You’d never guess that Brian Giesbrecht used to be a “suit and tie” guy when you see how at home he is on his farm in Aldergrove. Brian was a champion horse trainer for 25 years, and during his training days in Asia, he used to have to put on a tie every day. In 2011 his last champion sprinter retired and he decided to change direction too.
Small farm, big dreams
With the support of his wife and teenaged children and a desire to raise the kind of meat he wanted to eat, he became a hog farmer in 2013. He’s got a small farm now, with about 50 pigs at any given time. He sells exclusively through Meatme and to some of the regions best chefs, but in five years he can picture a bigger operation that reflects to his values of animal-centred care. He has already added lamb to his repertoire, though he is keeping production pretty small for now.
Slow grown, chef-approved
Brian knows his pigs are unique. He raises heritage breeds like Berkshire, Tamworth and Duroc using his own boars and sows, so he has control over their entire lifecycle. This means he can ensure they are raised without the use of hormones and antibiotics, with constant access to mud, dirt, and lots of room to roam. He is proudly part of the “slow food” movement, never rushing his pigs to grow big. He feeds his hogs a combination of alfalfa, walnuts, hay for fibre, hops left over from a local brewery, and produce that would otherwise end up in the waste stream.
Chefs think of his pigs like the Kobe Beef of the pork industry, and word of mouth has them beating a path to his door. His hogs are used by Canada Top Chef Matt Stowe, Forage’s Chris Whittaker, and Kissa Tanto’s Joel Watanabe.
Community and connection
The Giesbrecht farm is small, but it is really making a difference in the local food scene. You can feel the excitement when Brian talks about having his pork featured by the Marriot Hotel during Farm Folk City Folks’ Feast of Fields celebration every year. And he is equally proud that his farming techniques can minimize his carbon footprint by using waste-destined produce to feed his pigs. He has also made a great connection with his local brewery to keep their spent hops out of the landfill. He believes that “if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it,” which translates on his farm into some of the most gently raised and most delicious hogs available in BC.
A Meatme exclusive
You won’t find this pork in any butcher shop. Order your share of the most exclusive pork in BC today!