We raise rare breed pigs. The large herd consists of four different breeds, predominantly Large Blacks and Tamworths, with a small number of Wessex Saddlebacks and Berkshires. Preservation of the different pig breed genetics is the priority; the animals not suitable for breeding purposes are sold as free range pork. Animal welfare and sustainability are important to us and our customers. The pigs are farmed using a rotational free range system, allowing the animals to live in social groups and the land to rest between uses. Our pork products are processed as naturally as possible by using minimum levels of preservatives, natural sausage casings and flavourings made to our recipes.
|Farm name||Bronseas Rare Breed Pig Stud / The Gypsy Pig|
|Owner||Bronwyn & Michael Cowan|
|Web/email||www.thegypsypig.com.au / firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Telephone||03 5627 8201|
|Produce||Fresh cuts of pork, sausages, burgers and smoked goods January – December|
|Other markets||Gasworks; Mulgrave|
We wanted to raise our family in a rural environment and had tried several different farming ventures prior to starting the stud. A visit to a rare breeds farm in 2001 with Women on Farms reconnected Bronwyn to pigs and gave us the impetus to go in a new direction.
Our farm is located at Darnum, in West Gippsland which is a high rainfall area. The pigs enjoy a free range lifestyle, grazing pasture and seasonal crops when available, in addition to their daily ration of milled grains and lupins.
We are a shared stall at the farmers’ markets, which means that we utilise the infrastructure (eg the refrigerated van, permits and stall site) among four producers, giving us the flexibility of manpower on market days to allow us to attend shows or care for our animals at times of high need such as lambing. The three women farmers we share the stand with all farm English Leicester, a heritage breed of sheep. Like us, they are breeding to preserve the genetics and farmers’ markets allow them to sell as fresh cuts of meat those sheep which are not suitable for breeding and interact with the customers who purchase their product. The farmers are Margaret Kingman, who farms at Tynong North east of Melbourne, whilst Ethel Stephenson at Broken Creek and Kirsty Harker at Devenish both farm near Benalla.
Markets provide the opportunity for farmers to re-connect their customers with the production of food. They promote the connection between growing animals and crops for food using humane and sustainable farming methods and the long term health benefits for people who consume food produced this way.