I’m Linnea Solh.
This year I’m studying agriculture at Vreta Skolan Utbildningcenter, and part of learning is by doing. That’s why I’m here in Jersey on a 3 week work experience with Jon Hackett, a local pig farmer.
15 years ago Jon decided to have a change of life and career and it started with two pigs, one to keep and one to sell. The money he would make on selling one pig would pay for the other. Simple! But the orders started coming in as the word spread and today Jon has over hundred pigs and a very successful family business.
Jon looks after the happy pigs and also does the deliveries. That’s what he loves: meeting people. And it’s the little comments that keep him passionate. “A compliment is worth so much more that money, that’s when you know why you are doing it” He tells me a story about a Saturday afternoon delivery in a pub. It was fully crowded and as he opened the door a man fell out, that’s busy it was. But the crowd cleared a path for him and as he entered everyone clapped for Mr Hackett delivering the local sausage rolls. People in Jersey do really appreciate a product that’s locally made, he explained with a huge smile.
This first week I have been with Jon looking after the pigs, making sure they have enough water and food. Turning the tap on a few extra times for them to have a shower in the heat and letting the water collect in puddles of clay for sunscreen and keeping cool.
I have enjoyed listening to his stories and watched him care for the animals and the land. His grandfather used to grow tomatoes on these fields, he explained with pride as Jon shows me the newly planted apple trees that will soon become his home brew cider.
After 27 years of not eating met, I am now contemplating my choices. Going small scale and choosing local products is of great importance whether I eat meat or not. Knowing where the products are coming from and the love that’s been put in growing, caring and making is so valuable, without violating the planet, the animals and the land.
Mr Hackett is definitely following one of the main guide lines in Yoga: Ahimsa-non violence, whether he knows it or not…
Linnea Solh Jersey 12 July -18