Forest Pasture Expansion

When we bought our land, we originally thought we would have a couple pigs and chickens but we have the opposite. We are starting to raise more pigs out for pork and we don’t have enough pasture space or a big enough budget to deforest an area or buy more pasture land. So we are going to work with what we have.

We are going to make multiple forest pastures for growing out barrows. We are going to clear out all the dead and small trees and plant forage mix where the natural grass is growing. We want to start feeding our pigs organic feed but it is very expensive. So having alternate feed sources like acorns, hickory nuts, fodder , natural grasses, grubs and bugs would help lower our feed costs. With the leftover scrap wood from all the trees we cut down we are going to use them for raised garden beds for our back and front yard. With all the produce we grow we will feed the pigs while lowering our feed costs.

The garden beds we are making are called Hugelkultur beds. They are raised beds made up of stacking old wood, manure, compost and dirt into long straight beds. We will have so much wood and already have so much pig poop we will have a ton of these beds growing sweet potatoes, squash and other plants to feed to the pigs. We are going to put these beds in our backyard since they will be very close to the pigs and I won’t need to cut grass if we could ever get it to grow.

We can also use the wood for wood chips for farrowing stalls, chickens runs and the garden. We can also use it for firewood to keep our house warm in the winter.

I can’t wait till we have these forest pastures ready. I think they are an amazing place for growing out barrows. They are super shady, natural wallows and delicious things to eat. I think it will turn out amazing.

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The Upstate Turkey and Bacon Adventure

Yesterday My Mom and I went on a school field trip and picked up our twenty pounds of KuneKune bacon from Carolina growers group and two lilac turkeys. I am going to write a little about the history of turkeys for you.

It was a long drive but it was worth it. We had the Bacon this morning it was the most juicy and fatty bacon I have ever had. I got full after only three pieces.

Wild turkeys were originally were found in Mexico in the 1500’s. They were very popular due their productivity and how much meat they provide. In the 1930’s they started being breed for mass meat production. They were selectively breed for bigger size especially more breast meat, they get so big they can’t breed so they have to use artificial insemination.

By the 2000’s the eight heritage turkey breeds Black, Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, and Royal Palm were critically endangered. The Livestock Conservancy, Slow Food USA the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities and the Heritage Turkey Foundation started to save heritage breeds turkeys. In under three years it went from around one thousand five hundred heritage turkeys to nine thousand.

We got Lilac turkeys they are not are not recognized as a standard turkey by the American Poultry Association. They are know for their beautiful solid light blue colored body and light blue or tan tail.

Here is some pictures in their new pen. We will take more pictures when Odysseus and Kalypso get used to it.

We got our turkeys from West Knoll Farm. We talked to Amy about turkeys and she showed us her Royal Palm turkeys. here are some pictures of them.