Monday, February 16, 2015

Butter, pigs and sugar mountain farm

Walter Jefferies has been claiming to raise pigs on forage alone for years.  And when I recently pointed out that a few bushes or some grass might get a nibble from pigs, 15 tons of cheese and tens of thousands of gallons of milk products probably do a lot better job.

Just to be fair, when I stock 10 pigs an acre, that acre goes to bare dirt pretty darned quick.  and that land is lush, fertile river-bottom land covered in 3' of good grass to start.

Walter apparently didn't appreciate my posting a picture of his lovely wife juggling cheese and filed a takedown notice so that my blog entry was removed from the internet.  That's pretty rude, but I will do my best to protray his wife jugging cheese.  Here's my artists rendition here.

Holly actually draws people for a living.  I'd cheerfully accept her self portrait here.  I suck as an artist.  Sorry Holly.
See the original image of Holly jugging cheese here

For those folks who don't know the history, a few years ago I got tired of Walter Jefferies claiming to raise pigs on grass and forage alone, stocking at a rate of 10 pigs an acre, and offered him $10,000 to raise pigs per his repeated claims.

He declined my challenge, and sure is sore about my bringing it up, but how about you talk about what you're actually doing, and not a fantasy, Walter?


Unknown said...

You Bozo!!

I see that you still have it in for Walter Jeffries. Honestly, I appreciate your persistence. It's been a couple of years since I visited your blog and imagine my surprise to find the first posting I come across to still be whining about Sugar Mountain.
Anyway, I think that your assertions have merit. Walter's claims just don't add up. Caloric intake for those pigs is obviously coming in the form of dairy. Yet it's all about pasture!

Hope you missed me.


Éirinn Mac Giolla Phádraig said...

i really enjoy reading Walter's blog--tons of neat ideas and he has a really interesting set-up. it is annoying though that it does seem like he's insinuating that almost all of his pigs' food comes from pasture.

i belong to a heritage breed pig Facebook page, and a farmer recently posted a lovely pic of his oinkers on pasture, with the quote: "A lot of people tell us you can't raise pigs on pasture. These heritage pigs would probably tell them otherwise, but they are too busy rooting and running around. Yes, pastured pigs are a lot of work, but the results are worth it!"

someone point blank asked him if he raised them only on pasture, and then he admitted that he supplemented with grains, whey, apple pomace, vegetable surplus, 500 pounds of whey per week and 2000 pounds of pomace-- for 60 pigs.

i have no idea why farmers need to mislead people about the idea of pasturing. there is absolutely nothing wrong with supplementing pasture, and in fact it's quite inspiring to see the relationship between small scale pig farmers and other small businesses including cider houses, breweries, dairies, bakeries. veg farms. food recycling!

anyway. i feel your frustration.


Bruce King said...

Hiya Friend; you're always welcome here, even if ya call me names.

Just to be clear; I don't hate walter, I hate his promoting something that is pretty clearly not possible as if its truth.

Walter is probably a stand up guy, and has raised nice children, and almost never kicks puppies.

Bruce King said...

Eirinn: I agree with you; walters blog has all sorts of good stuff on it. The only issue I've got is when he ventures into fantasy and presents it as if it's fact.

Truth is, for all the good stuff he does it's made less by his spouting stuff like "I raised pigs on forage alone".

I really do hate it when a customer of mine a continent away asks me about grass fed pigs. And every producer I run across has had the same experience.