Eaglerise Farm Pastured Pork Enterprise
Several years ago, I started our pork enterprise. I purchased a Berkshire boar and two Berkshire sows. I chose Berkshire as heritage breed and their reputation for high quality pork and adaptability to pastured production. I started my introduction into direct marketing at Farmers’ Markets for fresh pork only. I did not have access to value adding pork products and refrained from selling frozen pork. I persisted in this model for a few years. However, the pressure of full-time, off-farm employment and sole-parenting highlighted management of the pigs, the pig infrastructure and the farm in general.
Basically, I decided that I had entered the pig enterprise prematurely with insufficient respect for the consequences.
The difficult decision was made to exit the pork business until I could devote sufficient energy to it. This resulted in some very happy customers buying my live pigs for their system.
When Allysa joined the farm, our business model developed into increasing attendance at Farmers’ Markets. With added labour availability, we reviewed our pork enterprise. There was a larger pork producer/butcher attending the market, with the economies of scale that we could not match. We decided to develop a small, niche pork business where we purchased two or three growers from another pasture pork producer and grow them out for value-added products on a seasonal basis. Our new butcher was competant in smoked products.
The seasonality revolved around time of surplus egg and vegetable production at appropriate weather times – not cold wet season nor hot, dry season. This afforded a favourable system for our production.
In 2022 we had the oportunity to purchase a Duroc sow in pig. This gave us a litter to kick start out introduction.