Kingswood farmers celebrate their successful pork business at Park Mill Farm, near Wotton-under-Edge

Gazette Series: Lara Madge with Nellie her Gloucester Old Spot sow Lara Madge with Nellie her Gloucester Old Spot sow

KINGSWOOD farmers are celebrating their successful foray into pig farming.

Lara Madge, 42, and her husband Oliver moved to 20-acre Park Mill Farm four years ago, having had no previous farming experience.

Three years ago, the couple attended a one-day pig keeping course, bought three eight-week-old piglets, and haven’t looked back since.

With two rare-breed breeding sows – Nellie, a Gloucestershire Old Spot and Daisy, a Large Black – the farm regularly produces litters of squealing piglets, who are raised slowly and kindly before heading to an Eastington abattoir at around seven months.

It’s a process that hasn’t always come easily to Mrs Madge.

"I’m a terrible farmer," she laughs. "I cry every time they go off to the abattoir.

"They’ve got such great characters. They are an absolute delight."

Last year their free-range pork won a prestigious Good Housekeeping award, the Slow Food Best Small Meat Producer.

Hand-reared and often fed fresh apples from the neighbouring orchard, the pigs have a happy outdoors life.

Passionate about sustainability, Mrs Madge is encouraging schools to visit the farm to learn about animal husbandry and food production.

"I think people are really detached from where their food comes from," she explained.

For more information, visit Parkmillfarm.com

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