• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

future pig pasture

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
sunchokes and nut trees are on the list for an acre or two set aside for some butcher hogs each year. any suggestions for winter forage? they supposedlydo much better in the winter here because it gets so hot in the summer so it needs to be things that are available during the cold season  (only done winter ones myself so i can't personally vouch for winter hogs but its seems reasonable ) .
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How cold does it get there?  How deep does the soil freeze?

If you can store any crops naturally in the soil there, maybe you could sow alternate sections of things like turnips and forage beets, etc.

Here is an interesting article on allowing pigs to graze in woodlands:  http://www.stockmangrassfarmer.net/cgi-bin/page.cgi?id=656

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
soil maybe freezes a few inches if it does at all. I can grow turnips with my green thumb tied behind my back! I don't like them though so it hadn't occured to me to grow 'em for pigs. excellent idea.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here in Spain as i said before pigs are fattened on acorns and the result is a ham, type parma ham, salted and dried rather than kept in brine, that if it is made of acorn feed pigs costs a hundered euros a kilo or more instead of a ham worth ten euros a kilo or less.
      The difference in taste ibetween a acorn feed ham and a feed fed one is big. I beieve in talking of the things that can be earnt in organic farming, i don't mind how sinful ol people are,by which i mean i don't specialy want farmers to be saintly, anyway, i don't believe that poverty necessarily brings saintleyness. I want efficient farming and the stuff that goes on now is horiible and ineficient and will increase global warming.
      They eat grass and acorns, grass is said to have a big protien content something acorns are short on.
  There used to be pig herders, i don't know how they organise things now. Prehaps ther still are.
  They say you can only use the cerdo iberica and a jersey duroc mix.for this type of farming other pigs  don't survive it 
    They seems to have got themselves evergreen oaks which flower and fruit at different times so the season for fattening pigs is a four mounth one. Cork oaks serve the same purpose but are more delicate that encinas. These two are both evergreen. Evergreen broadleaved trees are a meditereanan thing like the olive whiuch means that tghe leaves of these trees serve to feed the livestock in winter as well as summer. Other typesw of oaks exist here and also produce acorns as fattening and leaves in summer. The oaks are alss a source of prime fire wood.
    IN another part of the book on dehesas "the encina en el centro y sur oeste de España", the author, Cesar Fuentes Sanchez, talks about were to leave the differrent animals in spring. The pigs are put into the tenderest pastures they say, they don't like bushes and such, the goats are put  on to mountain pastures full of bushes, the pigs have  to get the best, more so than sheep and cows and horses is what struck me and i don't remember more though i could look it up. It was a list of where each animal got put in which season. . Grass would reduce their necessity for water.
    The book says it is better if you let them eat the acorns as they fall because they are difficult to store and because then you don't have to pay people to collect them. In mountainous regions beaters knock the acrons off the trees before they get lost to frosts.
      The acrons fed the other animals if they are not reserved for pigs. they are used to feed humans too and  are very good if you get a tree with sweet acorns and were ground and made into breed and that not long ago. According to the author the meat of all animalsfeed on acorns is very good . I have only tried the ham.
    I have a article i got of a site called agrocope a catholic site, eerie, which is not normally a very green site, that is a complaint from district in las Pedroches and Guadiato, in the province of Cordova. They complain that the cranes eat the acorns that could feed 70, thousand sheep and four thousand pigs,
  I have included  in a foto  of the forest round the quarry i posted a photograph of somewhere in these forums.  The foto of a wood that i put in by a mistake beside the quarry was of evergreen oaks in the province of Ávila. near the town of Ávila and the quarry is in the province of Guadalajara.  I put in this Photograph because one tree, the yelow one, is in flower. It backs up my statement that they have somehow managed to have trees that don't flower all at the same time.
  I have an web article from an Italian  Tuscan university about studies on the  growth of the root of threetypes of oaks in the dry summer mounths One of the types of oakthey studied  lost root mass during the summer, another mantained its roots and the roots of the evergreen oak went on growing during the summer.
bosque tamajon.jpg
[Thumbnail for bosque tamajon.jpg]
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Posts: 382
Location: South West France
24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rose, as in Spain, here in France at the end of the  summer glut we put our pigs into the woods to feed on chestnuts and acorns and clear the wood of brambles and bush.

We kill our pigs around Christmas when that source of food is finished and the remaining pigs eat potatoes, pumpkins, and any stored roots we have.



In early spring there's still plenty in the ground - Jerusalem artichokes and winter veg such as cabbage and leeks . We always have corn available - it stores well until late summer but it needs to be mixed with less calorific food like grass and roots so at that time of the year the pigs benefit by helping us clear the land.



