It’s a view fit for pigs, even if they don’t appreciate it. With a sweeping vista down the hills and across to Cape Byron, Byron Bay Pork has one of the best views in the Shire.
The pigs also probably don’t appreciate the fact that they are award winners. The trophy room of owner, John Singh, is well filled, even though he stopped entering his pigs into shows after consecutive wins. Last year his pork took out third place in the Best Australian Pork Awards.
John is a third-generation local farmer. His grandfather first arrived from India in the 1890s and, in the 1930s, John’s father started selling vegetables via horse and cart. As John grew up, he and his brothers gained experience on the family farm. Now the family land is divided among three brothers: one with cattle, one with bananas, and John with pigs. The tradition continues into the fourth generation, with John’s sons having started their own piggery.
Since the early 2000s, John has concentrated on Berkshire pigs, with a few Duroc also for cross-breeding. It is the pregnant sows and piglets that stay at the farm with the view. ‘It’s good to have them near the house, where we can keep a close eye on them,’ says John. The other pigs are at John’s Tenterfield farm.
John attributes the high esteem his pork is held in to the Berkshire breed, as well as their carefully selected grain diet. ‘The meat is more slowly grown and therefore has a different eating quality,’ John says, adding, ‘it is marbled meat, like Wagyu beef, so doesn’t dry out during cooking.’
Locally, you can buy at the pork at John’s Byron Bay Pork & Meats butcher shop in Mullumbimby. In addition, the butcher stocks John’s lamb and goat meat, both grown at the Tenterfield farm. John estimates that around 60 per cent of the meat sold at the butcher’s is from his farms, with other meats sourced from as locally as possible. The range includes gluten-free sausages, rissoles and crumb coatings.
You can also buy Byron Bay pork as part of a trip to a farmers market – either Byron Bay or Mullumbimby. Like many stallholder farmers, John really enjoys getting to know his local customers.
Along with not appreciating the view or awards, the pigs certainly don’t care about publicity. They didn’t give me a passing glance, and John reports that it was business as usual during filming for Channel 10’s The Living Room. The segment is to be screened later this year and I’m sure the view will captivate everyone… except for the stars of the show.
Find Byron Bay Pork at their butcher shop (70 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby, open 7–5 Mon-Fri and 8–12 Sat) and at the Byron Bay Farmers Market (each Thursday 8–11am, Butler Street Reserve).
Photo Jeff Dawson