Sarah and Andy's Story
Our journey began in April, 2011 with a day's pig keeping course at Emma's Pigs. We absolutely loved what they were doing so we thought we'd have a go ourselves!
We bought our first four pigs from the Emma's Pigs team in August 2011 - it was all a bit scary but we knew they'd had the best start in life. It was so lovely getting to know them (tickling their tummies) and watching them grow into strong, healthy pigs. Once you've seen a pig doing what it loves (digging, rooting around, rolling in the mud, scratching on a post, getting a good scratch between the ears), you'll think twice about the meat you eat and the meat you buy.
It was hard when two of our pigs went to the abattoir but we knew they'd had the best life a pig could have - and I must say, you could definately taste it! It was, without doubt, the best pork I'd ever tasted! We've just built a new pig paddock and are hoping to buy some more pigs soon. Thanks Emma's Pigs!
Beryl and Stephen's Story (with Berkshires - Pinot and Noir)
Just to let you know that the two piggies went off to slaughter last week, we collected the carcasses the following morning and had them butchered/jointed back here. 177lb of pork (plus head, offal, etc.) in the freezer, and it tastes absolutely delicious. The two pigs showed no sign of stress and went very easily in and out of the trailer on their big day. Very little, but sufficient fat, and good lean meat, we are as you can imagine delighted with our first pig rearing. All efforts now to recover the orchard over the winter months as it went through quite a sad time due to the poor weather this summer.
We'll be in touch next year, all the best,
Beryl and Stephen
Dear Pete and Anne
Thank you so much for the fantastic day we had with you last week-end. We enjoyed every aspect from handling the piglets/pigs to the delicious pork lunch you provided. It was an invaluable day answering many queries that we might not have thought of until we encountered them! De-mystifying the paperwork was so helpful as was the realistic costs of pig keeping on a small scale.
I am delighted to say that you utterly failed to put me off and we will be collecting two large black weaners on April 16th from Cairngorm Pork. It has been something of a scramble to get everything in place but the ark and fencing will be arriving next week and we just have to get in touch with Defra after the bank holiday and we are ready!! The local abbatoir seem very nice and look after the animals well and have a good reputation for butchery so we will use them this time and who knows - you might see us back on your butchery course another year!
We'll keep you posted and send some photos when we are up and running. In the meantime I'd better get in some practice with the sausage making attachment for my kenwood.........
.........Hi Anne - just to let you know that our girls went to the abbatoir yesterday - a sad day, but good to know we had done the best for them. We had a lot of fun and they became local celebreties here with many of the local children coming down to visit!
All in all (assuming that they taste as good as they looked) it has been an overwhelming success and I'm sure will be repeating next year. In fact, the silence in the paddock might well mean that we venture into keeping a sow or two at a later date.......
Thank you again for giving us the confidence to get started. We are fortunate to have a friend who is the butcher for a nearby estate so don't have any worries about getting the right meat back, and he is going to give me some sausage making tips - but who knows, you might be seeing us back before long on your butchery course!