Pigs are the world greatest garden tillers. In the summer of 2011, we brought hogs back to the farm. Although, we have raised hogs in the past, it was on our previous farm. This land hasn't had hogs since Grandpa sold the last of them back in the '60's. Back then, the hogs cleaned up the garden in the fall and worked up the sod for potatoes in the spring.
Now, we use them a little differently. Last summer, using their strong snouts and their love for roots, they worked up about a half acre of old hay ground. They ate the weeds, turned over the dirt and gained weight while doing it. They also consume the whey from cheesemaking, waste cheese and garden refuse, turning it into fertilizer. In the winter months, they have continued their work, working up heavily compacted manure in a cattle shed that had been unused for years. They still get weeds from the greenhouses, whey and ground barley, which we grow as a nurse crop for our hay.
These pigs will be ready for processing in May. And we'll be getting more pigs in March. We've never fed them corn (other than leftover sweetcorn) or soybeans. We are offering them by the whole or half.