Freerange Pig Farming – with John Earney

At the end of June I visited family in New Plymouth. It is such a pretty place, with dumpling hills, a calm dark brooding ocean and of course the picture perfect splendor of Mount Taranaki in the background. For this show, I visited organic farmer John Earney who runs Avonstour, a certified organic farm specialising in heritage breeds, located in Eastern Taranaki, New Zealand.

John also runs a variety of self-sufficiency sustainable living workshops and courses. I could interview him on a multitude of subjects from cheese making, to rearing free ranging pigs to composting – but for this show I chatted to John about  FREERANGE PIG FARMING, how he manages it from an organic and permaculture  approach.

John is passionate about pigs! He had 500 on his property at one time, although he has fewer now. John specialises in heritage breeds known for their hardiness and resistance to disease. The benefits to the animals seems pretty clear. Are there also benefits for the farmer? John and I discuss benefits of keeping pigs to both farmers and lifestyle block owners.

To listen to this programme about Freerange Pig Farming please click on

To find out more about

  •  Courses and workshops run by John – go to
  • How to rear pigs using freerange practices – go to New Zealand Best Practice Guidelines for Free Range Pork Production, report by Massay Uni to Crown Copyright – Ministry for Primary Industries, 2012

This programme was originally broadcast on  the  2nd July 2015 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is hosted by Maureen Howard.

John with ?? - breed

John with large black sow

John feeds ?

John feeds Euro boar (European wild pig )


Wessex – Saddleback Cross


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