The Kobe of the pork world
The best thing to do instead of rewriting the history of the Mangalitsa, poorly, is refer you to Tim Winkler's website, the parent farm and for all our pigs, and get the full history of the Mangalista. In brief, the Mangalitsa is a fine boned lard pig from Hungary, crossed in the 1830's with local breeds and wild Serbian boar. In fact, it is a distant cousin to the Iberico pigs in Spain! Legend has it that the original genetics of Mangalitsa where inherited from Spanish breeds.
Due to its healthy lard it became one of the best pigs for long term curing, required in an era before refrigeration. Combined with being a slow grower and containing larger percentage of fat than modern pigs, which modern vegetable oils replaced as a need, and containing a rich marbling in a market where the leaner pigs were touted as healthy, the Mangalitsa fell into decline until in 1990 with only 198 left in the world. As it turns out, the fat is loaded with antioxidants and rich in omega 3 & 6, putting it almost on par with extra virgin olive oil. This produces a succulent fatty meat that is healthier than any of the modern lean pigs. Mangalitsa has now become the darling of the upper end culinary world, better known as the Kobe beef of pork, and king of the charcuterie market. If curing pork is your thing, this is what you're after.
Other notable enterprises
The property does have an old, and I mean old, apple orchard, but we did add 25 new fruit trees. Several pear varietals, plum, peach, nectarine, prune, cherry, apple, pomegranate, and persimmon. We did plant a lemon and mandarin tree but we will have to wait and see how they take in this part of the world.
Like everything the garden is trial and error to see what works. We are focusing or philosophies on a no till break ground mentality to a "just add compost", again and again until one day, the garden will just be a bed of rich black hummus and everything will grow to twice its normal size. Right now we specialize in Kale, Cabbage, Red Chard, Brussels Sprouts, and Garlic. The snow and frost did in the fava beans.
This summer we had great success in tomatoes, chilis, cucumbers, basil, carrots, beets, cauliflower, and radishes.
Next year, i will grow squash and pumpkins for the pigs, as they do in Hungary.
We have an assortment of hens, Buff Orpingtons, Plymouth barred rocks, Black Astralorps, Ameraucanas, Rhode Island reds, and a few mixes that a broody buff created. Other than the left overs from the pigs, these birds forage all over the farm, eating nefarious bugs and leftovers from the garden. No corn, no soy, or special treatment other than filling up there water containers. They run wild and have their own world which they self govern.
Long term goals
This is something our backs would love to share so we plan to build a few summer cabins around the property and host interested individuals from around the globe to learn and participate. Winters are long and wet so we believe a sauna is in order and a cure house for our own charcuterie. Anyone interested is encouraged to write us and then we can go from there.
Sky's the limit
We are always open to good ideas, plant a vineyard, make apple brandy, hard cider, make goat cheese, sheep milks cheese, etc., and bring your art because its quiet after hours, which ain't so bad in this crazy world. Uneven Ground.....a good idea.