I probably haven’t mentioned my
dread reservations about raising pigs. Pigs could not be more different in their approach to life than cows. All muscle with sharp teeth and a bulldozer for a nose, they’re like crazed sharks on hooves. Sharks with a rowdy love for destruction and mayhem just for the fun of it.
After trying a variety of breeds, one emerged a winner, the Gloucestershire Old Spot.
Spots are a delight both in personality and deliciousness. Like the Devon cattle, they come from England where they were popular on small farmsteads like mine. Called orchard pigs because they were used to clean up windfall fruit between the rows, Spots are known for their gentle nature and their delicious but slower maturing meat.
I started my pig adventure by purchasing piglets born on other farms and “finishing” them. That is until I fell hard for the Spots from this particular family. Completely smitten and not being able to count on a steady supply of piglets, I decided to take control of the situation.
But, as often happens, the pigs had the last laugh. Taking control? Oink, ha, ha. Pigs will not be controlled silly lady.
Of course challenges ensued. And, either stubbornly or stupidly, jury’s still out on that one, I hung in there.
Ta-da! Finally, the pork pipeline is filling. Thanks Lisa Left Ear Lopes for my long-awaited pudgy litter. They could not be more perfect :)
As it turned out, my fancy-schmancy Spots boar and his posh British pedigree just wasn’t getting the job done. So, I turned to another old farmstead standby, the Duroc. My new Duroc boar got right to work, and to the day, three months, three weeks and three days later, hel-lo piglets!
These hogs will have a nice fat cover, but for slightly leaner pork I deviate a tiny bit from tradition and won’t let them grow to their full massively lardy size. The result is juicy, tender meat, more fatty and flavorful than supermarket pork but not excessively so. The Duroc is a leaner, more muscled breed which will add more lean to the bacons and yield better hams than purebred Spots. You can read more about the pork here.
So here’s the part where I interrupt this chat with a brief commercial message. It’s time now to reserve your pork share. Early reservations get our lowest, guaranteed price of $3.25/lb hanging weight.
Advanced reservations are extremely important to us. If you’ve ever had a teenager, you have a tiny idea how much a single hog can cost to feed and house. Thank goodness pigs don’t like clothes and gadgets!
Your reservation keeps the pantry full and enables us to continue with the next litter. In return, we offer a special savings and a locked price for reserved hogs. Unreserved hogs will most likely be available, but will be (at least) $3.50/lb hanging and are subject to change without notice based on changes in expenses.
Pork will be ready in batches throughout the year.
Okay, commercial over. If this sounds good, email me via the contact button for a reservation form. Hopefully you’re as excited about this as I am… it’s been way too long since I’ve enjoyed one of these chops.