Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Pigs

A fussy eater….

….not a phrase you associate with pigs.  But this one wants things just so.  First, she likes company when she eats.  And she does not want her milk on top of her cereal….separately please. Most pigs could care less but this one’s mother taught her proper etiquette.  She eats even more if grandson, Church, stays […]

“Stay with quality….

….quality will always sustain you.”  That was the advice this butcher’s daddy gave him.  Lovely. Here’s a short film that is an ode to country bacon and ham and a man from Virginia who has made it his life’s work.  Heavily-salted bacon and ham are not my favorites but I’m not going to quibble with […]

For your summer party….

….a Tamworth pork salad! Recipe from son, Church!  

Pork…with a little help from our friends….

….as Thistle Hill pork aficionados have learned, it’s a waiting game!  Fattening pigs mostly on pasture takes a long time.  But now we think we have found “the trick”.  Or tricks! Organic, non-GMO feed, is twice as expensive, but Rich Hamilton of Elim Springs farm convinced us, on a recent visit, to triple the daily allowance.  […]

On pork….

….we took guests this weekend to a nearby farm store.  As fellow pig breeders, I thought they would be interested in another approach to marketing pork. We’d tasted the sausage before and appreciated the flavor but without endorsing the management technique of using regular genetically-modified grain, plus day-old bread from a bakery (not only GM […]

Free range pigs….

….well, we hadn’t planned it that way.  At least, not yet! But these two piglets must have overheard me say I’d like to try letting some pigs roam our woods, gorging themselves on acorns to their heart’s content. In any event, despite the picture, they’re on their own.  But they do come home twice a […]

In praise of The Pig….

….I admit that I was never much of a fan of pork….until we started raising (and cooking) our Tamworth pigs. We’ve all been schooled to over-cook our pork and so restaurant chops are almost always dry and bacon fried to the taste of old shoe leather.  Now we look forward to the next harvesting as […]

The “high” cost of pork….

….we’ve been warning that, because of increased feed and processing costs, our pork prices will be higher this time.  But not this high: Thanks to Keith Smith for the link.  

None dare call it Big Ag….

….or Big Government, for that matter. The giant hog farms are in the midst of a desperate struggle to save their piglet crop.  Reuters is reporting a devastating virus has now hit about 200 farms in a dozen states and is spreading.  No one is estimating how many piglets have died but the mortality rate […]


….well, we took a deep breath and released our month-old piglets into the woods.  Not quite freedom though; a two strand polywire  electric fence is holding them to about a half acre. They come back for food and water and to sleep in an old stall, but we’ve noticed a decline in feed consumption, probably because […]