When a farmer’s ready to switch jobs, John Huschle says, “It’s not as easy as cleaning out your desk.” In 2008, after he decided to raise pigs instead of produce – selling his interest in the Seattle-area organic veggie outfit Full Circle – Huschle bounced among four leased locations before scoring 25 acres in a no-development deal with Washington State’s King County.
“Row crops require a lot of labor: plowing, hauling, tilling,” explains the 46-year-old, who takes a more hands-off approach with his heritage Berkshire hogs. “A human wants to build a pen and a roof. The animal wants to be in the wild.” Surely, though, livestock’s a tad less predictable than lettuce? “We had a big flood three years ago,” Huschle admits, “and I woke to find 50 pigs passed out in my shed. They’d eaten hundreds of dollars in grain. It was like the morning after some crazy orgy.”
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