With all due respect to the figurative idiom “living off the fat of the land,” Dan Sullivan of Broad Arrow Farm is doing so literally—by breeding and grazing their pigs in the forest in a way that yields deep-flavored meat marbled with fat (“Fat carries flavor,” reminds Sullivan) while also boosting the long-term health of the soil.
The Bristol farm strategically rotates its herd in plots on 30 acres, where they do their piggy thing, uprooting and fertilizing the land, which the farm’s crew then seeds with a blend of edible plants. On top of that, instead of corn or soy, the pigs are fed organic barley grown on Aroostook County farms.
The upshot for the land is healthy microbial diversity and better water absorption. In the animals, it’s an organic pork that cooks better and sings with flavor. Taste it for yourself in warmer months at the farm’s new charcuterie bar, The Rooting Pig, where chef-butchers whip up the likes of pâté de campagne, coppa, and deviled farm eggs with crispy pancetta. Year-round at broadarrowfarm.com, they sell charcuterie plus specialty meats: Smoked jowl bacon or Pemaquid schnitzel, anyone?