When we arrived at our new home we knew that 'sorting' the land was going to be a BIG challenge. Most of it had been left to its own devices for quite some time and although much of it returned to its naturally wild state we had some unwelcome inhabitants too, especially in the top field! Although beautiful in its own right, the 2 acre sea of bracken and brambles was suffocating the fruit trees, hiding the wonderful glacial boulders that are now visible and preventing us from seeing what this space really had to offer. Enter The Pigs, nature’s very own four-legged plough!
Keen to utilise a natural, chemical free process we recruited some piglets to help with the manual labour that the land was so desperately in need of. We carefully chose a cross of two special rare breed pigs; The Gloucester Old Spot (GOS) and the Tamworth. The GOS breed of pig is a very old English variety known for being hardy, friendly and a great baconer. Tamworth's are often called the ‘Original’ Pig, as they are one of the closest domesticated relative to the wild pig. Their ginger bristles allow them to thrive in most conditions, which is important as we experience hot summers and very cold winters. Their best attribute, however, is their ability to dig and they certainly proved this by making short work of all of the undergrowth at Le Monteil!
It is worth mentioning that pigs are very clean, social and inquisitive animals, often compared to dogs in terms of intelligence. They love to interact with people, almost as much as they love their meal time, and you can watch them play and muck about down in The Pig Pen whenever you like. We welcome all visitors at Le Monteil Revolution that wish to be hands on and this includes giving the pigs their dinner if it takes your fancy. One other way to make a friend for life is by providing one of our porcine friends with a good old back scratch using a nearby rock as a pumice, just watch out for the mud!