A pastoralist is a grazer of animals. I'm not sure why this description hasn't caught on here in the United States because it perfectly describes what we are doing.
I'm often tripping over terms like "natural farmer" or "grass fed farmer". Organic isn't right either. I can be an Organic Farmer and still keep my animals confined. The fact is that we do everything we can to allow our animals to get outside.
Lately my test is raising Free Range Pork while at the same time trying to preserve the heritage Large Black hog breed. These hogs are not only large, they are very docile & friendly...and taste great. The breed began early in the 19th century in England. In this country they thrived in the pre-WWII era but started to decline in population as farmers began to favor faster growing hogs that could be grown indoors.
One nice thing about being part of the Slow Food Movement is...well that we are not in a hurry :-). With a focus on quality both in the life of the pig and also in the taste & quality of the product, we can be patient and wait for these amazing animals to reach their full perfection :-)
We let them outside to frolic every day, including in the winter. They eat a varied diet as well. Here you can see them eating fruit & vegetable rinds from a friend who runs a Juice Bar here in Indianapolis. We also give them eggs pretty much every day as well as Apples & of course more traditional feed based on Corn & Soybeans.
I hope you will give our Free Range Pork a chance. It might cost a little more, but once you have tried it, it's going to be hard to go back :-)
If you would like to get on our list for the next available pork, please send me an email Chris@farmersmarket.com.