The local food challenge* for May is pork. Pork comes from pigs. It includes steaks, chops, roasts, spare ribs, sausage, bacon, smoked hams or smoked chops, and feet and lard.
Pigs can be raised a variety of ways. Just as cows can be raised in feed lots, pigs can be raised indoors on grain. OR just as cows can be raised on pasture, pigs can be raised in a grazing setting. Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm has set a defining standard for how to do this well. His website has a wealth of information about the whole process of raising, slaughtering, and processing pork.
We raise our pigs in a manner closer to Jeffries than to the feed lot. Currently, we purchase our piglets from a farmer who raises them in a manner similar to us, using non-GMO grains and letting them root and be outdoors. Once they get to us, they are raised outdoors, getting fresh air and sunshine, being allowed to root, eating grass and vegetation. They regularly get non-GMO grain, day-old produce from the local food co-op, kitchen scraps, and weed and grass clippings from the garden. We keep their hut in an area for several weeks, expanding their grass areas before moving their hut to a new area. During the time that they are with us, we may move them to an area that we want to garden on eventually, letting them do the initial work of tilling and setting down their manure as compost. 6 months to a year later we would then plant in this area.
During May our pork is on sale – $5.75 / lb for non-smoked items and $6.75 / lb for smoked items and sausage. If you would like some, email us, and we will let you know the cost and will set it aside for you.
Find and enjoy some pork this month! Then email me about how you liked it OR comment in the comments below.
*Each month we have been having a challenge for different local foods to find and eat. Any comments about what you ate and how it tasted can be posted at that month’s blog post. Each comment entitles you to 1 entry in a drawing for a $50 Treasures of Joy Gift Certificate. Limit 1 comment each month. Comments for that month close at the end of each month. Drawing on January 1, 2019.