Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tree Crops ... Pigs ... and Tons of Links!

First of all, consider this a bonus post! I'm going to be out of town at a youth event on Saturday so I decided to make a bonus post today.

I read an article this morning from one of my back issues of The Stockman Grass Farmer. I can't remember the title of the article off the top of my head and it isn't close by, but it was an article about tree crops and trees as a forage producing crop for pastured livestock. It talked about nuts for hogs, cattle eating some leaves, and things like that. Also, it talked about creating a savannah like polyculture on your farm by having trees spread throughout your pasture. When you think of your timber as an asset to the farm, you find that it can be used for logging, providing forage, giving shade and wind protection, heat, and so much more.

On our farm we have quite a bit of forest land, but it has a very overgrown forest floor. We have debated different methods of clearing out the woods and making them work for the farm instead of just looking nice! That article really got me thinking about the possibilities. The possibilities of doing some selective harvesting for lumber, adding pigs to open up areas, and letting the Dexters reach the edges to munch on the shrubs and find protection from the wind. Also, there are areas that have been overtaken by cedar trees that we could work back into savannah land.

Well, all that thinking brought be back to the pigs. Pigs are something I would really like to add, but I have to get my dad totally on board with them because they require supplemental feed. We are not new to pigs, in fact we have had pigs off and on throughout the years but always in a conventional setting. With the conventional setting the pigs were never very popular on our place! But, what if we did them unconventionally and managed our woodlands all at the same time? It is an interesting thought, and something that I have been reading a lot lately.

Below are a ton of links that I have read recently. Most of them come from Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm. Make sure you bookmark his blog as it is a treasure trove of information!

Feeder Pigs on a Wood Lot - Homesteading Today

Pasture Pigs and Boars - Homesteading Today

Pastured Pigs - Homesteading Today

Boars With Piglets - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

Keeping a Pig for Meat - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

What is a Half Pig Share - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

How to Weigh a Pig With a String - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

More Fencing - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

To Cut or Not - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

How Much Land Per Pig - Sugar Mountain Farm Blog

If you are interested in pigs I strongly suggest you check out these links, and then bookmark the Sugar Mountain Farm Blog. The picture above is some of their pigs on pasture ... it seems like he is doing some wonderful farming, and I would like to take a page from his play book.


sugarcreekfarm said...

The latest newsletter from the Pork Niche Market Working Group has some interesting information, and also a link to an online niche pork production handbook. I think a lot of it refers to farmers to grow for Niman or some similar outfit, but still there's some good stuff in there.

Ethan Book said...

Thanks for that link! I have it printed out and in my hands right now. There is some good information in that publication. Do you get it as a member of the PFI or do you have to be part of the PNMWG?

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