From little things big things grow...
It all started with two piglets...who grew and grew! We thought this was great, soon we would be able to fill the freezer with our very own pork!
But those two piglets never made it to our dinner plate; instead they became the founding members of our free range pig herd.
As it happens we farm in the highly productive Lower Southeast corner of South Australia, near the picturesque coastal town of Beachport.
Before we knew it a merry tribe of 30 or so pigs were escaping from their yards, making themselves at home in the grassy paddocks alongside our sheep and cattle (and frequently enjoying the lawn of our garden, but that's a story for another day!).
We were feeding them grain we also grew on the farm as part of our mixed cropping program and the concept of value adding to this grain, combined with the pigs' obvious preference for running free, sparked the idea of establishing a free range piggery on a larger scale.
Embracing the Berkshires
We refined our breeding program to have only purebred Berkshire pigs, as they are a black heritage breed well suited to an outdoor environment, and so our brand Beachport Berkshires was born.
Fast forward a few years (and plenty of freezer fillers along the way) more than 100 Berkshire sows and their offspring can be seen meandering through our paddocks, grazing on lush pastures, digging in the dirt, eating our wheat and barley and wallowing in mud on hot days.
Being a heritage breed they are slower growing than intensively farmed white pigs and have smaller litters. However, they have increased intramuscular fat (marbling) in their meat which creates delicious juicy pork. As they also have access to pasture at all times the resulting product is a far sweeter tasting pig with superb eating quality.
Many people ask about the black hair on the pigs, but we tell them to just cook it and eat it: our pork is so tasty that "Once you go black, you'll never go back!".
Free Range and Beyond
We attained our Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ) Free Range accreditation in November 2017 and we have since won consecutive Silver Medals for Branded Pork at the Australian Food Awards in 2018 and 2019.
We supply pigs into various interstate markets, but one thing we’ve always wanted to do is supply local people with high quality local produce. So we are very proud to close the gap between farmers and retailers and have our pork sold locally in Millicent, Beachport and Mount Gambier, and on the menu at numerous Limestone Coast restaurants.
See our Stockist page for details of where you can get some Beachport Berkshires pork on your fork!
Mark, Kate, Lily & Willow Wheal