Farmer Michael is the man on the ground, moving the pigs every week, feeding them and keeping them happy! He is a trained agronomist and loves soil and all the tiny things we can’t see in it! Farmer Michael is a 5th generation farmer, the first in a long line of orchardists to run pigs. He is part of a new generation of farmers determined to show there is a future in agriculture.
Farmer Alexandra has always loved pigs. It all began with the children’s book, Charlotte’s Web and it never really ended… Alex insisted on naming the first male pig on the farm ‘Wilbur’, like the main character of the book.
Our farm is located 30 minutes from Dubbo, NSW. We have 140 hectares that we are restoring through regenerative agricultural practices. We have around 100 free range pigs at any one time. Our pigs are all heritage breed, Berkshire pigs. Each week the pigs move to a new paddock with fresh grass to eat and new dirt to dig. They love it!
We use a special system to pasture raise our free range pigs called ‘time controlled grazing’. Instead of leaving them in a big paddock for months, they live in temporary paddocks and move all the time.
Our pigs eat grass and we also feed them a special mix which is mainly wheat, barley and chick peas – as well as a whole bunch of minerals. We work with a specialist pig nutritionist to make sure they have a great diet, which means our free range pork is also full of minerals! There are no antibiotics in the feed and we do not use any genetically modified ingredients.
We keep our pigs happy and healthy by giving them a balanced diet, that way we can be chemical free because our pigs rarely get sick.
We have only owned the farm since 2012 – but we have been busy!! We have created extraordinary dams using PA Yeomans techniques from the 1950s as part of our farm plan, that been created by keyline design and regenerative farming expert Darren Doherty. We have just finished planting 3000 seedlings on our farm! We are increasing our biodiversity and building up our soil.
We are passionate about improving our landscape, some of the techniques we use include:
- Holistic Management
- Permaculture design
- Stress Free Stock Handling
- Joel Salatin’s concepts