Saturday, March 4, 2017

2017 March Pork Update

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Pigs are bacon with a shovel.
Last year's Red Wattle offspring are going to the processor in early April and early May.  We still have just a few half hogs left, and will be selling cuts afterward as available.  Message us on Facebook or at and we'd be glad to talk.

For whole and half hogs, we are asking $2.50 per pound hanging weight to Holevoet Farms.  Then the processor will typically charge between $1.00 and $1.50 per pound on average depending on cuts.  This puts the final cost on the order of $3.50 to $4.00 per pound, which is competitive with commercial pork but you get a much tastier, more nutritious pasture raised hog.  A slower grown heritage breed will usually have a darker color and much more flavor than conventional pork.  Pork was once something besides "the other white meat."  It still is, among small producers.

We typically use Reason's Locker in Buffalo Prairie, Illinois and have done so for years.  If you have another processor within driving distance that you prefer, we'd be happy to talk about details with you.

Here's a good guide to pork cuts.

Below is a typical breakdown of a half hog cut sheet (yield is 60-75 pound of meat):

8-12 lbs of pork chops
3 lbs of ribs 
8-10 lbs ground pork and/or sausage
7-10 lbs bacon
15-18 lb ham
15-18 lbs roast
5 lbs ham hocks or stew bones  
5 -8 lbs rendered lard

Miscellaneous cuts some people like:
1-2 lb jowl
1.5 lbs feet 

Our hogs are raised to be around 270-300 pounds at age 9-11 months.  This is quite a bit longer than modern commercial breeds, but a slower growing animal has benefits in taste.  It pays to wait sometimes.

Here are some of the cut possibilities in pork.  When it gets close to processing time, we or the processor can talk you through the details.

  • Bone-In Pork Chops (no baby back ribs with bone in pork chops)
  • Boneless Loin Roast and/or Bone-In Pork Chops
  • Boneless Pork Chops (baby back ribs okay if you get boneless)
  • Country Style Ribs (from the sirloin)
  • Sirloin roast or cut into stew meat

  • Whole or cut into Medallions

  • Bone-In Roasts & Steaks
  • Boneless Roasts
  • Country Style Spare Ribs
  • Sausage and ground pork
  • Bratwurst
  • Liver sausage

  • Bacon (fresh or smoked)
  • Spareribs
  • Bacon(!)
  • Fresh Ham (left whole, or divided into roasts and/or steaks)
  • Cured Ham (left whole or divided in roasts)
  • Sausage

Hocks and Jowls:
  • Fresh or cured 

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