Pigs are absolutely necessary on every diversified farm, not just for the meat, but also because they clean up all scraps and leftovers.
In 2016 we were running a test trial on our farm. We saved two conventional pigs from a “confinement operation” and fed them solely with unsold rye bread and hay flower.
Hay flowers are the small particles like seeds, dust and tiny little leaves that fall out of the hay bales. When they are soaked in hot water for a few days, fermentation processes start to take place. The protein content of this mush is not as high as that from grain or potatoes, but comes with a huge ethical benefit: the pig is no longer a food competitor to humans.
The pigs were outside from April to December. In the winter they stayed inside and worked and aerated the barn manure from the cattle and sheep.
As expected, the pigs grew much more slowly and it took us 18 month (3x as long as conventional pigs) before they reached processing weight. In return meat quality and the texture of the fat was completely different and the taste of the meat was superb.
The next batch of “biodynamic hayflower pork meat” will be available late 2017. By spring 2018 we also plan to offer piglets to other farmers and homesteaders. Check this website for any updates.