Boutique Swinery in Yamhill County

When Stacy and Russell Shellington purchased 23 acres in Yamhill they only planned to use the land for the two horses they owned. But then their daughter was in 4H and she raised two hogs, one for the fair and one for them. And the next year, they purchased four. And the year after, Stacy researched and they started breeding Berkshires.  Sky Ranch, named not so much for the vistas from their hilltop home but the fact that Russell is a pilot, became a farm serving a growing niche market.DSC_0051

DSC_0042In the past decade Berkshires have become one of the heritage breeds of pigs that small farmers have chosen to raise. As most pork consumed by Americans is raised on factory farms, a growing number of consumers are opting to locate protein sources that avoid unnecessary hormones and steroids.  Stacy explained that the piglets are not weaned until they are 8 weeks old and then fed a mix of grain blended for Sky Ranch at a local feed mill with wheat, barley and oats grown in the Willamette Valley.DSC_0034a

Sky Ranch has one boar and several sows.  Stacy recently retired two of her older sows but currently there are three others that are pregnant.  They have been moved into the barn for the wet season but have access to a large outdoor area on days when the weather is dry.DSC_0036

Typically they move outside in March to spend time in large fenced runs.  Currently there are seven runs that are fenced which permits one area to stay fallow per year while the other six are used in rotation to permit the ground cover to regrow. Stacy said they are planning to fence more and increase the runs up to 12 in time.DSC_0055

There are 17 weaners now, growing to a mature weight and will be ready for processing in February.  They have been in another barn apart from the adults with open access to a large fenced hillside. When we approached they all charged out, running for the open, and the vegetation there kept them occupied for the next 20 minutes, so we only had glimpses of them.  They all have names; about half are named after singers and songwriters (Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, for example) and the others for physical attributes (like Bright Eyes).DSC_0053

Shelly pre-sells half or whole hogs as much as possible. Those can be processed at the ranch by an Oregon licensed mobile processor.  Because Sky Ranch is a licensed seller, meat is available by the cut year-round through Yamhill Valley Grown and also will be available at the McMinnville Farmers’ Market in season.  Those hogs are taken to the USDA approved processor, fortunately only about five miles away.DSC_0054

Shelly has a number of hams available that could grace your table for Christmas. Make sure to email soon to order yours!  And, if you want to order a half or whole hog, there are still a few available at this time.DSC_0058

Sky Ranch of Yamhill – A Boutique Swinery

13476 NW Oak Ridge Road Yamhill, Oregon

503-313-3316
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sky-Ranch-of-Yamhill/246081845993

Email: skyranchpigs@yahoo.com

Advertisements

About creationsbybg

Beth and Graham met online almost 20 years ago and married in 2007. Planning for retirement has included finding more time to play again and creativity is blooming. Now that we have moved to Oregon our time is split between exploring and creative endeavors. What fun! Following several years enmeshed in the local food movement in West Virginia and active involvement in the establishment and running of a year-round indoor local food market, visiting farms and telling consumers about them is a work of joy.
This entry was posted in farm, heritage breed, pork and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s