Category Archives: Heritage Swine

Piggy Love

Written by a Vernal Vibe Rise WWOOF Volunteer

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



The Way To Be GMO-free

Just as we (humans) are what we eat, so are the animals that we raise here on Vernal Vibe Rise. As a result, we believe that it is truly worthwhile to go to great lengths to make sure that our animals have access to the cleanest, most nutrient-rich foods available to us.

GMO-free feed in truckEvery few weeks, we make the trip to neighboring Virginia to purchase GMO-free feed for our animals. It involves an entire day, significant expense, and intense physical effort, but what is farming if not comprised of those things already?

GMO-free feed on truck

Much of the GMO-free swine feed is contained in this one-ton tote, which needs to be secured carefully before the two-hour drive on the highway back to VVR.

GMO-free feed in/on truck

Here is the (rented) truck of the week, all loaded up for the drive back to Renick. My dear truck, the Dumpin’ Doggie, is a 1969 F100 and isn’t well-suited for this type of trip, so she stays at the farm during feed runs.

GMO-free corn

The GMO-free whole corn, which serves as a supplemental feed for VVR poultry, and as a snack for swine and sheep. The clean feed that we offer the animals here on VVR makes them healthier, which in turn ensures that their meat and eggs are tastier and safer to eat. We thank all of our customers for caring enough about the health of our environment to make the choice to purchase VVR’s GMO-free products.


Halvah: First Fall 2013 Farrow

Halvah grazing

Above is Halvah, our sole Tamworth sow, grazing in the back pasture earlier this summer.Halvah and Tam piglets
Here, Halvah keeps a watchful eye on her litter even while she is eating. Halvah came to Vernal Vibe Rise from Floyd, Virginia. We knew she was ‘the one’ because she was without a nose ring, unlike all of her sisters. We named her Halvah because of her lovely Tamworth coloring, which all of her piglets share.
Halvah eating
Halvah enjoys a hefty post-delivery treat; we always offer sows an all-you-can-eat feed after they farrow in addition to the placenta, which provides essential nutrition for the sow and, in turn, her piglets. Halvah's Tam litter1
Seven healthy pure Tamworth piglets, four gilts and three boars–a solid number for a first farrow. Halvah's Tam litter2
We will have a few of these piglets for sale, either as unregistered pure Tamworth breeding stock or feeders. They will be ready to go by early October 2013, so please let us know ASAP if you are interested.

Congratulations, Halvah!