Recently we visited our pig farmers Jason and Belinda Hagan at Mcivor Farm in Tooborac Victoria.
After years working in larger scale commercial pig farms Jason and Belinda established their own small farm they knew from the outset that their methods would set them apart.
Since the prevalence of large scale commercial farming came about in the 20th century, pigs, like other livestock (especially chicken) have been genetically selected and refined to grow fast & put on weight in non-natural ways; have lighter hair; and of course to have large pregnancies.
McIvor farm grows Berkshire pigs, or sometimes called "old breed" pigs. Berkshire pigs are said to one of the closest breeds to how pigs were before they were domesticated.
Berkshire tends to grow slower than the more common breeds. People also often notice the odd black hair still lodged in the skin of the pork - these are on the other pork types too but usually you can't see them because of their colour. The sows also have smaller farrows (litters).
Best of all berkshire pork is known for it's succulence, flavour and tenderness. You can recognise Berkshire as the flesh often has a pink hue, with heavy marbling of a very white and pure fat.
The Hagans, mantra is "the way pigs should live, the way pork should taste", we believe this says it all. When animals are living as they're supposed to the end result is amazing.
Belinda has a background in animal nutrition, she believes that pigs should be allowed to forage and roam on pasture. Any Grains the pigs eat are 100% Australian, non-GMO and of course antibiotic and hormone free.
It's wonderful to find farmers like Jason and Belinda. They're driven by their practice as custodians of the land and farmers of ethical meat. We're continuing to work solely with McIvor farm for our pork supply as we love the product and the story behind it.
If you have room for the ice gel packs in your freezer, hold onto them as they come in very handy, particularly throughout picnic and bbq season! They last twice as long as bags of ice, they are leakproof and have minimal condensation so your picnic items won’t be spoilt or damaged. We understand that if you're doing your online shop once a week, that you may have too many reusable gel packs for your freezer to handle.
So many of us start our babies on purées and spoon feed - we feel more comfortable to start with this approach and it makes mealtime much more relaxing. As amazing as baby led weaning can be, if it is something that causes stress and anxiety for you, there’s nothing wrong with starting on purée!