Porcus Natura

A 700-hectares regenerative farm that integrates oak trees and animals

Porcus Natura is an extensive regenerative farm that integrates oak trees with various farm animals for improving soil productivity and storing carbon in the soil. 

In Herdade de São Luís, where Porcus Natura is based, the family tradition of breeding Alentejo pigs is kept by Francisco Alves.

Porcus Natura implements an agrosilvopastoril system that uses rotational grazing on an area of 700 hectares, where pigs, cows, goats and sheep are let free “for them to work the soils”.

Owner: Francisco Alves

Location: Serra de Monfurado, Évora, Portugal

Produce: Porc products: tenderloin, prey, feather, or, among the cured, ham, palette or loin; Angus and Merina cattle and serpentina goats

How Do They Contribute to a Better Climate?

Rotational grazing with multiple animal species

The integration of multiple species, incl. pigs, sheep and cows, into the regenerative agrosilopastoril system allows the regenerate the soil much easier

Pig Welfare

The good living standards that the Alentejo pigs enjoy at Porcus Natura and their blessed genetics, provides them with an extraordinary infiltration of fat and, consequently, an exquisite aroma and palate

Protecting young trees

Young trees require special protection during the first 7 to 10 years. As their height does not exceed 1,5 meters, they might be smashed by animals. Francisco developed a protection system that allows these trees to grow tall.

about the farm

Francisco, originally from Alentejo, has been working in the region for the last 20 years. In his project, Porc du Natura, his goal is the integration of agrosilvopastoril systems with Portuguese tree species in a dynamic way which allows beneficial synergies in the soil and the system as a whole.

“We work with multi-species, i.e pigs, cows, sheep and goats, because is better for biomass production”. Integrating various species makes most sense. For instance, goats eat what the cows don’t eat. Pigs help till the soil, without impacting soil, while cows are heavy and compact soil. Cows, however, are essential for soil improvement in short time. Sheep are best for fertilising the soil.

Portugal has seen a quick decline in native oat tree species at a rate of 5,000 ha/year. “We are still in time to act upon this and recover this species” states Francisco. For this, we created a tree protection scheme. Given that young trees, from the age of 4 to 6 years, require the right density of grazing, not too much not too little. This means, that if we put a big number of cows per hectare, they can break the young trees. In our system we have 200 years-old trees, but also young ones, 3 to 5 years of age. As young trees grow bigger to around 1-1.5 mts, protection must be ensured during the first 7 to 10 years.

 

What else is going on?

Working with native oak trees

The specific type of oak that Porc Natura uses in the farm is an endemic species from the Alentejo region in Portugal

Mantaining regional traditions alive

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