I’m so excited this morning 🙂
Last Saturday Humphrey emailed to alert me to a scheme about to be run by a wonderful farm, not far from where he lives.
Peelham Farm raises organic, free-range rare breed pigs. They’re committed to the ethical and compassionate treatment of the animals in their care, and they produce pork, lamb, mutton and even veal of the highest standard. See their ‘Meat Manifesto’ here.
Anyway, they’ve decided to run a Peelham Own-a-Tamworth (or POAT) club, whereby 12 lucky families can own their own Tamworth pig. In exchange for a contribution towards the cost of caring for the pig, the families can choose a piglet, visit the farm, have fun with like-minded families, follow the piglet’s progress and–ultimately–eat the piggly.
There was a feature about the scheme in The Observer last Sunday, and there’s been massive interest. I was very keen to join in, but it occurred to me that it might be possible to do it a little differently. Maybe I could sponsor a piglet to live out its life happily on the farm without going to market…?
Well, I wrote to the farm and asked, and they wrote straight back to invite me to choose a she piglet (a gilt) to become a breeding sow. I can contribute towards the cost of her care, and visit her. I can meet her piglets when she starts to breed at about 7 months, and she will effectively be mine for the whole of her life (up to 8 years, apparently). I can even choose her little name! (Suggestions welcome, btw.)
This is a real thrill for me 🙂 I love bacon sandwiches and the odd sausage as much as the next person, but I’ve become increasingly distressed by the terrible conditions in which most of the animals that sustain us subsist. Compassionate farming seems to me to be the way forward, and it’s hugely exciting to be able to be involved in this way.
Wee Piglet is also very excited, and has started building a small sty in the garden under the large bush in the corner, even as I type. Puss-Puss is licking her lips and sharpening her tooth. Um…
I’ll keep y’all updated, but in the meantime a thousand thanks to Humph for the tip-off ♥ ♥ ♥