Yesterday we paid a visit to Philips Pharm, about ten miles from downtown Nashville. The drive couldn’t have been more beautiful, with the leaves falling around us and the vibrant colors of fall to enjoy as we ascended to the highest elevation in Davidson county.
Farmer Chris Philips grew up with ambitions of becoming a tobacco farmer, but his plans changed when the government began to pay farmers to not grow tobacco. He instead turned to raising livestock, and has been raising pigs, chickens, sheep and cattle for the past four years.
Three hens followed us everywhere we went.
The pigs on Philips Pharm, most of which are a cross between a rare heritage Red Wattle boar and a Blue Butt sow, lead as happy a life any pig could hope for. They roam on five spacious acres of woods, which features a natural spring creek. In the summer the pigs feed on tall corn that grows on the front of the property, and in the winter the pregnant sows lie on a bed of leaves on the plot that occupies a spring and summer garden. The time the pigs spend there in the winter helps to fertilize the garden for the next planting, giving Chris and his wife fresh home grown veggies well into the fall.
The garden where the sows spend the winter.
This time of year, the pigs have been enjoying a steady diet of acorns, which fall all over the property. In addition, their diet is supplemented by spent grains, which are the byproduct of the brewing process at Jackalope Brewery in downtown Nashville.
Recently, the pigs got a special treat when a brew didn’t turn out as planned at Jackalope. Bailey Spaulding, head brewer at Jackalope, contacted Chris to see if he wanted to take the bad batch to the pigs. Having recently introduced a new boar to the small pack, Chris knew this was the perfect opportunity for his pigs to get better acquainted. His plan worked, as the pigs drank the beer and “played” all throughout the night.
Chris shows Tony the converted schoolbus, which now holds grains and feed for the pigs.
We had a great day at the farm vising with the happy hogs, and are so excited and grateful for the opportunity to source one of them for our fist pop up dinner on November 11th. We hope you will join us, Jacklope Brewery, and Philips Pharm as we drink and dine to raise money for the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!