We raise English Large Black pigs, a traditional heritage breed with origins in the Old English Hog of the 16th and 17th century. The breed was prized for their superior mothering abilities and was well known as excellent grazing pigs. They were often used to pick up windfalls in orchards. In fact, they were nicknamed the orchard sow. Their black colouring allows them to withstand hot summers outdoors and avoid sunburn. These virtues coupled with their hardiness and docile temperament makes them suitable for free-range pork production at Church Hill Farm.
The trend towards indoor, intensive pork production that began in the 1960’s and favoured fast growing, white pigs led to a rapid decline in the Large Black breed. As a result, Large Black’s, once prized for their succulent, tasty meat, have now been placed on the ‘critical’ list by rare breed organisations the world over.
We have been asked many times why we would choose to eat a breed on the endangered list. Our hope is that by working to educate consumers about the quality of the meat and the conditions it is raised under, we can bring back the popularity of this breed and it can be saved from extinction.
Breeding stock is available.