PIGS REVITALIZE OUR PASTURES
We have three mixed heritage breed sows, one boar and, at any given time, might have up to 30 piglets running around. Due to the positive traits present in heritage breed pigs, (hardiness, docility, excellent maternal/paternal instincts), our pigs are able to live on pasture year-round. They farrow (give birth) outdoors, and all (the sows, boar, and piglets) live in the same field. Their diet consists of whatever they forage on pasture, leftover food the school’s kitchen, and expired grains from a local agricultural feed store.
The benefits of using the pigs in this manner are almost immediately apparent. Former pastures that have been completely overgrown are being rejuvenated at an astonishing rate, and Hampshire Country School’s truly amazing stone walls and foundations are being uncovered and cleared for the first time in years. And if that wasn’t enough, with the combination of their forage supplemented diets, genetics, and the overall health of our pigs, we are raising absolutely delicious and tender pork for the school and our local community.
The Hampshire Country School is a historical farm site, but the farm had not been in use for quite a few years before the farm program was initiated. Long overgrown fields, which often look more like woods than pastures, are not ideal for grazing ruminants but are perfect for pigs. Our pigs revitalize former pastures by turning over weedy topsoil, exposing rocks and roots, ripping up tree stumps, fertilizing, and just having a grand old time being a pig.