We finally went to see Ethel, our little porkie, who is being raised on our behalf by Samphire at Sycamore Farm. You can see a video about the farm and My Little Porkie here.
Karen and Geoff Nethercott run Samphire Shop and Sycamore Farm, and very kindly gave us a guided tour, and of course introduced us to the pigs. But first, a lovely mixed flock of chickens. Every orchard needs a few chickens!
Then on to see the object of our visit, the pigs. And, of course, Ethel in particular:
Ethel is a cross between a Saddleback and a Gloucester Old Spot. Karen and Geoff also breed Middle Whites. These are an old-fashioned rare breed – and they ARE rare, partly because they don’t grow very large, and partly because the meat isn’t fashionably lean. But by all accounts they are delicious. Maybe for our next little porkie?
Having met the children, we went to the next field to meet the parents, admiring the geese on the way.
First the Gloucester Old Spot mums – both expecting again.
You know “who’s the daddy?” when you meet this guy. He’s a big lad.
Another picture of the Gloucester Old Spot girls, with a pair of Middle Whites, also for breeding, on the far side.
And here are the Middle Whites:
I could have stayed and admired the pigs for hours, but sadly we couldn’t. One final treat was to see the beautiful flock of Ryeland sheep. And of course to admire the barn, designed and built by Geoff himself!
Sycamore Farm is a wonderful place, and Karen and Geoff are dedicated to their rare breeds. Please support them at Samphire. The pork pies are a particular delight!