Thursday, May 21, 2009

Living with Pigs

Almost a week ago I went to Dover, TN and picked up two Red Wattle gilts (that's a female piglet) from Jan Black at Black Acres Farms. Their names are Ruby and Sadie, and Ozark has become completely enamoured with them both. Every morning at sunrise, he stands at the window looking out toward their pen, and when he's able he runs right over and hangs out next to their pen pretty much all day.

The Red Wattle is a heritage breed of hog, and is listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as being in critical condition. According to one source, as late as 2000, there were only 600 of these hogs left living in the U.S. We plan to get a boar in the future and start a small breeding program for Red Wattles (only the second in TN) and get some pastured pork in the process. Interestingly, the Red Wattle produces a very lean red pork (i.e., the color of pork before industrial agriculture made it into "the other white meat") that is listed in the SlowFood Ark of Taste for the gustatory pleasures it affords.


  1. Beautiful farm, y'all! Looks like you've been busy. What kind of fence is keeping your piggies in?

  2. Awesome! When's the pig roast?

  3. Let's see a picture of that beautiful space after the pigs have grown a bit! I remember all too well our beautiful paddock when we released two cute little pigs. Maybe only two weeks later and not a scrap of grass was to be found.
    (I'd suggest the names Ham and Bacon).