HUNGARIAN WOOLY PIG
Our first heritage Mangalitsa piglets arrived Sunday June 14th 2015. We've partnered and purchased with Geddes Martin, the owner and chef of Inn At Ship Bay here on Orcas Island.
Geddes has been raising these special, slow growing pigs for the last several years. We had our first amazing taste of them at Hogstones Wood Oven, a Seattle-area semifinalist for the 2015 James Beard award, and fell in love with the incredibly tender flavorful pork.
"They are a lard type heirloom breed of pig. They were originally bred in the Hapsburg regions of central Europe and almost wiped out between WWII and the centralization of farms in Hungary post WWII. Are considered by many chefs to be to pork, what Kobe cattle are to beef...." Geddes Martin- Inn at Ship Bay
"The Mangalitsa pig was born out of a 19th-century Austro-Hungarian experiment in cross breeding with a wild boar and a pig bred especially for lard. The result was one of the fattiest, tastiest and strangest-looking pigs around.The meat is a luscious red, more akin to beef than pork. It's 50-percent fat content gives it a coveted marble and buttery flavor. They've been nicknamed woolly pigs and curly haired hogs for their blonde, red or black locks." ~ Bringing Home The Wooly Bacon more at NPR's article in The Salt. You can also read more about these pigs here, from Modern Farmer.
Since 2015, we have had several more litters of these fantastic pigs. We sell beautiful cut and wrapped selections from the Farmstand and Farmer’s Market, as well as sell whole and half hogs to chefs and private parties. All the pork is processed by a local mobile USDA facility.
Pigs in the Field
Our Mangalitsa pigs are pastured in the dry season and rotationally grazed throughout our upper East field. During the wet season, they are kept in a sacrifice zone area, against the forest edge. These pigs get the bounty of the farm’s leftovers, like fallen apples, pears and plums, most of the vegetable cuttings from the Market Garden, and hay grown on our fields, as well as barley that’s grown on San Juan Island, which we spout for them daily. They are loved up at feeding time and truly enjoy the contact and scratches behind their sun-visor-like ears, or along their wooly backs.
We love the hardy intelligence, the incredible interaction, and of course the incredible way the Mangalitsa taste. As a new farmer, I have to say it was a difficult and deep lesson to learn, about truly knowing where your food comes from. We honor each life, and have reverence in the way they are treated before and after slaughter. There is a saying, “Our animals only have one bad day” That’s the promise we do our best to keep.