The Dependent Triangle
Lonesome Star Farm was created for 2 reasons: 1) To promote heritage livestock’s beneficial characteristics as an excellent alternative to commercial livestock in temperament, meat quality, their ability to graze on grass which lessons (or almost removes) costly feed bills, and are more tolerant to weather extremes & disease. 2) As an example of sustainability using this Dependent Triangle.
3 Parts of “The Dependent Triangle”:
1) Heritage Livestock- Raise heritage & rare livestock that are 100% grass-fed or including some organic grain and high protein hay. Lonesome Star Farm currently has Kunekune pigs which are a hearty medium-sized pig whose heritage quality means they are typically disease resistant so no harmful antibiotics are used and they forage for their own food. Unlike other pigs, Kunekune pigs can fatten on grass alone thereby saving the homesteader significant amounts of money each year. They’re temperament is very friendly, they’re gentle on fences, and their ability to fatten on grass alone is increasing their popularity grow each year even though they have not been bred in the USA until the last 10 years for the most part. Last, versatile Kunekune genetic strains offer beautiful pets as well to complement many types of homestead operations. With just a few big corporations using just a few types of pigs for the nation’s food supply, the time is now to diversify with a natural and tastier alternative to this monoculture business model.
2) Native Grass/Hay – Kunekune pigs won’t thrive without a healthy free range field to frolic in containing ample organic hay or ideally native grasses. Lonesome Star Farm carefully maintains a balance between the livestock’s need to graze the grass and keeping our 80+ year old native pasture from becoming a West Texas dust bowl. Native grasses are important for they are disease resistant & drought tolerant.
3) Lonesome Star Farm is mentioned last of the 3 parts for God creates the livestock and germinates the seed so we just orchestrate it all. Just to name a few other things we do is plant rye seed as a green cover crop for the winter and enjoy the art of breeding. Our goals centers around cultivating a stout and disease resistant animal for “pasture” use while balancing their lard pig characteristics to add more muscle to the “plate” side of their multi-purpose uses.
King grass. 7/12/13
My boss told me to clear 6 foot tall sunflowers with a simple sickle in 100 degree heat. Crazy!? Yet my “boss” is the pig’s chemical-free native grass for me to strengthen under this Texas heat. As the grass goes, Lonesome Star Farm goes, since our herd of grass-eatin’ pregnant kunekunes still think they’re in charge.
It’s a rewarding challenge to share a purpose between grass and man. The native grass is naturally heat tolerant and I’m naturally heat intolerant.
Regardless, we’re in this together but I always know who is the boss.
A day in the life. 6/9/13
A one minute video from Lonesome Star Farm. This is one of my breeding stockers…
One pregnant kunekune pig’s day:
3:30 Mud Mask & Bask.
4:00 Here she fell down right right at my feet for her Jowl Treatment
4:30 Grass & Turf at the local watering hole
Basic conservation suggestions. 11/8/12
I found the time to mow most of the piggy paddock. Now that the Summer in Texas is finally over (just before we carve Thanksgiving dinner), I mowed their field for a number of reasons.
- The weeds (see picture below) were obviously not to the Kunekune pig’s liking for the weeds were tall and very coarse.
- The weeds were taking water and sun that the native grasses and newly seeded Winter rye grass desperately needed.
- The thorny tall weeds could cause a wound and infection if a pig gets an eye full of it.
- The tall weeds were also shading the pig’s bathroom area which would ideally compost faster in direct sunlight.
- The weeds were UGLY!
Slow, normal, or fast food? 2/12/13
The main negative comment I hear about kunekune pigs is that they grow “too slow” for commercial or even home use. I could not disagree more. These heritage pigs grow normal
- … like a normal livestock animal
- …like an animal that is raised without the cramped warehouse, growth hormones, preemptive broad-spectrum antibiotics, GMO’s, and genetic engineering to speed up the growth process
- …like a pig bred with of healthy proportions and conformation, not selective breeding extremes that manipulate the commercial pig into producing lean(?) meat that’s Wonder Bread white. While the public has demanded a few of these traits, who can completely blame farmers for filling that “need” for fast and cheap food. Generally speaking, cutting corners no matter what meat, food, (or life for that matter) almost always has some kind of negative impact on the environment and possibly our health.
With this in mind, I argue that it’s not that kunekune pigs grow “too slow.” They grow at a pace for their bodies to naturally build and bulk up. Unnaturally manipulating commercial pigs to grow too fast can completely stress their bodies and remove their ability to resistant disease, parasites, etc.
Here’s what we believe about raising quality sustainable livestock.
Lonesome Star Farm’s (LSF) heritage livestock, including Kunekune pigs, are grass-fed, and no antibiotics, hormones, or harsh chemicals are used. They can fatten almost entirely on grass in a proportionately sized pesticide-free native pasture. Pasture protection includes using crop rotation along with nitrogen-rich cover crops to support the Dependent Triangle. We’ll partner and organize with other sustainable farms and organizations to reclaim the land and livestock’s natural way of life. For fun, LSF believes that the kunekune’s positive traits, contrary to many breeds of swine, will reverse society’s historically poor image of the pig.
“Heritage” livestock can be defined as selectively breeding animals/livestock that were around generations ago. Why is this important?
Heritage breeds of pork & other animals are older breeds, genetically predisposed to be more disease-resistant, heartier, have a better temperament, and sustain more on grass alone (less feed costs).
Simply put, the older breeds of livestock are “tried and true” where the farmer selectively bred the healthiest livestock the natural way over generations so we can enjoy that breed of animal’s great characteristics today. With this in mind, Lonesome Star Farm believes if you take care of the livestock, they will take care of us.
“Heritage breeds grown the heritage way”
Heritage breeds appear to slower but so do most creatures that are built strong and healthy. In reality, today’s corporate breeds are modified to grow too fast.
By breeding the best of the best, how can you go wrong with that? Kunekunes we cultivate are all pure bred. Those before us have done the hardest work. It’s up to us to carry on this hearty legacy.