The idea is that the pigs will live amongst avenues of trees providing both shade and a food forest for ourselves and the pigs. The deciduous trees and pigs provide the nutrients for the fruit trees and the swales transfer the water and nutrients back into the soil. The trees also provide the shade and protection from wind which decreases the amount of surface evaporation.
This is very close to the Dehesa Farm (thanks Emily) style from the Iberian (Spanish) Peninsula where the famous Spanish Bellota Hams are produced – start to see the idea. Unfortunately we’ll probably never get to the point where our pigs can roam between the trees – but the kids should. The Spanish use acorn trees, which we will also use, as well as, Hazel nuts, apples, pairs and persimmons. In thirty years we’ll have the most beautiful autumns you could imagine.
This, unfortunately, isn’t going to happen over night and it means a lot of planning, fence moving, tree planting and water pipe installed. Not to mention the earth works!
Thanks to Russell for his link to Sugar Mountain Farm as well, I read their Blog often and have watched some youtube videos they’ve done. I didn’t realise they ran their pigs in the woods however; again a little slow on the up take!