How to Raise Pigs Regeneratively in the Woods – Part 1 – The Basic Methodology – Grass Fed Life – Episode 8


Grass Fed Life

Today we will take a realistic look at how Darby raises his pigs on his farm and why.

We will place a lot of emphasis on his context and how that directly ties to why he does what he does. As you will hear it’s a balancing act. It’s a constant balance between his moral compass and watching his wallet. Another way of saying that is there is always a more regenerative way of doing things, but they come at a cost. And things need to be financially sustainable in addition to being sustainable on the land. At its simplest for Darby this means putting pigs where they excel, and that’s in the woods.

We will discuss the nuts and bolts of raising pigs in the wood, and we will also look at other alternative methods of raising pigs and Darby will share his thoughts on those from both a management and an economic standpoint.

If I had to boil it all down ahead of time, it all comes down to finding the intersection of what’s best for you as a farmer, what’s best for the land, and what’s best for the pig.

You’ll hear how finding that balance isn’t always easy.

But despite the challenges of trying to be perfect, you will see how the system that Darby has setup is leaps and bounds ahead of the baseline, the CAFOs.

As Joel Salatin says, “The problem is that modern American CAFO’s are where amoral science and pure capitalism take you, and it’s far away from nurturing and caretaking.”

With the CAFO system and $100M pigs being raised this way each year. It’s hard to conceive of a scenario where this situation changes. The numbers are too big, the grasp is too tight.

So if we want to see change, it’s going to start here, with the people listening to this show. Change is going to start with you. It’s going to start with the small farmer that have committed to doing things differently.

Today you will hear about one of those small farms, that’s finding a balance between an entrepreneurial and capitalist business and one that nurtures and honors the pigness of the pig…

Like the show? Then please support it on Patreon


Raising pigs in the woods; advice from Darby…

  • Know the difference between homesteading with livestock and producing livestock for a livelihood. 
  • Put the animals where they can excel.  Pigs excel in the woods.
  • Realize that if you put the pigs on pasture you may have to spend a lot of time cleaning up after the pigs and seeding.  Do you want to do that?
  • Want to put pigs in woods as a newbie?
    • Have a physical area to train the pigs in first so you can train them to electric.
    • Start pigs in May or June, versus trying to take on in the winter.
    • Think about how you are going to get the pigs into the trailer.
    • If you have the infrastructure to raise 2 pigs, then you could raise 6 or 8.
    • Portable electric infrastructure could be good to start.
  • Poultry versus pigs, what’s easier?
    • On a day to day basis pigs are way less work.
    • Pigs may be a better options for people starting out.
    • Realistically light workload M-F for those starting out and/or transitioning.

Interested in transitioning into full or part-time farming?

If so, then check out Darby’s Farm Business Essentials 3 Day Intensive Workshop

Do you want to transition into livestock farming on a part-time or full-time basis? 

Or are you currently farming, but it’s stressful and challenging to manage the farm and life?

Or are you currently farming, but you are struggling to make the enterprise profitable or generate enough on farm income to farm full time?

The Farm Business Essentials Intensive was created to help addresses those concerns and challenges.

In this three day workshop we will take an in-depth look at where you are currently at, where you want to go, what do you need to put in place to get there, and what are some of the next action steps to turn the ideas into reality.

The workshop will take place on March 2-4, 2017 outside Indianapolis, Indiana.


Connect with Darby Simpson

Simpson Family Farm

Simpson Family Farm on Facebook

Have questions for Darby? He does consulting…

Whether you are simply someone looking to raise some or all of your own meat on a homestead, or are looking to follow your dreams of full time farming Darby can help you be a success and reach your goals. Your one on one consultation is tailored to fit you – not anyone else. It’s all about your farm enterprise or homestead, and will answer your questions on a myriad of farming related subjects. LEARN MORE.


Listen to all of the previous episodes right HERE

Did you get some value out of this post? If so, then please take a second to support Diego on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *