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Piggy Love

An amazing part of the Vernal Vibe Rise is that it empowers the heritage breeds that are critically endangered by offering them a sustainable home where they can live happily and reproduce in peace. There is an incredible variety of livestock as you walk across the fields, from sheep to rabbits to baby piglets: every one of them with a fantastic personality. Some of them get along better than others, but all of them coexist, living their lives happily the way they so desire.

But the pigs though.
These pigs are something else.

A shoutout must be given to the momma pigs. These powerful ladies were born to do what they love and love what they do with the most inspiring positive intention. An honory mention to our wise giant, the fabulously voluptuous Marfrance. Glamourously grazing with a cooperative smile, this Gloucestershire Old Spot momma packs a lot of love.

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Estelle the Berkshire is always clowning around with her tongue out. She’s always ready to greet you and talk about her day any time you pass by her.

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Then there is the fabulous tamworth Tamara, who is surely about to pop a new litter soon. You might recognize this lovely face by her stage name, Sherry Boom (Boom) or as she calls herself sometimes “Sheritta”. She’s recently decided to abandon her singing career as a pop sensation in order to take some time to nest up a family.

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But really, it’s all about Rosa. Fully aware of her stunning good looks with the whole pig neighborhood drooling over her, she prances along indifferently and always gets what she wants in life. As the true Ossabaw she is, she is quite feral by nature. She makes sure to take any opportunity to prove that she’ll outsmart anyone around her.

Those who fall under her spell end up with a serious heartbreak, and she’s already got a lot going on her playing field. She seems to have a pretty serious relationship with Ossabaw Jack although recently crossed paths with the infamous (Doctor) Xavier, who fell hopelessly and foolishly in love with her. It is no secret the the enchanting Xavier has been secretly attempting to take over the farm all these years, and Rosa seems to be in cahoots with him on this idea.

This secret love affair has caused Xavier a beautiful friendship with his apprentice, Joey, the teenage hearthrob, who was making some moves on Miss Rosa on the side. Who knows what kind of troubles this dynamic duo might be plotting. The head of the farm, Quincy Gray, responds cooly knowing that she’s got everything under control.

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Rosa replied all interviews with “no comment,” and did not let us photograph her for this report. However, we have pictures of some of the Ossabaw piglets that resemble her dashing looks.

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These mommas continue to bless the VVR with the of the most energetic and adorable piglets, who seem to be genetically bred into not just being adorable and awesome, but most of all: absolutely delicious.

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A Millennial’s Perspective of Farming and the Future of America’s Food

During our 3-week stay at Vernal Vibe Rise, I witnessed one of the most admirable and humbling displays of diligence and dedication I have ever seen. We all have people in our lives whom we look up to for all sorts of inspiration (mentors or role models if you will), and Quincy is one of those few humans who will continue to inspire many people. When I was a kid, my mom would often tell me that anyone who works hard at anything will eventually reap the fruits of that labor. Sooner or later, it happens, and being at VVR was a much needed reminder of this lesson.

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I hope I don’t get too preachy, but please entertain my thoughts for a moment. I belong to a generation that has had to struggle with the consequences of the near-sighted decisions and assumptions that our predecessors made about our natural and human-crafted resources. While my generation has more gadgets and better access to information than ever before, we carry a large burden that no other generation has faced. We are having to deal with the consequences of carelessly mining natural resources, and we are realizing that mass-production coupled with an irresponsible “free market” is perhaps the most pernicious combination of social constructs that humans have ever created. Thankfully, the Internet has helped us see that there are smarter ways of powering our homes, fueling our vehicles, planning our cities, and growing our food. On the Internet, you will find that many hard-working people are helping to spread the word about the vast world of wiser alternatives to the way in which we grow our food and raise our livestock. Suddenly, urban farms are sprawling all across the country. Suddenly, farmers markets are sprawling in abandoned lots in various cities. But what I found most encouraging about my stay at VVR is that many of us are talking about these hard truths and quickly seeing that all the information and technology we need to make our world a more responsible one is already in our hands.

If we look back in time, especially to the humble, rebellious beginnings of this country, we can easily appreciate that social revolutions are slow to occur. But if there is one quality that characterizes this country over the centuries, it has got to be its undeniable ability to foster some amazing social revolutions. And it is pioneers like Quincy who take matters into their own hands and lead the rest of us into a transitional period.  I am grateful that people, such as Quincy, have fearlessly challenged the status quo by acknowledging that something isn’t right about the way we’re mass-producing livestock. It is inspiring to see that people are empowering themselves to do things differently.

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Meeting Quincy and her loving, collaborative community was an honor. Indeed, a reminder that anything is possible as long as you work hard and support your local community (be it by purchasing food from local farmers or, in Quincy’s case, by selling your product to local, small businesses). Quincy, I wish you nothing but the best–you’ve definitely earned it 😀

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With much love and appreciation,
Hugo