Now Offering 100% Forested Pork!

Fall Pig Update

written by

Lyle Carver

posted on

November 28, 2021

We raised our first batch of "feeder pigs" from May to October 2021. Our batch was 10 gilts (females). We did this intentionally because we wanted the option to keep some if we decided to farrow in the future. We decided to keep 3 of 10. We kept a solid black gilt with one wattle; our largest female that is a hereford/GOS cross named "pink ear;" and a friendly hampshire cross gilt that was slightly younger/smaller. 7 of 10 were processed into healthy and delicious pork. One was processed under USDA inspection and is now available on the website by individual cuts.

However, one of our main goals at Carver Family Farms is to allow our customers to fill their freezers with bulk orders and enjoy the same benefits that our family does. So we were quite pleased that of the 6 remaining hogs: 3 were purchased as whole hogs and the other 3 were purchased as "half hogs" by six families. We also ended up with a waiting list so we have already added more feeder pigs that will be ready in the Spring.

It is exciting to see so much demand and interest in our pork. This pork really is different. The pigs are all allowed to live their lives as God intended. They live outdoors in fresh air and on dirt. They are truly forested hogs and they have beautifully cleared out the land underneath the trees from each paddock they were rotated into. The pigs are fed a locally grown and milled feed that is non-GMO. Our hog feed supplier is Green Sprig Ag in Rocky Mount, VA. The pigs are also fed surplus apples from an awesome local orchard, Morris Orchard. They will also glean acorns, walnuts, and any other tree mast or edible roots they can forage. Now we are supplementing with donated pumpkins. It is almost therapeutic to watch and listen to the pigs eat pumpkins.

For those that are curious about what these pigs can do from a production standpoint. Our hanging weights for the 7 hogs was a low end of 216 pounds and a high of 257 pounds. The difference is mostly from the physical characteristics of the individual hogs. Some of the hogs started a bit larger than others.

The initial response from our customers has been inspiring and encouraging. Our customers have already started rendering lard. They have shared beautiful pictures of pork on the grill, good reports on the breakfast sausage patties and more. We are excited to share real pork with our community. This isn't "the other white meat." Pork is flavorful, nutrient dense, red meat. Thank you to our first customers for joining us on this journey toward better soil, happier animals, healthier food, and full freezers for our families. We look forward to learning together. We will be sharing recipes from our family and our customers. We have now added pork to the website and we will be taking deposits for our Spring hogs soon. Please call or email the farm if you would like to discuss our forest raised pork. Fall/Winter is a great time to get to know your farmer and to fill your freezers!

More from the blog


The next chapter of Carver Family Farms has begun. Farrowing pigs is a new enterprise that we are excited about! 10 healthy pigs were born to our first gilt on February 3, 2022. We have two more pregnant gilts that are due soon. Why farrow?


I love living and farming in Virginia! We like to call our home county "God's Country." After growing up in Florida, I truly appreciate living somewhere that experiences all four seasons. Snow is beautiful and I enjoy exactly one snow per winter. We have now exceeded that and personally I am ready to move on to Spring. This winter has already thrown significantly more challenges at us than all of last winter combined.The Snow is beautiful! It makes for fun pictures and we did enjoy some sledding this year. Snow is a good example of why we do not raise our pastured chickens in the winter. We choose not to fight nature. If we had birds on pasture during the two recent snow storms, we would've either had to raise them indoors (no longer pastured) or we would've experienced catastrophic losses and difficult/dangerous farm chores on the iced over snow. We will start back with our meat chickens in early Spring.Even though our poultry is seasonal, our pigs are a year round enterprise. We have pigs during the winter and they thrive! The snow does not phase them in the slightest. They love the hay that we supply for them to bed down in. They stay warm as they bed in "pig piles" covered in hay. They have a shelter but it is more for our peace of mind than the pigs. As long as they have sufficient access to hay they can handle any winter weather that Virginia can throw at them. The frozen ground is problematic for some of our infrastructure projects but we do them as the weather allows and are constantly learning and improving.This time of year is a great time to focus on healthy eating and cooking new things. We eat pork or chicken from the farm nearly every day. We make bone broth year round but we seem to go through it more rapidly in the winter as we make soups and chilis. I also drink a mug of hot bone broth every day. In the near future, we will write more about our weekly menu and showcase how we eat almost all protein from Carver Family Farms.In the future we will have cattle and sheep as additional year round enterprises. We are excited to learn and grow! I hope you will join us on this journey of healthy land, healthy animals, and healthy people.

Happy New Year!

We are off to a snow covered start to 2022. This means we are longing for warmer days and green grass. At the same time we are enjoying the harvest from 2021 and making plans for 2022. We hope and expect 2022 will be our healthiest year yet. Healthy land, healthy animals, and healthy people will continue to be our focus. Here are some goals/changes for 2022...