Why We Decided to Raise Pigs

I’m going to preface this blog by explaining a bit of personal history.

I was a vegetarian for over a decade. I decided at the ripe old age of 8 that eating animals was cruel, unnecessary and not something I wanted to be apart of. This lasted until I was in college. I am now an adamant Ex vegetarian. There are many reasons for this, all of which I can go into at some other time, if that is something people would be interested in reading. Just know that I do not take an animals life lightly.

Having said this, over the years, MrGillis and I have become increasingly aware of the problems with industrial mono-culture farming, whether that be meat, almonds or what have you. It all started about 2 years into us living together and watching a little show called “Eco Trip”. Then other documentaries followed.

It culminated in us deciding to use our time and energy to get as far off the “grid” as possible and still be a part of a small town community.

So, here are our reasons for getting into raising pork.

  1. We love pork – seriously. And this last year my parents bought a pig from a local farm. It was without a doubt, the best pork we’ve ever eaten. It was lean, beautifully marbled, delicious stuff. We were eating some of the bacon, and both looked at each other and said we could not go back to store bought if we could help it. It also helped to know where it came from, that it spent its short life happily rutting outside in the mud and sun… happy animals are tasty animals quite frankly. (if you don’t believe me read about the effect of high levels of Cortisone hormone on ANYTHING. Stress sucks.)
  2. We watched the NPR “This American Life” episode about pig farming in modern America. We were devastated to see this. We do not want to be a part of that in any way, shape or form. If you haven’t watched this show, specifically this episode, please do. It was… to see the way that farmer talked about everything was so many feelings. So Many Feelings Folks.
  3. We have land to clear – and pigs are amazing at doing just that. They love to rut and wallow. They dig around with their very powerful snouts and eat everything in sight. We plan on hiring a neighbor to come in and cut the wood, running our electric fence and letting them loose. They’ll have ample room to roam, destroy and fertilize all at once. It’s going to be a beautiful way to spend their lives, and at the end we’ll have homegrown meat to be extra thankful for.
  4. They’ll help us cut down on our “cooked food waste” that doesn’t go into compost for whatever reason. That is something we really believe in. Reducing our waste is so important to us.
  5. The farmer we’ve been buying hay from has pigs- So we already know a guy, and his pigs are happy, healthy, rutting, outdoor living, well taken care of pigs. He’s already got litters coming in. They’ll be $100 per piglet but they come with a good start in life and that’s important to us.

These are the main reasons why, but also pigs are amazing animals and we feel like they’d be an excellent fit to our farm.

To prepare, I’ve been researching online thru pinterest and I read the book Homegrown Pork: Humane, Healthful Techniques for Raising a Pig for Food by Sue Weaver. I Loved this book – so much in fact that I started writing a review for it. I should be posting that one soon enough.

(side note- none of the pictures on this post are mine- Thanks Bing, Wide Open Pets, Science Mag, Wikipedia, Sugar Mountain Farm, NPS, MPR)

Until next time, have a wicked good day.


Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Why We Decided to Raise Pigs

  1. I absolutely adore pigs. We would love to have these too but we have to buy land. In the meantime we found a local pig small holding farmer and her pork is lovely. She has approx 12 pigs in growth stages of 3, 6 and 12 to 14 months before slaughter. Free range it’s a good life for a pig. First we have to finish our own living space but maybe in a couple of years piggies will be joining us. Oink I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are so excited for so many reasons… we really believe in producing our own food and getting away from industrialized meat production. Especially after watching some of the food documentaries we’ve seen. Best of luck on your adventure!


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