Bittersweet Farm raises heritage pigs

Heritage pigs at Bittersweet Farm

Heritage pigs at Bittersweet Farm

Brian Bennett of Bittersweet Farm has been living with pigs for over 30 years. Each year, he raises 10-12 liters of certified organic pigs with 6-8 piglets per liter. The pigs live as families outdoors not packed together in huge barns. All the farm’s pigs have names. “I like to know who is coming to dinner,” said Bennett with a smile.

To people offended by smelly pig barns, Bennett reminds them that he does not run a confinement operation. Farrowing huts may smell of manure and afterbirth, but it’s all connected: “Energy, passion, life process and life force.”

Bennett’s favorite heritage breeds are Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spots. These breeds are known as great mothers. Bennett used to raise Yorkshire pigs but their large liters lost too many piglets, especially in extended subzero periods in upstate NY. Heritage pigs thrive on pasture, in woodlands and with diverse diets. Bennett and his family raise much of the pigs’ food on the farm. [Read more here.]

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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