Jacob Springs pork program
Jacob Springs Farm raises swine according to principles of regenerative pork production by using a combination of old-fashioned, traditional methods and more recent innovations to produce both the highest quality pork and the highest possible welfare for the animals while maximizing the economic viability of the business to sustain their farm community. This is in stark contrast to the industrial methods of swine rearing which rely on cheap, subsidized grain, agro-industrial methods and economies of scale to raise pigs quickly.
Pork quality being a combination of breeding, feeding, and calm, humane processing. Jacob Springs tries to maximize the quality of all these while finding ways to make it profitable.
In line with Jacob Springs' philosophy on heritage breeds, the hogs raised there are the result of a unique hog crossbreeding program. Rather than accepting the breeding goals of the pork industry with their narrow genetic bases and their aberrant breeding goals, or simply attempting to preserve the heritage breeds of yesterday, we believe strongly that it's important to continue breeding hogs which are based on heritage lines while applying today's improved knowledge of genetics and breeding methods to create new breeds that are well suited to the needs of the future and the goals of regenerative agriculture.
This breeding program continues the work of visionary farmer Mark Cortner who pioneered the first several generations of this cross and sold (and delivered) his breeding stock to Jacob Springs in the spring of 2012.
Swine being omnivores thrive on a diverse diet and cannot subsist on hay alone as the herbivores can. However they can derive much of their feed (and, sometimes, all of their feed) from foraging if given adequate habitat.
Along with chickens, swine are the ultimate recyclers in the right kind of production system, making use of "waste" foods that have few other uses other than composting. Swine can turn this into valuable proteins, manure and usable work. Jacob Springs uses cast-away people food as a primary source of feed for hogs.
- Food production waste: example Evol foods
- Resturant kitchen scraps: example: Horizons
- Brewers or distillers spent grain: examples: Bru Bistro and Anvil distillery
- Plate scrapings (no example)
- Day-old bread and pastries: example: Panera or Sprouts bakery
- Agricultural waste foods: example: Munson's sweet corn or pumpkins
- Grocery produce department waste: example: Sprouts Market
In the agro-industrial method of rearing swine farrowing is a much-criticized aspect of the process since strict confinement of sows in farrowing crates is the norm for several weeks of weaning. A farrowing crate does not allow the sow space to roll over or even to move but has an area allowing piglets access to the sow's teats to suckle. This is done to prevent the death of piglets, either by being crushed or stepped on by the mother or due to exposure to extremes of cold or, less commonly, heat. In a Danish study (find reference), piglets of sows that were allowed to farrow in pens, rather than in crates had a mortality rate of
Jacob Springs practices castration for male piglets not needed for breeding. This is primarily to prevent young gilts from being bred by young boars and secondarily to prevent boar taint. Castration is performed, at 7 days after birth ideally. Piglets at this age experience a minimum of discomfort and are back suckling happily within moment.
- Legume pastures
- Post-harvest fields
Using swine labor
Sealing ponds and ditches
Cleaning up crop residues
Jacob Springs Farm markets their pork through their Meat CSA and through the sale of locker pork whole and half animals. Occasionally some pigs are sold for breeding purposes or for people to raise on their own.
Prices are quoted on the basis of hanging weight and are therefore approximate until the animal has actually been slaughtered, processing costs extra and is payable to the processor.
At Jacob Springs Farm we have the best pastured, heritage pork anywhere - and at a steal of a price!
We are serious about quality - we cross-breed two of the most amazing heritage breeds to get three traits rarely found together in pork: tenderness, marbling, and red color (indicating flavor and nutrient density) our pigs are born and raised right here on our farm outside boulder
Add awesome feeding to awesome breeding and you have the best pork anywhere. Our pigs are always on pasture, they have never been fed commercial feeds! No soy, corn or grains at all! - they eat only organic leftovers and they clean up the veggies growing in our fields. This means they taste wonderful and have the fats and flavors characteristic of grass-fed animals.
Call soon - These are going to go fast.