Just a little about how our pork is raised...
consists mostly of grass, with the addition of garden extras and bread. They love spring weather (don't we all?) and the plentiful pasture and soft, wet soil. They do a lot of playing during this time of year! In the spring time they are moved fairly often to new ground, if they are in one spot too long they tend to root up the new grasses and can be a burden on the pasture. The only time they are taken off the pasture during this time of year is when we bring them into the barn because of heavy storms! They like the rain, but spring rains here can turn to floods!
During the heat of summer
as the fresh grass slows its growth, the pigs do more rooting, and enjoy time in the woods where they can have lots of shade. They still munch on the pasture, but spend a lot of time in mud wallows to keep cool! They still get scraps and whole grain bread to supplement their diet. No need for excessive grains. There is usually a litter of piglets in the summertime, so the mom's need extra care staying cool, and we like to treat them to extra eggs and milk from the farm, or tomatoes from the garden when we can! It can be tempting to feed them corn or other grains while they're pregnant, but this can increase the milk supply too quickly and cause complications. They do just fine on their same natural diet; in our experience.
When Fall finally arrives
we are so done with summer. Autumn really is a short spell of time, it feels like we just go from summer to winter with a few weeks in between. As the summer gardens die off, the pigs reap the remaining harvest of old vegetables and watermelons. The cooler temperatures finalize the ripening of the acorns, and come October/November they start to fall. The pigs gorge. As soon as acorns start hitting the ground, the pigs go crazy. They absolutely love them.
As we move into winter
acorn season is in full swing. For the rest of the year until spring begins, it's rooting for acorns all day long. This time of the giving oaks is a really important part of the pigs diet. The acorns lend a "nutty" taste to the meat, and are a special part of it's excellent flavor. Rather than wasting away during this cold time, they actually bulk up do to the resource of the acorns. They are moved tree to tree during this season, living and eating under them. They aren't placed under the trees again until this time the following year. Winter is the best time for harvest. The cool weather is important in phasing out any pathogens or worms that would make the pig unhealthy. (Although our herbal worming formula + their constant movement over different pastures already keep those bad things near- non existent.) Our general goal is to give our pigs 12 months of a good life, to ensure their quality and to reap the benefits of all four seasons of growth.
You can see, taste, and smell the difference. In the meat on your plate, and in the land where these pigs are grown.