If you keep your pigs a bit longer than a year, the meat is wonderful - here's a jambon which was opened after two years of air drying.

 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
, Hardworkinghippy Hello  I did not know they did the same with pigs in France as here that they feed pigs on acorns there nor did I know that chestnuts was another feed, though i had thought it was probable.  I believe they feed the pigs on acorns in Tuscany too. Roll on the body of knowledge about this type of traditional farming.
  I am only a fake hippy, a sort of half half hippy, only hardworking  if investigating hippy themes is hard working, which it is, quite. I always was a hippy who did not really do the dirty work, only liked hippy ideas. As a house wife though or gardener i have done plenty of manual work.

  You can't imagine how many kilometers of oak woods there are here, though many of them are not used for pigs, maybe because there was pig pest here and so pig farming is still prohibited in lots of provinces or has been till a short while ago. The pig farming of this type is not a hippy activity here  it is more a fascist type of activity, which is  a pity, it means lots of people who might promote this type of farming that must be green, as it means that trees are respected, Are not at alll interested in it.
  Sadly wheat is apparently so worth while that i think they will quietly and illegally do for the oak woods i have seen some trees disappear to convert the land into arable land and here they have the myth that it is urbanisation that is unecological. I have observed that the owners of homes normally plant trees and make things green, it is the whet farmers that lay waste to everything.
    As far as i know, in the woods of the photo, the only animals that get grazed are sheep and goats who probably get fat on the acorns. I am forgetting the many boar that live around here. I reckon, that if they sold lamb from parts of Spain like this one, a bit older, they kill it when its absolutely new born, nearly, then there would be some very special sorts of Spanish lamb and goat. I am  mostly vegetarian person, still living in the woods is a happier life than in the stable so maybe a vegetarian can advocate this sort of farming. rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have only read the stock man greengrass  pasture article posted by sue munroe now, a bit late.
  Here the Spanish book i have says that pigs stop there being too many oak trees trees, they eat the acorns and the sprouting acorns . It is interesting that this article says that the acorn can go through the pig gut and still germinate, it would  explain why the hills here get seeded with acorns. There are plenty of boar here to carry acorns around and seed empty hills.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19863
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
HH,

Can you tell us more about the jambon process?

It sounds like your pigs eat a lot of what grows around there - do you buy any pig feed?

 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Posts: 382
Location: South West France
24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No Paul we don't have to buy in any feed. We've never had more than three pigs at a time so we've plenty growing here to feed them.

This is a brief outline of how we do our jambons.

The day the pig is butchered, salt the jambons and cover them with planks of wood and weights to get out as much moisture as possible for 24 hours



Wipe the jambons dry and pepper them well. Put them into a wooden box filled with salt and cover all the jambon well with rock  salt for 3 days per kilo (about 40 days)

Take them out and rub off the remaining salt then wash the jambon in tepid water and red wine vinegar



Wipe the jambon dry and rub them with eau de vie (or local equivalent) then pepper the jambon really well



Hang the jambon in a dry airy place covered with a muslin cloth.



The jambon will be ready to eat in about a month - check it regularly - you may need to rub more pepper in especially around the bone.

This jambon was started after a year and was still in perfect condition after hanging for two years.



When you first taste your jambon make it an event and don't forget to say a few words to thank the pig.

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ok so....what is ...eau de vie.......and what would be my local equivalant?
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Posts: 382
Location: South West France
24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eau de vie is alcohol distilled from fruit. We make our own from figs, grapes, plums etc.

You can use your own or your neighbour's cheap local (but good quality) alcohol which will thoroughly clean the jambon. 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ah! thanks!
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The french are like that, what we call fire water they call the water of life; they make anything starry.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leah Sattler you say you live in a damp place, I think the reason they don’t make this sort of ham in England is because it is damp there and this sort of jam might go moldy, so they make ham, in brine, In Spain it is very dry and even so they sometimes make it in mountainous districts where the air is even drier. miind you Spain is only second t
o switzerland in mountains. It might be something that could be made in the rocky mountains. It is like smoked jamon it is never cooked eaten raw. 
      Cesar Fuentes says that being feed acorns makes all meat taste really good, maybe you could make a very special type of ordinary brine soaked ham with acorn fed pigs. Still salted dried hams are really interesting and tasty so its nice to know aboutr them even if you don’t have the climate for them.     
            These French hams are not just acorn and grass feed so it is not completely the same thing as spainish hams, it does not so much increase the planting of trees on peoples land. Of course they are more a small holders enterprise and so the information on them is more usefull to smallholders. Are permies by definition small holders or all types of farmer? I suppose sepp holzer is a medium holder farmer. In Spain the small holder farmer with no oak trees who make hams too people in the village used to keep a pig and i have sweenone man bring sugar beet for his pig and they make hams and sausages of them , only they aren’t of the special acorn quality hams. rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
        I think that you never know what information might not be usefull to whom so I tell about the Spanish techniques in case they are  usefull to someone.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul Wheaton, In Spain they have investigated how many acorns the pigs needed to eat for their meat to have the desired taste and so it may be, must be, that really efficient farmers who don’t want to use more acorns than those that achieve the desired effect feed them on other feeds, though this would not be the most ecological way of fattening them.

