Occasional menu items: outdated dairy products, cheese
The 4 Tamworth growers in the foreground are tearing into their meal. The breeding adults in the far background are doing the same. These groups are separated by two strands of electric fence. They sleep/nap in their hoophouse which is bedded down with mulch hay.
I have weaned the grower pigs and adults from feed grain for the following reasons:
- The cost of feed grain has gone up due in large part to new ethanol plants buying up midwest corn to convert to fuel,
- I would like to reduce inputs to the farm that travel long distances (and their associated transportation and fuel costs),
- I continue to look for ways to support other fellow Vermont farmers,
- I can reduce the waste stream by transferring outdated foodstuffs destined for the landfill to growing great pork (It truly boggles me just how much gets thrown away in our society).
The pigs are still getting grains, but in a different medium as bread. Adding local hay - which they do eat, and outdated dairy products makes for a diverse diet and ultimately a better tasting product. None of this is new, the old-timers used to feed pigs much in the same way and a fellow Vermont pig farmer raises great pigs with these foods and got me excited to do the same.
So if you see what looks like a homeless person digging through a bakery dumpster at night with a flashlight clenched between his teeth - don't be alarmed (and please don't call the cops). It's just your local farmer turning bread into pork!