We don't like buying gasoline or diesel at any price as far as that goes. That's one of the main reasons we employed Tamworth pigs to renovate our 25 year old over grown land back in 2004.
I had been trying to figure out how we were going to bring the briar infested land back to producing something more than multi-flora rose, rabbits and deer.
Being raised on a farm I knew pigs had a bull dozer/industrial roto-tiller on the front and a manure spreader on the back. Of course in between is a whole bunch of good eatin'.
So why spend hundreds of dollars per hour to hire a dozer to clear the land? The only reason I could come up with was it would be faster and admittedly easier. Hire the dozer, go in afterwards and broadcast seed.
But I wasn't in a hurry and it looked like there was a good bit of vegetation the pigs could utilize.
Now for the part the dozer and equipment couldn't accomplish.
The pigs would add fertility to the soil as they cleared it. The pigs would also root the soil and loosen it up verses pack it down like the equipment would tend to do.
And finally, I've have never had bacon from a
So after I considered both options, I decided pigs were the way to clear land here at Spring Hill Farms.
If you think about it, it's much like farmers would have done before heavy equipment and cheap fuel. As farmers we are going to have to look at how things were done in the past and leverage them with the knowledge and some of the equipment we have now. (Like electric fence.)
We try to find ways to incorporate our animals natural behaviors into working for us. That philosophy is the exact opposite of the farmer who puts his hogs on concrete so they don't root.
The closer we can mimic natural patterns, the better it is for us, and the animals.
Until next time...