    Cesar Fuentes Sánchez' book says that you can fatten two pigs a hectare, his model is of, a time in Salamanca, a province next to Avila, where the price of and cereals and beans was high, so there were only 80 encinas, trees a hectare, which is also to say that the oaks were grown on arable land, which trees he supposes give between 1,600 to 1700 kilos of acorns a hectare .

      Dehesas, wooded farms weren't places that were famous for economic the well being of the workers on them, and that is not to say that they were greedy pigs who could not get as rich as they wanted but that they were poor starved peasants, and the owners were, mostly, irresponsible absentee land owners, but if modern knowledge of healthy soils were applied to the dehesa it would produce much more grass or cereals and acorns, if only because land with lots of organic material in it absorbs more water, so that in any dry weeks, the soil full of organic material will take longer to dry than soil with no organic matter on it. More organic matter also means the dry season will take longer to affect the plants.
    Though the encina does not survive well where there is too much manure there is always a happy medium and some soils here are so poor that the lack of nutrients can't be good for the health of the trees or allow them to have maximum fruiting. Also the use of herbicides is general everyone loves herbicides even in the most natural seeming backwoods surroundings, to kill the undergrowth to reduce fire risk and is in some places so overused it must damage the trees.

  As to keeping pigs in a small enclosure with trees, in the case of evergreenoaks, If you fence of a small field in a farm of them for live stock, the trees in the enclosure get killed.
    The book. “Encinas in the Centro y Suroeste de España”. Cesar Sanchez Fuentes, I cite books so what I say can be checked out, though with some difficulty as they are Spanish. I have seen an enclosure on one of these farms just below the Escorial full of horses and the trees had died in it.  César Fuentes Sanchez says the trees die in small enclosures with few trees to animals because the pigs skin is fatty and they rub on the trees, rubbing fat into the pores of the trunk which kills the trees.
    As it is said these are trees that really don't like too much manure, maybe it is the surfeit of manure that kills them when animals are fenced in to a small field with some oaks in it, another idea and this is mine, is, that I wonder if the pigs don’t cause embolism in the water carrying tubes in the trees when they rub on the trees, so killing them. rose macaskie



 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I longish rant on how water gets up trees. Which rant explains why you should not hit them?
    Something I read about in “Trees” by Roland Ennos and think helps people to understand the virtues and needs of trees. Things get more complicated than this but this has been a good base for me, that has allowed me to understand other things about trees.

    Trees raise water at least in part by cohesion. This is to say that the water molecules hold on to each other so firmly and on to the wall of the tubes they are held in, that they can and do form a continuous column between the leaves and roots. This column gets stretched when the leaves loose water, where trees lose water is called a sink area and this stretch exercises a pull on things as a rubber band pulls if it is stretched and pulls up water entering the roots. If the water column breaks the tubes empty, the water in them collapses as a rubber band that has been stretched would collapse if you cut it.
     
    This is the reason you should not bang trees, bangs can cause the water columns to break.

    They have done experiments that prove this with water held in capillary tubes, water held in very fine tubes can maintain its cohesion hold together under great  pressures, does not spray out out of the capillary tubes until the centrifugal forces are really great. They proved this spinning water round in capillary tubes in the laboratory to see how fast they have to spin them before the water shoots out the ends. They found the strength of cohesion of water in these tubes is big enough to pull water nearly 3km high.
 
  The tubes in a tree are small, though for a scientist there are much smaller tubes. For instance they say that capillary action would not carry the water up a tree for more than 2 to 20 inches the trees tubes, vessels, are just too big for capillary action to pull water up to a greater height than 20 inches. They seem to think there are much smaller tubes that would do it.

  One proof that water goes up the tree because of elastic energy and cohesion is that if you cut a branch the water in it withdraws into the tree on one side and on the other into the branch you have cut off.
    This can be proved in this way, if you put the cut of stem head down in a Scholander bomb a box in which you can increase pressure, as you can increase the pressure in a car tire I suppose, with its stem sticking out through a hole sealed off round it and then you increase the pressure in the box, when you have applied the amount of pressure that is equivalent to the pressure of the stretch the water was subjected to, the water will start to come out of the end of the cut end of the branch. This not only proves that the water has withdrawn into the branch when it was cut. It also shows you how much pressure the water was subjected to.
  The sap that comes out of a cut in a tree is elaborated sap that comes from just under the bark.

