Why are the Pigs so Happy?

As part of our ever-growing quest to expand our permaculture practices at River Valley, we have moved the RV pigs to the top of the Valley.

The reason?

Chestnut trees.

That’s right, they are feeding off the fallen chestnuts in this area for the next few weeks as an experiment that will hopefully turn into a rather permanent silvopasture practice (the combination of forestry and domestic animal grazing).

This vertical stacking of multiple farming enterprises allows more productive use of the land and it enhances soil protection. As a bonus, chestnuts also have natural anti-parasitic properties and make for healthy feed for the pigs (and hopefully the horses in the future too!)

Another interesting facet of this silvopasture experiment – as seen in Spain, this is a method for flavouring of the pork meat with chestnuts of other nut types, resulting in specialty high-priced ham and pork (Prosciutto)!

With plans to eventually expand this idea, 25 hazelnut trees have also recently been planted and more hazelnut and chestnut trees have been ordered and are on the way.

For the meantime, we have some incredibly happy pigs.