Livestock Management at Black Cat + Saturday Market

Last week we explored pigs’ integral role on the farm. As a biodynamic operation, we believe livestock are essential for healthy agriculture, and pigs are especially important.

The animal factor at Black Cat Farm is so vital we employ a full-time livestock manager, Andie Young (you can follow Andie on Instagram @farmer.andie – and we post a lot on our Instagram accounts about our entire program, too: @blackcatboulder and @realbrambleandhare). The livestock operation at Black Cat Farm is nothing like what you would find at a commercial facility, and thus the job of livestock manager here is fairly unique.

At many large, commercial pig operations, for example, employees’ days are spent doing things like pumping animals with antibiotics, and fattening them up with commercial GMO and pesticide-saturated feed. Pigs often are allotted one square meter of space each, and sows are bred to produce ever larger litters, which spikes both piglet and sow mortality.

Dealing with these issues becomes part of employees’ routine.

Our Work With Livestock Worlds Away from Industrial Farms

Andie’s day is much different. We don’t use antibiotics, so that task is removed. Our pigs roam in fields, so the hazards that come with packing animals like sardines into warehouse-like buildings never emerge.

Instead, Andie and others on the farm team do things like shepherd pigs into fields full of vegetables that are past their prime, and then erect fencing around the fields. The pigs then spend days on the land, eating.

The farm team invests immense care into the well-being of pregnant sows, making sure they are comfortable and healthy as they approach the big day. In the photos above, Andie is examining one of our pregnant sows in a shot from last week. The shot of the piglets? The same sow gave birth to them on Wednesday of this week.

Just-born piglets on Black Cat Farm on Wednesday

Once the piglets arrive, the care and attention grows even more intense. We take care of each of of the li’l ‘uns as they enter the world. They are impossibly cute.

Livestock includes the sheep, too, which involve an entirely different approach, which we will explore in another newsletter.

The recent batch of seasonal temperatures and sunlight has been excellent for vegetable health, and we have a wide range of from-the-fields treats to tempt you at the Market tomorrow and the restaurants all weekend. We look forward to seeing you!

At The Market

Boulder Farmers Market

Saturday 10am – 2pm

Weekly Harvest – 6/22/2019

Parsnips · Daikon radish · Pea tendrils · Fava tops · Magenta turnips · Hakurei turnips · Spring onions · Red and white radishes · Edible radish flowers · Parsley · Chives · Siberian kale · Red Russian kale · Chard · Spinach · Mixed salad greens · Butter lettuce · Red Romain · Claytonia · Mizuna · Radish greens · Tatsoi · Osaka purple​

Black Cat Frozen Farm-Grown Dishes
Green mole · Lamb green curry · Veggie green curry

Black Cat Charcuterie
Cotechino Modena sausage · Ken’s Italian Cajun Sausage

Black Cat Heritage-Breed Pork & Lamb Raised on Organic Pastures
All cuts of lamb · All cuts of pork · Pork skin · Pork jowls

Sheepskins (via order form) · Tallow candle

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