One of the reasons this is interesting is because it is something that affects trees abilities to colonize dry places and cold places. It has to do with desertification and remediating it. 
  Trees in cold climates and hot ones have a greater possibility of losing the use of their water vessels because their water columns collapse and once collapsed they often lose the use of the vessel.
    In hot climates lack of water can make the water column so fine that they end up breaking. In cold climates where the sap freezes you get bubbles of air in the frozen sap, that when the sap melts expand cause an embolism in the tube, breaking the water columns.

  It is the fact that the use of the tube is lost if the columns collapse and they collapse if you cut them, that is the reason you must not take every bit of leaf and twig off a tree, if you do, you will break all water columns in the tree.
      In Spain, when they pollard an oak tree, they leave a few sprigs of leaves at the end of the main arms. Otherwise all the smaller branches are cut off. I have however pollarded decorative limes and we cut all the twigs off their branches, their branches weren’t long however as the branches of pollarded oaks here are. I killed a peach cutting all the twigs off it and small branches, to try and cure peach tree curl. It grew again from its roots.
    Trees like oaks make a new set of columns each year in the new ring of wood they place round the trunk, this makes up for losing the use of some of their columns the year before.
  Maples and birches refill their its columns, tremendous pressures building up  their trunks in spring, causing the sap to shoot around in all directions, that is why the slightly sweet water, unelaborated sap of the maple comes out of the pipe placed in the trunk of maples by those collecting maple sugar. You can read about this if you put the words “sap flow” into the space given to write what you’re looking for, in google and press search.
      The tubes of maples that carry water, are set into the surrounding wood and one theory for the rise in pressure in maple tubes is that the surrounding wood is full of gas, air or carbon dioxide and when the sun heats the trees the gases expand making the tubes narrower so the liquid in them shoots around the tree trying to find room for itself, at night when it gets cold the gases contract making the tubes wider and water is sucked in by the roots.
    This makes for a pressure build up in these trees that allows them to refill tubes and us to get the sap out of them. There are other ideas on the subject and it is a bit more complicated.
      In other trees tubes are embedded in water saturated wood that increases the pressure when it freezes more than when it heats. 
    The sap that flows out of superficial wounds in trees, especially in spring, is the elaborated sap just under the bark of the tree and not the water that the tree brings up for its leaves and for its superficial roots. If the superficial roots are losing more water in transpiration than they can absorb which happens when the ground gets hot and dry in summer then they too get supplies of water.

    Conifers have smaller tubes than broad leaved trees and less embolias that is why we find conifers in the tundra and they plant pines the carrascas  for example at the edges of deserts. Maples and birches that refill their water carrying tubes are like conifers found in regions with very cold winters.
 
    I am interested in people using trees in farming because I am worried about global warming and desertification and when farmers have a use for the trees they protect them when they don’t trees become an nuisance and suffer from accidents. Too much herbicide round them and people finding excuses to cut down first one tree and then another till there are none left. Cutting down trees is illegal here.




    Trees can be good for pastures as well as having fruits that feed live stock. They practice hydraulic redistribution. They carry the water that their tap roots take in to their shallow roots in summer when they lose water to the hot dry soils of summer, which helps retard the moment the pastures dry. The tree keeps the ground at their feet humid.
  hydraulic redistribution is that the tap roots feed the superficial roots with water the water flows into the superficial roots, those that spread out horizontally just under the surface of the ground, they are the roots that form the root plate and tap roots go straight down into the ground looking for water and rivoting the tree to the spot.
      If there is a summer thunderstorm the flow of water reverses and the superficial roots take up water that they send down to the tap roots who lose it to the surrounding soil. Thus the tree stores water for itself, though it be because they only follow the rule that water in the tree flows to where ever there is a sink for water, the driest place.

  Trees in hot weather in hot climates shut off the stomata in their leaves at mid day so however hot it is water stops evaporating from their they stop being a sink for water when supplying them gets too hard.


 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rose macaskie wrote:
Leah Sattler you say you live in a damp place, I think the reason they don’t make this sort of ham in England is because it is damp there and this sort of jam might go moldy, so they make ham, in brine,



I didn't even think about that. you're right it probably wouldn't work here  I can't really dry fruits or vegies consistantly so I probably should attempt to cure a ham this way 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
leah Sattler, i suppose you should try it you should always try things .
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would be scared of curing a ham  this way, unless i did it with someone who was used to doing it , I would be scared that, that much salt wasn't enough and that i would poison everyone.
 
Not so fast naughty spawn! I want you to know about
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic