Corva Bella Farm is the Mother and Son team of Connor Michael Bell and Cristiana Calderan Bell. Our sustainable, small permaculture farm is located in the Ebenezer region of Oconee County, in South Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge foothills.
The farm is named after my Grandfather’s birthplace- Corva, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. My Grandparents were avid gardeners and some of my fondest childhood memories were spent learning to garden, bake, can and preserve food. While our love of Italy is evident, we are also passionate about the history of our home county and Southeastern Appalachia, championing locally-grown food and supporting local small business.
We offer top quality Kunekune breeding stock, with a focus on conformation, larger size and faster growth rates. Our conservation breeding program strives to produce Kunekune pigs with adult weights ranging from 250-400 pounds, and yearling weights of 150-175 pounds with body types best suited for maximum yield and cut size.
We have the largest and most genetically diverse herd of rare Kunekune pigs in the beautiful state of South Carolina, representing the following bloodlines: Jenny, Trish, Rona, Wilsons Gina, Awakino, Tonganui, Ru, Tutanekai, Mahia Love, Andrew. We maintain multiple members of each bloodline in our herd, for use in our selective breeding. Several of our pigs display Tapeka trait, belting or high white coloration and we look forward to including them in our breeding schedule as early as Summer/Fall 2018. Our breeding stock is out of parent stock from top Kunekune breeders such as The USA Herd, Kunekune Preserve, Barton Hill Rare Breed Pigs (UK), RSVP- Rock Star Vittle Piggies, Tule Fog Farm, Goose Meadow Farm and others.
Our rare breed heritage pork is raised in our forest land and on pasture, and is USDA processed and packed by an Animal Welfare Approved facility. Retail cuts and sausages are available for farm purchase by appointment, and at various local area farmers markets. This year we will be adding new sausage varieties, cured bacon and rendered lard to our offerings! You can find our farm provisions such as soaps, salves and balms, in our Etsy shop.
We also raise purebred Salmon Faverolles chickens and Blanc de Hotot rabbits (both threatened status with the Livestock Conservancy), and Meishan pigs (our breeding program has shifted away from the Meishan due to them not working with our farm model, but we continue to utilize them in our pork production and may occasionally offer a pure litter).
We are members of The Livestock Conservancy, Slow Food Upstate, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Good Faith Grown, Kunekune Pig Preservation Project, American Kunekune Pig Registry, AKKPS-kunekunes and the American Meishan Breeders Association.
The name Corva Bella is a nod to my Grandparents and my Italian ancestry- my Grandfather was born in Corva, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. Corva is a tiny hamlet of Azzano Decimo, located in the province of Pordenone. The rich, fertile Meduna River valley marks this region in the most Northeastern province of Italy, an area famous for prosecco, polenta, gnocchi, and prosciutto. This land is dedicated to the farming of corn and fruit trees, as far as the eye can see. Corvids are birds such as crows, ravens, and magpies, and I believe that is the origin of the town name, as “corvo” is Italian for crow. In an area where the main crop is corn, I’m sure they are frequent visitors!
My Grandfather was an avid gardener. He grew yearly acres of corn, and the biggest heirloom tomatoes I’d ever seen. My Grandmother had a large organic garden that I helped her with. She taught me all about gardening, supplementing the soil, picking, pruning and preservation. We’d can and freeze vegetables, and make jellies, jams and pies with berries. These times were truly the best memories of my childhood.