Nancy Poly grew up on the outskirts of Philadelphia and had no farming experience when he moved to a farm in the Pocono Mountains more than 20 years ago.
At that time, Pori had several horses and chickens on the farm. Later, his son Nolan Tevenette became interested in raising sheep.
Pori had a different idea.
“I didn’t like the taste of the pork in the store, so I asked if I could raise a pig,” she said.
A family-owned Stryker Farm in Saylorsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania eventually blossomed and raised beef, mutton, and pork in the meadows.
Poly’s specialty is the traditional breed of pigs on the farm, which fluctuates between 100 and 300 pigs. For those who grew up in the suburbs, Poly’s adventure in pig farming was a bit unconventional.
When she first asked her son to keep pigs, Pori didn’t expect to soon have hundreds of pigs as part of her farm business. And when Pori became a well-meaning pig farmer 11 years ago, she was 58 years old.
“The learning curve was very large,” Poly said. “I never thought I would do this. I was asked if another woman of my age could do this, and I said no. I did it without my son. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it. He was the driving force. “
While Thevenet handles physically demanding tasks and manages farm stores, Poli’s strength is in raising traditional breeds of pigs in a way that focuses on nature and ethics.
Initially, Thevenet conducted an extensive survey of which breeds to breed. He and his mother settled on the diversity of heritage because of their ability to thrive in free-range operations. According to Pori, this traditional variety has long legs and a clear nose, which makes it good to roam the wooded meadows and take root in the ground. They also have coarser hair, she said, which allows them to handle being outside in the winter.
Poly offers an open-front shelter for pigs, and sows are modifying the young internal shipping container to act as a calving structure.
However, pigs, including sows and piglets, are free to enter and leave.
“Pigs are basically born free-range, which makes them strong,” Pori said. “We let the mother do what they want and they raise the piglets themselves.”
According to Pori, living in the pasture produces pigs that are more careful and self-protecting. She has a self-feeder that feeds pigs with a non-GMO feed mix in the pasture, but it’s up to them when they eat, root, or growl.
“I think our pigs are very happy. It’s a different kind of life than the pigs raised in the building,” said Pori.
It’s also a different kind of life than what Poly had imagined. The farm functions as a business as well as the heart of the family. Thevenet manages farms and shops, and Poli takes care of pigs. She also has Poli Restoration, a second business dealing with the restoration and preservation of paper collections such as stamps, money, maps, documents and covers. The restoration studio is attached to a farmer’s shop, and Pori’s daughter, Rebecca Sylvian, is her partner.
The fact that Pori spends his days between wearing farm chores when feeding pigs and wearing white lab coats to restore valuable paper collections is in the Pocono Mountains. It shows the diverse life she created for herself on an enclosed farm.
For Pori, it’s all farm-centric and serves its purpose.
“I like the lifestyle and I have to go there every day to work outside with the pigs. That routine is good for me,” she said.
With a difficult learning curve behind her and the farm’s established success, Pori is uncertain whether her family will operate in a new direction. They worked hard to get to today’s place, she said, and despite they being constantly learning, they found comfort in the freerange system they had.
And it all started when a suburban woman moved to a mountain farm and decided to keep a pig at the age most people were thinking of retiring.
“I was wondering what we were working on by doing this, but once we got into the work, we couldn’t stop and undo it,” Poly said. .. “We tried to make a unique way of raising and feeding pigs, but it was never before.
“Now we know where we are heading and we know we can run this farm, and through all that we have taught me not to be afraid of the unknown. . “