Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Going in on a pig share

Monday night our pig farmer was kind enough to pick up our half of a pig share from the butcher and deliver it to our front door. I ended up sharing a whole hog with Annette Cottrell from Sustainable Eats and the author of The Urban Farm Handbook after she hooked me up with Luke Conyac of Conyac Brothers' Farmstead.

I had gone up to visit their farm a few weeks earlier to watch the hog slaughter that was masterfully done by two gentlemen from Silvana Meats who came to the farm to process the pigs.

The Conyac brothers raise a mix of Herefords, Gloucestershire Old Spots and what we got, something that is called a Bluebutt, which is a cross between a Hampshire and a Yorkshire. I had the delight of seeing all of their pigs in their natural environment as I hung out for a while post-slaughter. They run a small farm operation of less than 20 hogs, which makes for a cozy farmstead.

They raise their hogs on rotated pastureland and supplement with a local certified organic feed. As you can see in the picture above, they make quick work of the grass and shrubs, which necessitates the need to move them from one section of the farm to the next. This particular pig we got was finished on an organic grain mix of barley, oats and wheat from a nearby supplier in the Skagit Valley.

The Conyac's charge $2.75 per pound live weight and then there's the slaughter, butchering and smoking costs from Silvana Meats. In the case of my pig, the hanging weight was about 88 pounds per half (minus the head, trotters, entrails and other sundry parts).

As a result, we had delivered roughly 70 pounds of meat (which ended up being about $6.50/pound) as follows. Not a bad deal for local, organic, pastured pork raised in an ├╝ber-sustainable way:

  • 1 shoulder roast
  • 2 smoked ham roasts
  • 1 smoked picnic ham
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 5 pork loin roasts
  • 1 country style ribs
  • 1 pork spare ribs
  • 1 baby back
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • pork belly
  • pork sausage

I spent Tuesday evening getting the pork belly prepared for a week long curing in the fridge for making bacon. I'll be doing a separate post on that, but as a teaser, here's a picture of the belly in the maple brown sugar salt cure:

6 comments:

Rachel said...

You just reminded me that I need to turn my curing bacon! We bought a hog last year and it ended up leaving a rather sore spot with us. We bought an organically raised hog fed on organic grain and milk. Not only was that NOT the hog we got back, but we didn't get everything we asked for. Not the farmer's fault, but you have to be careful of the butcher.

Robj98168 said...

What no plans for Headcheese??? Laura Ingalls would just be so dissapointed.
A hint I found this winter from the side pork (belly) Slightly freeze it before slicing- it makes it a lot easier.

Laura said...

And no trotters! What about the cheeks? :)

nmaloff said...

Wow, I'm impressed.....I can hear (perhaps my own interpretation) the pain in your voice and I wonder when I'll be able to actually face those beings that, even when treated humanely and organically, I routinely serve my own family, pretending they are what we are supposed to be eating. You are a better, more "real" person than I and I thank you from the bottom of my pathetic heart for all that you do...

Unknown said...

Wow, I'm impressed.....I can hear (perhaps my own interpretation) the pain in your voice and I wonder when I'll be able to actually face those beings that, even when treated humanely and organically, I routinely serve my own family, pretending they are what we are supposed to be eating. You are a better, more "real" person than I and I thank you from the bottom of my pathetic heart for all that you do...

Unknown said...

Wow, I'm impressed.....I can hear (perhaps my own interpretation) the pain in your voice and I wonder when I'll be able to actually face those beings that, even when treated humanely and organically, I routinely serve my own family, pretending they are what we are supposed to be eating. You are a better, more "real" person than I and I thank you from the bottom of my pathetic heart for all that you do...

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