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Quotations from P G Wodehouse are copyright of, and reprinted by permission of, the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate © 2015 The P G Wodehouse Society (UK)

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P G Wodehouse Wooster Sauce Black Berkshire Pigs

Pick your own Pig

Commission Your Own Berkshire

We heard from a farmer who is arranging to keep Berkshires for other people, which seemed an excellent idea that members might want to take part in. So we wrote to Jo Wykes-Sneyd of the Berkshire Pig Breeders Club for her views. She wrote to the farm concerned and received this reply:

"Thanks for your email and to answer your question, it has already gone beyond theory. I don’t know if you read the Country Smallholding magazine, but I wrote a piece in there (July edition) which described my first pig consortium, done for friends, but proved the concept as a working model. I started it for friends, but by virtue of our social grapevine, so many people have asked us about it, that I decided to give it a go as a small business.

"For example, we have a family in London who have shown it to their work colleagues and many have asked for more details.

"I’m sure you’re aware that people want to trace the origin of their meat nowadays – this concept takes it one step further. Although I was involved in farming in my youth, much of my recent interest has come from people like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. But, until I moved to the country there was no way I could keep pigs; chickens yes, but not pigs. If someone had said to me then, I know of a scheme whereby someone will keep a pig for you, and you will get the whole thing to chop up as you like (and cook, or cure etc), I would have jumped at it.

"But, it’s not a business about high volumes. I have pigs here and I am sourcing a network of suppliers, as well as renting more land. Incidentally, I had a conversation with a Berkshire breeder yesterday and I have bought ten piglets, born a couple of days ago. They’ll come here, but I’m talking to him about rearing some for me to the right age and size, to get ready for future customers. He also has a number ready for killing now, but that doesn’t quite fit my idea, as people buy into the concept with three/four months to go.

"I woke up one morning and heard the piece on Radio 4 about the PG Wodehouse Society and thought they might be interested. So, I have Berkshires ready for people to get involved, or can source ready to kill pigs of course.

"But, as you will be aware, this will interest only a certain type of person (foodie, keen on good food, and sourcing it from good animals, brought up outside etc) – basically, a person like me, and many people in our circle of friends and contacts. If people contact us and we have run out of a particular breed, we just take a note of their name and details, and get back to them once we have an animal ready.

"Thus, if a Society member wishes to support the Berkshire by signing up with us, they will have a wait of about three to four months, but they will know they are waiting for their own particular animal, which will be delivered to their door, prepared to their specification.

"Pick Your Own Pig is a chance to buy into a way of life not attainable by most people.

"Neil Camp, www.numberonepig.co.uk."

Prudence and Patience

The Baylham House Farm now has two gilts (young females) from which they will breed. Prudence is a Middle White and Patience the Black Berkshire. They live happily together and as you can see, enjoy a wallow on hot days. They expect to arrange a love-match for Patience before long. We will keep you posted.

Indeed, there is now an article about Patience and a litter of hers on the BBC Suffolk website (click here to view).