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Research Diary: The Piggy Edition

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Photo by Allston McCrady

By Allston McCrady

Editor’s Note: Managing Editor Allston McCrady loves to dive head first into her writing assignments, even if that means coming face-to-face with a few mud-covered piggies now and again. Here is a snippet of her snapshots and thoughts catalogued while researching this month’s “Heeeeere Piggy Piggy.” 

Farmer Gra’ Moore, of Carolina Heritage Farms near Florence, South Carolina, holds up a day-old piglet for me to coo over. He set it back down quickly when it started squealing (we didn’t want to face the wrath of the quarter-ton mama).

On Thackeray Farms in rural Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, Holy City Hogs is thriving. These ancient oaks shower down acorns that get thoroughly devoured by the resident woodland hogs. Tank offered me a thousand dollars if I could find a single remaining acorn (I could not!).

After being stalked by Kevin Bacon at Holy City Hogs on Thackeray Farms, I did him the favor of feeding him a bottle of buttermilk, which he grabbed with his jaws, chugged, and abandoned for Tank to recycle. The buttermilk comes from a local dairy that donates milk when it is too close to its expiration date to be sold.

This is a pig? Before my trip to Rebellion, I had never seen a Mangalitsa, a rare, curly Hungarian breed known for its high fat content. Their curls actually help keep them cool in summertime (there is mud caked under that fur). I was tempted to hug this one, before being warned about her ability to accidentally break my legs.

Photo by Allston McCrady

A baby blonde Mangalitsa scampers for a sip of water at Holy City Hogs on Rebellion Farm in rural Ravenel, South Carolina.

A blonde Mangalitsa sow in the foreground roots around for acorns with her cohorts, including Berkshires and Tamworths, at Holy City Hogs on Rebellion Farm.