Meet Julia at Muddy Feet Farm.
Julia raises heritage and rare-breed pigs that thrive on pasture and woodlands in this climate. She has owned and operated her 4 acre farm in Sahtlam for 5 years. Muddy Feet farm is driven by her love for caring for her animals and the pleasure that her piglets and pork brings to her customers.
Before 2012 Julia had a career as a Scientist. She decided to leave this career behind and began following her passion of farming animals. Through the Worldwide Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) program, Julia spent the next two years traveling the world studying alternative and modern practices in sustainable agriculture. After being a part of a large farm on Gambier she took the leap of starting her own farm here in the Cowichan. It was time to put all her learning to the test.
Her production practices are centered around the regular movement of her pigs throughout new areas of the farm. When the pigs have grazed and dug out a certain percentage of their paddock they are rotated onto greener pastures.
In addition to rotational grazing Julia focuses on feeding them a variety of different foods for their diets. This is essential for the wellbeing, health and parasite control in the pigs. She feeds her pigs fresh vegetables and fruit from the Cowichan Green Communities‘ ReCover program, spent grain, and whey. She has found this to produce amazing tasting and textured pork.
None of the animal parts are wasted as she makes 100% pork dog treats out of all the offcuts and organs, and the other waste product makes excellent compost.
“My pure registered Tamworths and Berkshire sows and boars produce healthy, robust, free-range, friendly, piglets that I sell to families and other small farmers to raise pork for their family and friends,” she says. “I also pasture-raise my own pork pigs over winter that are, arguably, the best tasting pork in the Cowichan valley!”
We asked Julia for her favourite recipe using her meat and her response made our mouth water: “I espouse using the whole pig – the organs get made into dog treats (available here), leaf fat made into lard, and bones are put in the slow cooker for at least 24 hours, usually 48 to make awesome bone broth for soups and stews.
Being a farmer, I don’t have much time or energy by the end of the day so recipes are simple. My favourite is to put a joint of pork – like the picnic or butt cuts – into the slow cooker with some of my apples, apple juice and sage from the garden. I cook it low and slow. It makes awesome pulled pork in the summer or warm stew in the winter with a chunk of bread from True grain or Well Bred bakeries.”
You can try her amazing apple-sage flavour profile through Muddy Feet Farm’s Apple Sage sausages here.
Julia is thankful for having a very supportive customer base and community here in the Valley that appreciates quality local food and is willing to pay for it.
You can easily find her amazing sausages, raspberries and 100% pork dog treats, online through the Cow-op.ca marketplace! If you are looking for piglets and pork cuts, contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.