A portrait in red
As I explained the other day, I have been browsing the archives for images to upload to my newly constructed Smugmug gallery. All of my digital images are organized in such a way that the many thousands taken in support of this blog are stored together and everything else has been stashed in a series of subsidiary directories. Many of these other images are of the farm and taken over a period of twelve years, beginning in 2001. Although I don’t often look through these older images I did over the weekend and found a wonderful view of a group of young Tamworth Hogs enjoying pasture on a lazy autumn afternoon back in 2007. The image was taken with a Sony DSC-W80. As most of you know, nearly all of the images which appear on this blog have undergone some post processing. Although I did subject this beauty to a bit of a tweak, it was pretty darn nice as is. We raised Tams, as feeders and as breed stock, for nearly a decade. Although there aren’t too many Tams here in the U.S., there are a few and these are prized by the good farmers who raise them for their ability to thrive out of confinement as pasture pigs. Here’s what The Livestock Conservancy has to say about this beautiful red hog … The characteristics of the Tamworth reflect centuries of selection for an outdoor life. Pigs of this breed were expected to find their own food. Long heads and impressive snouts enable these pigs to be efficient foragers. Long, strong legs and sound feet give Tamworth pigs the ability to walk for considerable distances. Ginger red coats make the pigs adaptable to a variety of climates. Tamworths have an active intelligence, and they are agreeable in disposition. Sows are prolific, able to produce and care for large litters. The piglets are vigorous. Both sexes of this breed reach a mature weight of 500-600 lbs. The Tamworth was traditionally considered a “bacon” breed, meaning that the pigs thrived on low energy forage but grew slowly. They produce meat and bacon that is lean and fine-grained. The breed has an excellent carcass yield of up to 70% due to its fine bones, creating a more productive meat:bone ratio. Registrations in this country are overseen by the Tamworth Swine Association. Given our recent spate of very bad weather, looking at the image below lightened my heart and gave me reason to believe that winter will not last forever. Just two more weeks until the window to lambing season opens. Wish us all luck.