Each year we keep a number of weaners. They usually arrive early in the spring to grow up naturally through the summer. Depending on whether they are for bacon or pork they are then culled in either early or late autumn. They have access to our neighbours woods and are pretty much free range within the confines of an allotted area. They have been know to explore more widely, once ending up at the local pub! No harm came to anyone and they were lured home with a bucket of food.
We have tried a number of rare breeds but the ones we like best are saddlebacks. They are an all purpose pig, of medium size and our experience of them is that they are very friendly. Their provanence in very important to us. The saddlebacks that we source are organic, raised in local woods and we are able to choose our own weaners. We have a preference for girls who seem to be calmer than boys.
We have the bacon cured locally and make sausages and salamis ourselves. We have even had a go at air dried ham with somewhat mixed results. We think the air in Italy might be somewhat different to that in East Sussex!