Pig-Keeping - introduction
This one-day course aims to cover all the things you need to know before starting to keep a few pigs on your land. It will not be looking at commercial pig-keeping.
Topics to be discussed in the morning include: why keep pigs?, means of enclosure, traditional free-range pig-keeping, breeds, feed, pig-care, styles or arcs and where to buy them, pests and diseases, butchery and bacon curing, legal requirements, ratio of pigs to land available, etc.
In the afternoon we shall inspect Kevin's herd nearby, meet and touch pigs at various stages of their lives (Gloucester Old Spot and Essex Saddleback), see the massive boar in his pen and hold a squealing piglet if you really want to. You can also have a go at singling out a pig from the herd and driving it into a trailer to be taken to market the next morning. Kevin's bacon and hams will be available for sale (if he hasn't sold them all at the farmers' market the day before).
The tutor is Kevin Blundell. Click on his name to see more about him.
Comments from previous participants:
I enjoyed my day at Assington mill. The course was great well structured, informative,and just what I was looking for, coupled with the fantastic location. Your hospitality was more than I expected and being invited into your fantastic home was awe inspiring, for a old property 'saddo' like myself all my birthdays came at once, and lunch was superb, so very many thanks for sharing your home with me, look forward to seeing you again in the near future. Kelvin
This was a fantastic day – everything from the organisation, the teaching style, the location, the catering … all wonderful. I learnt a huge amount and had a great day out of London. Great to also hear how Bob and Anne have built up Assington Mill – very inspiring. The pace of the day was perfect – a good balance between fact and learning and fun and relaxing. Incredibly informative – thank you so much. Will definitely recommend courses her to friends. Laura
Very many thanks for a super day, well organised, very enlightening and with great people. Your personal welcome and courtesy were exemplary. Ian
Thank you so much for a great day – we learned so much, and you have confirmed for us that we’re aiming to do the right thing. Can’t wait to get started. Kitty
Thank you for a fantastic day. The course was well run and very informative. The surroundings and food were absolutely fabulous. A brilliant day which the whole family enjoyed, even our baby.
This really was the best day out ever - wonderful! Lucy P.
My first ever course, which I really enjoyed! Thank you so much. I loved the gammon at lunch. Inez M.
Quite apart from the course content, the setting, the organisation and the catering, there is something special about the good company and the mix of people one meets on these courses; informative and good fun.
Really enjoyed the day; informative and friendly presentation in a wonderful location. Yummy food. Look forward to keeping pigs. Mel B.
Just a great day! The tuition was excellent – very relevant, well planned and realistic advice. The venue is lovely and the owners a real inspiration. A thoroughly enjoyable day. Many thanks, Rebecca
Beautiful day in amazing setting and topped off with knowledgeable tutor. Thank you.
Beautiful venue, excellent catering and hosts. Effie B.
A really useful course held in a beautiful setting on a perfect day. Thank you. Joy M.
A lovely day and thanks so much for the no-fuss gluten-free catering which was marvellous.
Well presented, in language anyone can understand, friendly atmosphere, questions and comments welcomed so really feel part of the day. Great having the opportunity to see happy, relaxed pigs in their own environment. Lunch wonder, treats too! Val
What to Bring
- Really warm and waterproof clothing, hat and gloves
- Wellies and thick socks for meeting the pigs, and shoes to change into afterwards. There will almost certainly be lots of mud!