Let Them Eat Acorns: Preaching the Gospel of the Forest-Fed Pig

www.nytimes.com:2014:01:01:dining:preaching-the-gospel-of-the-forest-fed-pig.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&

SWOOPE, Va. — Hog heaven, it turns out, is a place on earth, a sun-dappled mountainside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where one day this fall a herd of Gloucestershire Old Spots, Hampshires, Yorkshires and Durocs contentedly gorged their way toward 300 pounds.…

Some vacuumed the underbrush with their snouts, noisily ingesting grasses and herbs, acorns and persimmons, with the occasional grub and worm. Others squeezed their portly forms into communal wallows, legs splayed in cool, damp soil.…

Among the nation’s most famous farmers, he has lately turned to preaching the gospel of the forest-fed pig. At a time when 90 percent of America’s pork is produced in huge confinement operations (the largest, Smithfield, is now owned by a Chinese corporation), Mr. Salatin, 56, is urging the return of the pig to its ancestral home. Like Virginia farmers of a century ago, when herds roamed and foraged these mountains, he has unleashed his pigs into the nooks and crannies of 450 acres of Appalachian hardwood forest on his Polyface Farm.…

New York Times article by Kathyrn Shattuck

Photos by Andrew Shurtleff

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