Over the years we have raised traditional breed, organic pigs, reared outdoors. For us, traditional breeds have a superior flavour and texture to blander–tasting commercial breeds. We choose dual purpose breeds that are great for both pork and bacon. A Tamworth/Berkshire cross, known as a “plum-pudding”, is one of our favourites. It has a ginger colouring with dark spots and is one of the best bacon pigs in the world.
Tamworth pigs are descendants of the traditional “Irish Grazer”, a breed native to Ireland. They originated in Sir Robert Peel’s Drayton Manor Estate at Tamworth, Staffordshire, in 1812. He interbred his own herd with Irish Grazers he had seen in Ireland. The breed is one of the closest to original European wild forest swine. Tamworth crosses are ideally suited to living outdoors all year round. Hardy and resilient, thanks to their thick, coarse coats, they do well in our less than gentle climate.
Currently, we buy fattening pigs from partner free-range pig producers who share our welfare farming ethos. Our pigs spend most of their lives outdoors or loose, in covered pens, for farrowing. They are free to forage in the field. Once they arrive at our farm, we rear them on a diet of grass, vegetable waste from our polytunnels, and certified organic, GM free, pig nuts.