About the farm:
Wild Thorn Farm is on the edge of the Peak District and is not technically a farm nowadays as it is only 9acres! The land has been chemical free for at least 25 years, although this is not certified. Inspired by River Cottage the smallholding uses permaculture/Holistic Management/regenerative farming principles along with low-stress livestock methods to produce nutrient dense food for the family and close friends.
The pigs are kept out in the pasture where they enjoy rooting for food and they sleep in purpose built moveable housing. They rotationally graze the pigs which means they move to new pasture once they have turned up the area they have. Once weaned at 8-10 weeks they are kept in same sex sibling groups. The females stay with their mother and are kept on to grow as ‘baconers’. Their foraged feed is supplemented with a premium organic soy-free pig pellet as used at River Cottage.
ORGANIC PIG GROWER FINISHING PELLETS Product Code 3101
The Organic Feed Company COMPLETE FEED for GROWING PIGS
Composition: Organic Wheat, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Linseed Expeller, Organic Beans*, Yeast, Di-calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Seaweed
• Soil Association approved organic P2517 GB-Org-005
• 100% organically grown, agricultural ingredients
• There are no synthetic vitamins or minerals in this feed.
• The Organic Feed Company only source identity preserved (Hard IP) Non-GM ingredients.
• The Organic Feed Company feeds are made from natural ingredients which can result in the feed changing colour slightly through the seasons
(* I called to check and these beans are field beans not soy beans.)
The pigs’ diets are supplemented all year round with fruit and vegetables from the land, in summer there is an abundance of courgettes and greens.; in autumn there are fruits and berries from the hedges; in winter there is Jerusalem artichokes, root crop and pony carrots from the local agricultural merchant.To further enhance their diet, friends, family and people in the local community have been rallied to collect apples in exchange for a raffle ticket to win a small pork box.
Being a heritage breed and outdoor reared, Gloucester Old Spots will mature slower than commercial breeds. This results in more time and feed needed to reach a conventional finished weight. None of the pigs are sold as ‘weaners’ because we feel responsible for their lives from start to finish and the only way to guarantee this is to keep them to finish. This is the reason we have surplus pork for sale! Given the cost of premium soy-free organic feed and the main driver is to produce food for ourselves, we process at 20-24 weeks. We use the local abattoir which is 5miles down the road and has animal welfare as its priority (http://www.manifoldvalleymeats.co.uk/abattoir/). We use low stress management techniques to load our pigs in the trailer. This involves training the pigs to see the trailer as a source of food and shelter so they self load without fuss.
About the Meat:
The carcass is hung for a minimum of seven days in a large refrigerator with fans. This removes some moisture resulting in better flavour and your joints and steaks won’t shrink when cooked. Shoulder, loin and belly joints will all come boned and rolled. Leg Joints will have the bone in. Sausages are made using natural casings and gluten-free organic ingredients (pink Himalayan salt, organic black pepper, organic herbs and organic gluten free flour mix).
The pork is vacuum-packed, as the air has been removed from the packaging, the meat will stay fresh for up to 10 days in your refrigerator providing it is kept between 0-3 degrees C. The fresh mince/sausages need freezing after 5 days as they have been through a machine. All meat intended for freezing should be frozen as soon as possible after purchase.
Weight of the box: approx. 6-7kg
- 1 x Leg Joint,
- 1 x Hock,
- 1 x Shoulder Joint,
- 1 x loin joint,
- 2 x belly slices,
- 1 x 500g sausages,
- half a tenderloin,
- selection of Chops and Steaks,
- Skin (for crackling),
- Stock bones