Starting a Family Farm in Vermont

More Pigs —–
November 21, 2006, 1:29 am
Filed under: Farming, Pigs


Pigs are remarkable animals. It has been said that the only part of a pig you can’t use to consume is its squeal and it’s true. Today I picked up our first pigs from the butcher. We raised them on the Farm from 8 weeks old. It is amazing and not least unsettling to see the end result of these animals. When I got home I had a full “Asmall Farm” breakfast of our Organic Eggs and our Naturally Raised Organic Fed pork in the form of breakfast link sausages. It was delicious. From the 2 pigs I brought to the butcher, I received a little over 200 lbs of pork. It’s all frozen and has packed the new chest freezers I just bought. I think we are going to need a walk in freezer because we have some new araivals. 


Melissa and I love the Heritage Breed of pigs. I was able to buy 5 Tamworth gilts from the butcher whose Sow had them around 5 or 6 weeks ago. Unlike the GOS pigs we have the Tamworths are on the Threatened List. This means there are fewer than 100 annual registration in the US and the estimated global population is less than 1000. I think we will save the 2 gilts we like best and use them for breeding. We may wind up crossing the GOS with the Tamworths. Hopefully this cross will work well for us. —- John


I See SPOTS!!!!
November 5, 2006, 12:24 am
Filed under: Farming, Pigs


This morning I went to Lyndeborough, NH and picked up 2 beautiful GOS gilts. I got very lucky after putting an ad in the GOS Group on Yahoo. I received a response from David and Kathryn Schmechel of Bittersweet Farm. They had 2 Gloucestershire Old Spots  (GOS) gilts (immature female piglets) to choose from that are around 8 weeks old and are from different litters. We bought them both and they will become our Farm’s Sows.

Our Our goal with the GOS is to  breed them when they mature — Ely with the 2 new gilts (PiggySue and Charlotte) — and use their Male offspring for  Asmall Farm’s Naturally Raised, Organic Fed Pork — The Females will be for sale for other interested breeders.


The GOS are a heritage breed of swine that is on the ALBC’s critical list.  The critical list means that there are fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and the estimated global population is less than 2,000. What does this mean for the breed? If farms such as ours don’t exists to breed them, they wont exist! It is a great feeling knowing that we are not only breeding these pigs for consumption but for the continuation of this breeds existence.  John