Woolumbi Organic Pig Farm Excursion

A Paddock to Plate Experience

The ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy is an idea gaining much traction in the mainstream, but what exactly is this philosophy and what does it entail?

The Year 9 Agriculture and Animal studies students along with the Year 10 Hospitality students visited Woolumbi Organic Pig Farm on Friday 2 June, to see this philosophy in action. These students visited Woolumbi and, with the help of farm owners Kenneth and Sonya, had a firsthand look into how organic farming works with their Wessex-Saddleback pigs. These pigs are considered critically endangered and extinct in their country of origin - the UK. The work that Kenneth and Sonya do at Woolumbi to raise their pigs from birth to slaughter is quite fascinating and certainly encompasses the ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy.

Students were given a tour of this working farm, where they were able to learn and see everything from how the pigs are kept, paddock rotation, feeding and water management. This was particularly interesting, with a series of wetland ponds used to clean and purify all water on the farm.

Students were able to see some of the new piglets, handle some more mature pigs and guess how much these pigs weighed – which was much harder than it looked! Finally, we were given a tour of the butcher and produce shop where students got to see how the pigs were treated post slaughter. Woolumbi utilise ALL of the pig so we got to hear about some of the more unusual cuts that people love to eat in various forms. Here we learnt that approximately 75% of our processed pork consumed is in fact imported, which was quite mind boggling to us all!

Overall students had a great experience and learnt a lot from seeing these farming practices firsthand – we will certainly be going back for another visit to Woolumbi!

  

Georga Bryant
Teacher