Employed in tourism, she embarks on open-air pig farming in Var

Horses, dogs, chicks and now pigs live together on the grounds of Edwige Fontaine’s and her family’s house. At the age of 50, in 2021 he started breeding woolly Mangalica pigs. “I always wanted to be a farmer” confides the administrative assistant of a village club in Lavandou.

“It’s the effect of confinement”, she says. Her aunt, a goat farmer at the Drôme, passed on her love for breeding. “But at the time, agriculture was poorly perceived and you had to be a farmer’s son to go to school”. She therefore turned to administrative jobs, keeping her childhood dream in the back of her mind. Confinement and the desire to get back to simple things led her to take the plunge. One morning, contemplating the forest around her house, she thought that this space would be perfect for pigs…

“A Rare and Wanted Breed”

By documenting the existing breeds, Hedwig was seduced by the Mangalica, a breed originally from Hungary, which lives only outdoors and whose “Red meat, oily and marbled, it is rare and sought after”.

To train, she had the advice of a breeder located in the Vaucluse, who sold her her first animals, and the association Mangalica France. “We only have about twenty years to breed this breed in France. And in Var, I’m the only one.”.

Hedwig’s farm now has twenty-three fattening animals, including thirteen piglets. Her first pigs will be ready for slaughter in 2023. She then plans to set up a processing workshop and sell her produce in local markets and restaurants. “Only the slaughter is done outdoors and as there is still no slaughterhouse in Var, it is necessary to go to Digne or Vaucluse. This has a cost that will have to be passed on to product prices.”

The breeder is very attached to animal welfare. Their animals evolve outdoors, they have an entire forest to play with and they can take advantage of mud baths to hydrate themselves (thanks to the recycling of water from the horses).

Concerned about preserving the environment, Edwige is a fan of the circular economy.

To supplement the pigs’ diet, he collects unsold fruits and vegetables from supermarkets or horticulturists.

a profession of passion

The farmer has kept her full-time job, but intends to dedicate herself entirely to the new activity, as soon as she generates sufficient income. To complete her training, she hopes to join a CAP delicatessen and catering next September, if she gets her employer’s agreement.

Among pigs, the breeder seems to be in her element.

“It’s a profession of passion. I enjoy taking care of animals. I found what I really wanted to do.”

A kitten to support the project

Edwige Fontaine launched an online kitten to fund part of her activity. The Mangalica breed requires two years of fattening before slaughter, which deprives it of income while many expenses must be incurred. We must first finance their food, based on barley. ” Its price has skyrocketed since the war in Ukraine. It went from eight to ten euros per kilo”. Regulations also require the installation of electric fences to protect the farm from swine fever, transmitted by wild boar.

A donation for a sausage

You must also install a sump pump because ” pigs should always have water ».

Participation in the kitten entitles you to a consideration. For example, for a payment of twenty-five euros, the contributor will receive two sausages and the rewards increase according to the amount of the donation. “It’s a kind of cash advance that we ask our future customers, even if the value is higher than the value of the product”, explains Edwige. It is also a way of supporting the farmer and the promise of soon being able to buy “quality meat, raised in excellent conditions and produced entirely locally”.

Later, the creator plans to take out a loan to finance her future processing workshop. However, she expects the kitten (today with more than 4,600 euros) to reach 6,000 euros, so that she can keep. Thus, Carnoulaise will be able to carry out its breeding project that respects animals and consumers.

Crowdfunding online until April 27: https://miimosa.com/fr/projects/pour-que-vive-et-se-developpe-le-porc-serein#articles

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