A couple of times a year Belinda and Jason Hagan open up their property, McIvor Farm in central Victoria where they breed Berkshire pigs, for tours to explain their methods and philosophies. This is a fantastic opportunity for their customers to better understand exactly what "true free-range" means, and what goes into the delicious products that the Hagans produce.
For me it was a chance to see first-hand some of the sustainable farming techniques that I have been reading about this year put into practice and clearly working. It was also an eye-opener into how much work is involved in breeding pigs commercially, and building a sustainable business that not only focuses on animal welfare and a quality product, but also on long-term planning for land regeneration.
The landscape that the farm is located in is breathtaking; the pigs themselves were beautiful, gentle, inquisitive creatures; the sun shone all day; the Hagans were friendly and generous hosts; and the snags on the BBQ at the end of the tour were sensational!
|Is it possible to fall in love with a paddock? I fell in love |
with this one just down the road from the Hagans. I'd love
a little cottage just next to this rocky outcrop!