How Susan got into rearing Oxford Sandy & Black pigs and why she chose this particular breed:
Having previously been the events manager for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, it is fair to say the Susan Tanner did not come from a farming background. After deciding to leave the Fiesta she was asked live on national television what she was going to do next and without thinking she told everyone she was going to rear rare breed pigs. In her own word “it just sort of popped out of my mouth”. Having said this on national television she felt she had to go through with her word, and in 2009 she fully committed to farming rare breed pigs. Having visited a rare breed show and sale in Wales she was immediately attracted to the Oxford Sandy & Black pig, with their distinctive look. It was love at first sight! She bought three weaners and a gilt and has never looked back. The breed are calm, make good mothers and importantly are hardy outdoor pigs which perfectly suit the conditions on top of the Mendips, where Susan’s farm is located. Susan is keen to promote her breed and wants to spread the word about the high quality meat these pigs produce. The welfare of her animals is of the utmost importance to her as knows that a happy and stress free life is the key to producing the best quality meat.
The challenges that Susan is facing producing Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs
Susan’s pigs are outside all year round and only come in for farrowing and then they go back out with the piglets so the weather is always an issue – too hot too cold too wet. Susan has spent a lot of time in waterproofs, everything gets covered in mud so when wet the washing machine is on full time. Also Oxford Sandy & Black pigs grow more slowly than commercial breeds so the returns are longer to wait for but the taste is so much better.
Products that Susan is offering:
Susan offers a range of products ranging from meatboxes including a range of cuts and joints, to sausages and bacon, all made of course, using her wonderful Oxford Sandy & Black pigs. She also has Red Poll cattle and a few Dorset sheep. The cattle are reared for meat and breeding, but she is too attached to her sheep to eat them.
Susan’s favourite Oxford Sandy & Black pig recipe:
Address: Windwhistle, Blackheath Lane, East Horrington, Wells. BA5 3DS.
Phone: 07770 754 633