the early 1800s that is known for its docility, friendliness, foraging intelligence, and self-sufficiency. Their finished meat is widely known to be marbled, sweet, tender, and incredibly dark.
Our GOS pigs are truly the movers and shakers in our 250-acre sustainable forestry system. Our pigs are bred, raised, and finished entirely in the forest. This is beneficial for many reasons. Managed intensively, they promote and restore native woodlands and their unique ecosystems. Historically, pigs inhabited Virginia’s native forests and shrublands and are the most broadly omnivorous livestock on the farm.
The woods gives our GOS pigs the exercise they need, as they roam from tree to tree. This is crucial to developing a healthier and larger animal with more intramuscular fat and complexity of flavor. Acorns give their meat a rich nuttiness, sweetness, and more omega-3 fatty acids, while forage plants like wild blueberry and dewberry, sumac, wild carrot, milkweed, tree seedlings, clover, and soil create a unique and farm-specific nutrition.
The key to raising pigs in the forest is intensive management. Pigs can destroy natural environments if they are either left in a particular stand too long or if that stand's mast is unable to provide for their needs. This is why we utilized our entire 250-acre sustainably managed forest for their rotations. Once they properly forage an area, no pigs or farm animals visit that location for at least 2 years, which allows the forest's natural succession to occur and flourish.
Such purposeful design patterns are our attempt to manage our pigs via the natural phenomenon called pannage, where pigs pass through healthy ecosystems when fruit or nuts are plentiful to reap the harvest but not destroy the larger biome. They promote health, not bring disaster.
By such intensive management and biomimicry, our forest-raised pigs deeply promotes the forest's ecology and produces marvelous and tasteful pork in the process.