Episode 16 - The Whole Hog
On the next episode, screening 2 July 2016 at 7pm on TV ONE:
The Whole Hog
Naya Brangenberg and Jeremy Wilhelm are originally from the United States, and immigrated to New Zealand in 2004. In her job as a vet Naya began accumulating animals with great haste. In 2008 they bought a 6-hectare lifestyle block on Longbush Road near Martinborough.
The couple moved in along with their dogs, chickens and a ring-necked parrot to name a few. They wanted to use their property to cater for most of their needs. So they quickly acquired some house cows and built up a decent sized herd of easy care sheep and a rafter of Turkeys.
Homemade bacon was another part of their self-sufficiency dream so they set about identifying a breed that would best suit the local conditions. They settled on a heritage breed of pig, the Large Black. The black colouring and long floppysunglass-likeears made them resistant to the harsh sun of the Wairarapa and they had a good reputation for being good natured and placid. At first the couple acquired three Large Blacks gilts for eating, but they quickly became hooked.
They wanted to show their pigs at A and P shows so brought in their first Large Black boar in 2009. They quickly began acquiring large numbers of weaner pigs. Jeremy says that it was theirresponsibility to ensure they were handled in the best way possible throughout their lives.So the couple began farming the weaners too.
It was at this point that the couple first started tasting the pork produced by their Large Black pigs and this was a revelation. They knew that they had a unique product and were soon selling Longbush Pork to a dedicated clientele of restaurants in Wellington.
Chef Kelda Hains from popular caféNikau is just one of Longbushs customers she says the pork is really delicious and has a sweetness that you dont get from other pork. She claims to beruined for other pork; I cant buy it or eat it from anywhere else.
But Naya and Jeremy were running out of space. Naya says that after 5 years in any small pork pigs accumulate so rapidly the paddocks need time out to recover from this intensive use if you are to farm sustainably.
Just as they were trying to figure out their next move they were contacted by a Hong Kong-based couple with a desire to become involved in the New Zealand pork industry. Doctors Tinny Ho and John Chua thought Jeremy and Naya would be the perfect partners to help farm ethically raised pork on a large scale.
When quizzed as to why they chose their new business partners Tinny simply statesyou trust people who treat their animals so well, weve seen what they have done on their lifestyle block, if we give them the right resources we know well see good things.
The injection of new capital has allowed Longbush Pork to move to a 19-hectare property 20 minutes drive from the original farm. More importantly its allowed Jeremy and Naya the chance to start again from scratch learning from their first seven years farming pigs. Jeremy has given up his office job to become a full time farmer.
The process of up-scaling the operation is going smoothly, theyve created a new breed of pig the Blackroc, which combines the taste characteristics of their beloved Large Blacks with the faster growth of the more commercial breed of Duroc pigs.
The farm is a veritable five-star hotel for his pigs. Jeremys custom made a series of wallows for them and imported insulated farrowing huts from the UK to maximise the comfort of the young litters. As Naya says they try totreat the pigs how we would like to be treated ourselves.
For information about Longbush Pork, visit:
Or on Twitter: @longbushpork
Some of the outlets who use or sell Longbush Pork:
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