North Fork Pork and Poultry: The land of smiling pigs
There is no fear in the eyes of the pigs who wallow, nap and trott around happily in the fields of Doug Zorn’s farm, North Fork Pork and Poultry.
No, those pigs aren’t afraid or unhappy. In fact, they smile, especially when Doug scratches them behind the ears.
Doug, who is often known for his agricultural activism including his recent project with the mobile abattoir in Grand Forks, is really a very passionate pig farmer who fell in love with the grass roots ideals of Mother Earth News magazine in the 1970s and has never turned back.
He and his wife Pat moved to Grand Forks and their Granby Road acerage in the mid-1970s.
The two chose the Grand Forks area to raise their family because of fond memories Doug had of living in the southern interior. His father had been an RCMP officer and Doug’s family moved 22 times in 20 years. Of those moves his favorite memories lie in a small fruit farm his family lived on in Osoyoos.
“I liked that identity,” he said of the rural lifestyle.
While raising their three sons, Pat worked, and still works as a Registered Nurse, while Doug worked for Interior Mill Equipment.
“We raised our boys and it was a great way of life,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle — more of a lifestyle than a profitable job.”
Over the years Doug has raised many animals including cows, horses and pigs.
Now he has four Large White/Duroc sows, a large flock of laying hens and seasonal meat birds on his 15 acre property. Those sows produce enough piglets to feed his numerous North Fork Pork and Poultry customers throughout the Boundary. He sells eggs and, more recently, meat chickens.
“Why pigs — I’ve always loved pigs,” smiles Doug in answer to a question about his favorite animal.
I like the fact they’re a nice calm animal. Cows kick and are stupid. Pigs are a great bunch, they’re not vindictive and they’re easy going.
Doug lives and breaths farming. It’s not just a lifestyle for him, but an opportunity to make change in a world, he feels, is headed the wrong way.
He is best known in these parts for his advocacy work for farmers and the rural lifestyle he so loves.
He’s served for years on the Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society (GFBRAS) including some time as the president, he also worked on the Future Boundary Growers project in the schools and most recently has been heavily involved in the mobile abattoir project.
“We can’t sustain the way we’re growing food today. As residents of the Kootenays we have to start growing our food and buying locally,” said Doug, adding he’s not a fatalist, he is just looking at what has happened historically in the world and can see the same happening here.
“Our survival rate depends on how quickly we can adjust and I don’t see us adjusting quickly enough. Our whole society is based on cheap food. Corporate farming is all about fertilizers and terminator seeds. I see all these things as a stack of dominoes, lining up and teetering over … The more we realize that we need to increase local food production, the more certain our future is.
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