Our Stories : Food & Wine
Love Thy Pig
The Royal Pig: The porkers at Beach Plum Farm are called Berkshire pigs, which were once upon a time raised at Windsor Castle, official residence of the British monarchy, having been very popular with the upper classes for their “marbled meat”. This means that the fat is evenly distributed throughout the body, making the meat sweet and juicy. It also means that when you come to visit the pen, you are required to bow and curtsy to the Berkshires, because they are basically royal.
Currently there are 20 sows and one boar. Each sow can have 20 babies per year. Berkshire pigs usually have 8-10 piglets at a time, but some have had up to 16. They give birth twice a year. The sow’s gestation period is about 116 days, and the pigs can grow to be up to 400 lbs in a matter of months. Berkshires can gain up to 4 lbs per day, especially if they don’t participate in Congress Hall’s Beach Bootcamp and Yoga.
This year, Beach Plum Farm expanded to an 11-acre property on Sixth Avenue to house the new Berkshires. About three acres of the new property are currently used to keep hogs.