by Max Akroyd

A different electric fence to play with today. It was the turn of the big pigs to have their grazing extended into an area of very rough meadow, through which I’d strimmed a corridor a week or two ago. The extension went very quickly and smoothly but there was lots of other strimming and (pig) house-keeping to do.  

A few months back I knew nothing about keeping pigs, and in many ways I still don’t, but they’re adept at looking after themselves and they have two qualities which means I would keep them even if they were inedible. The first is waste disposal: not a scrap of anything food-wise gets binned chez-nous because (if it’s vegetable, rather than animal or mineral) the pigs eat it. They are compost bins with a leg at each corner. Their second indispensable capability is as rotovators. They happily process the roughest ground into something you can really work with cultivation-wise. A mechanical rotovator destroys the soil, turns a perennial weed issue into a biblical-scale plague and, I imagine, tastes terrible. (Pigs eat those weeds, bless them).

I gather that there’s a word for an area cleared by pigs: a pannage. There’s a small section on the right of this photo…


The boar looks justifiably proud of his efforts.