“Medieval insights for UK wood pasture restoration”.
A rather dry title but a fascinating piece by Dolly Jørgensen out of Umeå University, Sweden. In other posts elsewhere on this site I’ve talked about using cattle for pasture restoration. But it looks like pigs could be just as important:
Although cattle, sheep, and horses are often mentioned in conjunction with wood pasture restoration projects in the UK, this medieval evidence indicates that pigs may have been just as important a driver in the creation and maintenance of medieval wood pasture.
Detail of the November calendar page from a manuscript made in Metz, France, in 1302 or 1303 showing a swineherd climbing a tree to knock down acorns. British Library, public domain.
So, sensing yet another blog post almost writing itself, I read on about these pigs, raised on the island of Fyn (or Funen in English), Denmark’s second largest and also called its ‘garden island’. Looked after by a wife & husband team Carla & Poul Lang Nielsen; it’s a crossed Duroc (a breed that we’ve all agreed before do rock), a great one for taste, voluptuous dark red meat, marbled fat and their fecund breeding abilities.
Christian talks about their quality here:
“The fact that Hindsholm Grisen lives longer meant that the fat on it’s firmer, it is pearly white, and it is immediately less watery. We saw that it was almost melted fat, while the fat from other animals bubbled and skim before the water evaporated.”