Alluvial Farms raises heritage breed pastured pigs on organic pastures. Pigs have constant access to the outdoors as well as a big airy barn where they can nest down and stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter. We source piglets from a local breeder in Spanaway who meets a high standard of humane animal handling. The pigs we raise are crosses of the following breeds: Old Spot, Red Wattle, Berkshire, Duroc, Hereford, Hampshire and Blue Butt.
In addition to forage from organic pastures, Alluvial Farms free choice feeds our pigs the highest quality Organic grains. As of November 2018 Alluvial Farms started milling and mixing our own barley/field pea grain ration. We add a certified organic mineral mix and probiotics to the grain ration. The herd drinks 100 gallons of jersey cream milk per week, thanks to our partnership with Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden, WA. In 2019 Alluvial Farms has submitted a request to partner with the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program to study nutrient cycling on pastured pig farms in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to learning more about residency times for our pigs in their one acre rotational paddocks. On five of our ten acres of rotational pastures we will implement a low-till, perennial pasture system using short residency times for the pigs, with a white clover/perennial rye forage plant mix. We will compare nutrient uptake and nutritional value with five acres of paddocks on the other side of an access lane, that see longer pig residency, more frequent mechanical tillage, and sowings of barley, field peas, field radish, and sorgum sudan grass for pigs to return to and hog down.
On October 7, 2018 we also sowed our first crop of organic winter barley in our newly established 20 acre grain field. We are working with other organic grain farmers in our region who are mentoring us to establish systems for the production, harvest, storage, and processing of our own grain as the primary component of our pig feed.
Animals have constant access to fresh air, water, food and space to stretch their little pig legs. As part of our rotational grazing practice we move the pigs to fresh pasture regularly. This is best for soil health and ensures pigs always have access to fresh grass. One acre to half acre paddocks are large enough to encourage natural activities such as rooting, running, and socializing. The hub of the Alluvial pig’s life is the barn, where they can take shelter from weather and bed down securely at night. Adjacent to the barn is a heavy use area or yard, from which an access lane radiates to give access to different pastures. Water and grain are fed in the pasture via a movable water wagon, and half ton self feeder. Pigs move back and forth from the pasture to the barn multiple times each day.
Alluvial Farms partners with the North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative, Del Fox Meats, and Island Grown Farmers Cooperative for slaughter and butcher services. USDA inspected slaughter takes place on-farm or at the butcher in Stanwood. USDA inspected processing takes place at the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative in Bow, WA or at Del Fox Meats in Stanwood. WSDA custom exempt processing takes place at Del Fox Meats in Stanwood. Animal Welfare Approved handling and end of life practices are observed.
Please let us know if you would like to arrange a family friendly farm visit at our new farm. We love to be outside with the animals and to share that experience with others. Every year we participate in the Sustainable Connections farm tour and host an open house for two days during the first weekend in September. Join our mailing list to learn more about monthly farm open houses, planned to start in April 2019.