This year, give the promise of pork.
December 4, 2012
— Gloucestershire Old Spots, pig, pork, Tamworth
It was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s time we start selling stuff. And by stuff we mean pork.
We are planning our 2013 growing season, and after the smashing success of our first pig raising and slaughter, we are offering a limited number of porks for sale. We are taking deposits for whole and half pigs to be harvested in the autumn of 2013. We have had great interest locally from people who want to buy cuts of our pork. Sadly, we are unable to sell individual cuts, as they were not killed in a USDA approved slaughterhouse. We think our slaughter process and the resulting meat are superior to that which comes from commercial slaughterhouses. Our pig was killed humanely, quickly and quietly on our farm, in his own pen. There was no stress inducing capture. No transportation. No time spent in strange facilities that certainly smell of death. Our pig had a perfect, calm, stress-free life, which ended in an instant. We prefer this for the sake of the animal, and all experts agree that the meat from a stressed animal is inferior to that of a calm animal.
We want you to be able to experience pork like this. In order to do that, we need to sell you the animal before it is killed. We can orchestrate the killing for you right on our farm in surroundings familiar to your pig. We have an excellent processor/butcher who can even cut and process the pig to your exact specifications, down to the thickness of your pork chops and the type of sausage you prefer. In order to stay within the limits of the law we have to sell whole or half pigs. This pork will be the finest quality you can buy, but is not for resale. It is to be used by you and your family, however you may define it. If several people go in on a whole or a half, one person needs to make the arrangements and cut the check. What you do with it upon delivery is your choice.
Your pigs will be born on our farm. They will be a cross between our Gloucestershire Old Spots boar, and our Tamworth Sow. Old Spots have been bred for more than a century for their lard and rich, moist flavor. Tamworths are a lean, heritage bacon breed. Crossing these two breeds produces premium pork with the excellent meat quality of the Tamworth with the moist rich qualities of the Old Spots. Both breeds are excellent foragers, and instinctively graze rather than await prepared rations. If orders exceed our own piglet supply, we will buy in some pure Tamworth piglets to fill our orders. We will cut off orders when we have reached 20 pigs. Your pork will be deep pink to ruby red, not pale and white like confinement pork.
Your pig will be raised outside in rotating spacious pens, on a mixture of pasture and forest. It will forage for most of its diet, eating grass, leaves, twigs, nuts and roots. It will be fed goat milk from our ever-growing herd of dairy goats. It will be supplemented with a locally produced, grain based feed.
The actual price will be determined by the “hanging weight” of the pig. The hanging weight is the weight of the pig, with the blood drained and the insides removed. The hanging weight should be between 160-180 pounds per pig (80-90pound for a half). You can expect to receive about 75-80% of this weight in actual cuts, as a portion of bone, skin, and fat are lost in the cutting up of the hog. Your pig will yield an assortment of pork chops, spare ribs, shoulder roasts or steaks, hocks, sausage, ham, and pork belly or bacon.
Barring a sharp increase in feed prices, whole hogs will be $4.80 per pound, based on actual hanging weight, and half hogs will be $4.95 per pound. The smoking of bacon and hams is included in the pricing. If you prefer fresh hams and pork belly, we can arrange a reduced price, as the curing and smoking do add to the processing fee. Half hogs will include one type of sausage, of the buyers choosing, and whole hogs will include up to 2 types of sausage. Similarly, if someone wants a whole dressed carcass so they can do their own butchering, this can also be arranged at a reduced price.
Your pig will be available in late October or early November of 2013. You can pick up your pork on our farm in Cobleskill, NY, or delivery can be arranged in the greater Albany, NY area. For our Philadelphia friends, we will offer free delivery, assuming all parties can agree on one delivery date (a weekend day in early November). You will need to be prepared with freezer space, so those with apartment-sized freezers are forewarned. As slaughter day approaches, you will be sent a lengthy list of options for just how you want your pork custom cut and processed.
Why, you may ask, are we taking orders now for next autumn’s pork? There are three reasons. Firstly, breeding season is about to begin. The number of orders we receive will determine the number of piglets we need to either produce ourselves or reserve from other area farmers. There are only so many heritage pork producers around, and we want to reserve ours early. Secondly, it’s Christmas time, and who wouldn’t love to receive the promise of pork as a present? And lastly, WE’RE MOVING! We found an amazing new farm (more on that soon) and we need some cash to invest into the new fencing and housing for the animals so they will continue to thrive. By reserving your pork now, you will help us make the step from hobby farmers to actual career farmers.
We are asking for non refundable deposits of $100 for half hogs, and $200 for whole hogs.
To place a deposit on your whole or half pig, please submit the form below, and we will be in touch shortly to work out the details.