It turns out Hog Heaven is in the forest. Raising forest-fed pigs produces meat with a unique flavor while keeping the woodland ecosystem in check. While pigs are rooting up invasive plants, breaking down rotting logs and aerating the soil, they’re also gobbling down nuts and fruits dropped from the trees. The result is healthier soil, greater diversity of plants and happier, better-tasting pork.
To obtain a balanced ecosystem, rotating the hogs every few days is critical, long enough for the pigs’ trotters to stimulate seed germination and the soil’s ability to retain water, but not long enough to create a muddy mushy mess. The pigs are contained in forested paddocks by a simple mobile electric fence, that surprises them until they learn to respect it — but does not hurt them. (It surprises us as well when we accidentally touch it!) While the pigs roam from tree to tree foraging for food, the exercise they get is crucial to developing a larger animal with more intramuscular fat, complexity of flavor and better musculature.
Broadview’s woodland raised pigs just make for a tastier pork.