THE PIGS ARE NOT CURRENTLY PART OF OUR FARM OPERATION
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The pigs were one of those long awaited - and much anticipated - animals for our farm. Corinne's grandfather grew up as a child in Picayune, Mississippi raising hogs (the old fashioned way) along with a variety of crops on their family farm. Interesting how those "roots" go so deep in our desire to get back to our heritage.
The pigs arrived and yes, while we "know" not to get attached, seriously, those cute, playful little pigs are a joy to be around and play with...our pigs are loved and cared for. That said, we know what their purpose is on our farm.
Our pork is carefully and lovingly produced in pastures, so pigs get fresh air (no super size fan systems needed) and sunshine in a natural environment.
* No MSG in our pork
* No growth hormones and surprising to the big guys, ours grow faster!
* No dietary antibiotics
* No stress on pigs from over-crowding
* No stressful tail and teeth cutting
* Way less environmental impact - our pigs are born and raised locally without the need for cross country transportation - which is also very stressful for the pigs.
* There are no big manure issues.
You get to buy direct from the grower / producer, not one of the 4 (yes, FOUR) big private corporations that control 66% of the pork industry.
The pigs run around, root and till up the ground - just like what a pig should do in nature! Their have a self feeder where they can get their pig food whenever desired and gets lots of fun, healthy snacks from the house and gardens as well. Lettuce, kale and popcorn (and yes, corn) are popular favorites.
They are also a welcome addition to our summer Farm Life Camp program - one more of our countries livestock animals for the kids to learn about. On that note, please know that we are not overwhelming in knowledge for our kids, but they do understand that they [the pigs] are part of our food supply. Quite frankly though, the kids LOVE them and while some are sad to see them go, they all agree that this is a way better to raise animals.
Contact us if you are interested in fresh, LOCAL, humanely raised pork direct from the farm.
Pork - Half/whole hogs are $3.50/lb hanging weight (not live weight* which is heavier), which is typically 240/120 respectively. A $50. deposit will reserve your half.
More details below on the process and additional fees, but you will have to scroll down to see as not everyone wants all of the details ...
Frequently Asked Questions
"We had the astoundingly wonderful ham for Easter dinner! The only question on everyone's mind is "How can we get more of this kind of pork?" - Karen S.
Q. Are your meats organic?
A. No, we are not a certified organic farm and quite frankly, we think we do a better job than some organic farms.
Q. Can you ship my meat to me?
A. No. By law, you must pick up your pork at the butcher's shop. In legal terms, we are actually selling you a whole (or half) interest in a live pig. Bring boxes or a cooler to load up your meats as well.
Q. How much does the pork cost in all?
A. We are paid $3.50 per pound and the butcher gets approx $25. slaughter fee, plus .52 cent pound for cut and wrap and .60 cents per pound if you want anything smoked. When we figure our own costs, it runs about $4.25 a pound.
Q. How do I pay for all of it?
A. You will give Willows Edge Farm a non-refundable $50. deposit per side to reserve your pork. After the butcher comes out, they will give us a "hang weight". We will give you a final number and you can either pay via PayPal or stop by the farm with the final payment. When you go to pick up your meats, you will pay the butcher directly for their fees mentioned above.
Q. How much pork will I actually get and will it fit in my freezer?
A. Yes, you need freezer space, but a half will typically consume about three-fourths of a top mount freezer. As for how much, The Meatman has a poster breaking down where different meats come from as well as how many pounds. We do raise ours to a big larger, so the weights will be a bit heavier.
Q. Can I buy less than a half interest?
A. No, but we have had families and friends who have gone in together and split a half. They are now coming back buying halves and wholes for themselves.
Q. Can I see the pigs?
A. You bet! Transparency is very important to us and you are welcome to come by.
Q. I've never done this before, how does the butcher know how I what kind of meat I will get?
A. We work with the pros! They will call you and walk you though it and give you options for the different parts. One thing we always suggest is asking for the kidney fat (at a minimum) because it is easy to render down and make your own lard. Also pig ears if you have a dog and pigs feet, liver, heart, etc. if you are into that kind of thing.
Have more questions? Drop us a note below and we'll be happy to answer them for you.
* The pigs are skinned and gutted and THEN weighed. It does include the head, but that is where some of the best sausage meat comes from.
Additional costs - We prefer to use a local processor as they do a great job processing. Typical charges are: $50. for slaughter ($25. per side), 52 cents per pound for cut and wrap and an additional 60 cents per pound for smoking, (bacon, sausages, etc if desired).