Truelove Farms

Natural - Ethical - Sustainable

About Us

Once Upon A Time There Were Four Little Piggies...

I
n 2009, Truelove Farms began life with four little copper-colored piglets and more ambition than know-how. Those first four piglets, Tamworth pigs to be precise, were the first steps towards a dream of sustainable farming and local food. Inspired by figures like Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, and Joel Salatin, we wanted to raise food in a way that was ethical and true to the land, the livestock, and the friends and neighbors who would become our customers. These years later, those first piglets have turned into our growing pastured-raised pork herd, and Truelove Farms is going strong!

            The farm itself was for many years a dairy, and the house and main barn can be dated back to the 1700’s. The farm was known as Hickory Hurst, named for the many shagbark hickory thickets on the land; Hickory Hurst is still proudly painted on the side of our antique red barn. The dairy closed in the early seventies and eventually the property was sold to its current owners. For over thirty years the land was hayed and maintained, but there were no longer cows in the pastures, or chickens in the barnyard. When the idea of resurrecting Hickory Hurst as a small, diversified farm was floated,  the owners gave us a chance. We began to clean out the cavernous interior of the old barn, and trim back the encroaching brambles. Little by little, the fields gradually began to come back to agricultural life...



Pasture Raised Pork...

Sus scrofa, the domestic pig, is at heart a creature of the forest. Descended from the wild hogs of Asia, pigs are one of the most adaptive and hardy mammals on earth, able to squeeze their way into a host of environments; the forest, however, is their true home. From the deep forests of Europe to the equatorial jungles of Africa to the hardwoods of the southern US, pigs use their spade-shaped snouts to turn up the loamy soil in an endless quest for roots, invertebrates, buried nuts, or anything even remotely tasty. Like herds of small bulldozers, groups of pigs will churn furrows across the forest floor, vacuuming up everything in their path.

For thousands of years, this was how domestic pigs were raised, turned loose in the forests of the old world and left to more or less breed and fatten on their own, rounded up only to be taken to market. Between scraps from the local village and the bounty of the woods, swine practically raised themselves. Some of the finest pork in the world, Iberian ham, is still produced in a similar fashion, as Iberian hogs are allowed to roam and root in the oak savannah of southern Spain, an acorn rich diet giving the ham a luxurious nutty flavor. Here in the Americas, the first European immigrants, notably the Spanish themselves, practiced this same form of relaxed husbandry, and for three hundred years pigs cruised the American woodlands gorging on acorns and the now sadly absent American chestnut. 

Here at Truelove Farms, we seek to replicate a page from history with our pig production. The factory farming of the last half century is worth little mention save to say it is both stomach turning and shameful. We reject it in favor of a more natural way of farming. Our pigs are raised exclusively outdoors, in both our shagbark hickory grove and our second-growth hardwood forest. Gregarious and social in the extreme, our pigs are kept in herds and rotated through their woodlot 'pastures' via electric fence and portable solar chargers. The incredible destruction they cause with their amazingly muscular noses is not only controlled by this rotation, but harnessed to rehabilitate marginal use land on the borders of our fields. They naturally aid decomposition and fertilize the ground as they return to each area on only an annual basis. 

This method of hog husbandry produces happier and healthier animals. In addition to the corn and soy based diet they are given, they forage for all the hickory nuts and earthworms they can find (and in the fall are brought apples, sweet corn, pumpkins, and acorns from local farms and forest). We rely on heritage breed hogs, specifically Berkshires and Tamworths, old breeds out of favor industrially, but ideally suited to producing fantastic pork when raised on pasture. With plenty of room for movement and a naturally balanced diet high in vegetation, the pork we offer is not only leaner than what comes from the factory, but far more flavorful, and the lard they provide is pure and perfect for baking or just frying farm-fresh eggs.

Perhaps most crucial to us, the pigs are allowed happy lives. They sleep in the shade and wallow in the mud and behave in a perfectly piggy fashion. In our woodlots, the hogs are truly at home, raised in a millennial old tradition in synch with the land, the seasons, and most importantly, the nature of the pig.

Truelove Farms
122 Thomaston Rd
Morris, CT 06763
truelovefarms@gmail.com
203-217-6234
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