Starting a Family Farm in Vermont

Sweet as Sugar
May 22, 2006, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Pigs

Mark and Sugar

Sugar Update—-

Sugar is getting big! She is our first pig and I guess she has that first child thing going on—-She is completely SPOILED.. We are raising her for a friend in town and we want her to be perfect. She is one happy pig. I must admit, pigs really do get a bad rap. These animals are smarter than most dogs, extremely clean, and a lot of people eat them on Sunday mornings with their eggs or pancakes. There goes that infamous question; “How can you raise her then have her butchered?” My answer is this, ( if you have read my previous Blogs, forgive me for repeating myself ) my family eats Bacon, as do many…I guess the Bacon in the store comes from something other than pigs. At least I know that Sugar is having a great life. I’m not 100% sure of the “grocery store kind of bacon.” Did these pigs live in Vermont? Were they Spoiled by the farmers that raised them? Did they ever see the sun? I only hope the answer to those questions aren’t all NO…..

“Life of a Pig”
April 26, 2006, 9:28 am
Filed under: Pigs

A Must Read!— The other night I was surfing the web looking up heritage breeds of pigs and came across a Blog that I found fascinating. Tamara Murphy really nails it! Her Blog, “Life of a Pig” chronicles the Life of Pigs, from their birth, to the table of what sounds like a fantastic restaurant. It is a true celebration of their lives. Start reading her Blog from the bottom of her page and Enjoy— John

Gloucestershire Old Spots
April 24, 2006, 8:36 am
Filed under: Pigs

More Pigs–Over the last several weeks we have been searching for a Heritage Breed of pigs that we can raise on our farm and breed as purebreds as well breed with the Yorkshires that we will be getting soon. We found Elysian Fields Farm in New York that not only has what we are looking for, but shares the same philosophies as us. The breed is the Gloucestershire Old Spot or GOS. The GOS is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Critical List. When we started Asmall Farm my wife was really attracted to the Heritage Breeds of Livestock. After researching these breeds we discovered that they were actually exactly what we wanted. The GOS has the characteristics that we are looking for. Beside being extremely hardy and good natured they are producers of some of the highest quality and best tasting pork and bacon in the world. Our goal is to keep a GOS Boar (intact male) from the first group of 5 piglets we get. He will remain on the farm. We want to breed him to both, our top pick of theYorkshire Gilts (A young sow that has not farrowed(had piglets)) we are getting, as well as to another purebred GOS. The cross breeding of the pigs also produces fantastic pork…. Be sure to check back soon on other developments…..

Our First Piglet
April 17, 2006, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Pigs


Our First Piglet– Over the Easter weekend we visited Sugar Mountain Farm about 65 miles north of us. This is the farm where we are getting 5 Yorkshire piglets (feeder pigs) to raise for market. We just wanted to see the mothers-to-be, not realizing we would be driving home with one. Her name came immediately to my wife Melissa—“Sugar”. Sugar is being raised for a local friend whom we had promised a pig for August. She will raised the way all pigs should be raised…with Respect! Some people have questioned how we can raise an animal then eventually butcher it. My first response is ,”are you a vegetarian?”. You would be surprised how many people are Not. They just don’t get it! For those that are “Vegetarians”– eat no meat ( that includes chicken!), fish, eggs etc– I usually ask why.. The answer most times is that animals are treated inhumanly, its wrong etc. That is the exact reason why we are doing a small family farm. We want our livestock to be enjoyed by us and others while they are here. Free Range, Hormone Free, Grass, Organic, and Naturally Fed, Loved and “Rasised With Respect!” And yes they can have it all… John