The Journey Begins

Come with us on a journey from piglet to plate, this is where the big piggy adventure starts...

Once firmly deciding we were going to get some pigs we set off on a crisp January day to the Lake District for a pig-keeping course. After exiting the M6 we were treated to the usual breathtaking Cumbrian scenery; blue skies and perfectly still lakes.

We arrived at our accommodation for the night, had a couple of drinks and some questionable food before getting an early night ready for the next morning.

Bright and breezy we began the course in the ever so glamorous surroundings of a rural village hall with just one other couple.

Over the next few hours we were provided with a huge amount of information by our teacher, a highly knowledgeable pig farmer. We learnt rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts; all essential but really we were all itching to just get outside and see some pigs.

After a typically well prepared countryside packed lunch we were finally allowed to pull on our wellies and off we trotted to the farm. The first pigs we saw were barely a week old with their mother. They were worryingly endearing. This is when it first started to dawn on us that despite all the facts, information, rules and regulations, it is without a doubt mentality that is the most important thing for amateurs setting out on this journey.

We were shown pigs at different stages and learnt about the meticulous selection process when it comes to those used to breed – all based on pure cosmetics. These pigs were saddlebacks with a distinct band of light hair around the front of the torso.

Soon after we were handed a white board and a stick and instructed to attempt to move the pig around. We failed multiple times, quickly realising that any efforts to push the pig would be an utter lost cause – they’re weighty beasts. We weren't put off, but clearly our efforts need some improvement.

Watch our tragic attempts at moving these porkers...

Millie Diamond