Monday, January 16, 2012

The pigs have landed...

They're here. They're here. Saturday, I made the two hour drive to H and H Farm in Norton, OH to pick up my registered gilt (young female) and two feeder (bacon) pigs. The Hoffman's have a beautiful farm where they raise heritage hogs, turkeys, chickens, and Limousin cattle on pasture. I also picked up some of their pork to get a taste of what I was raising...more on that later.

I loaded the pigs into a dog crate. I had originally planned on only getting one feeder but decided if we do get into a farm market, it would be nice to have some to sell, so ended up getting two feeders.
Now, I'm here to tell you that a two hour drive with three pigs cuddling in a crate is not a pleasant experience. the pigs didn't seem to mind. They like to snuggle together when they sleep. After about an hour, the heat went off, as it was only enhancing the smell. That's when I remembered that Chad had bought me a Carhart hat with a pulldown facemask and it was in my pocket! I drove the rest of the way home looking like a bank robber but was in olfactory bliss.

Let me introduce the pigs:
Mr. Humphries
Since these pigs originate from England, we tried to give them British sounding names. We love the 70's British sitcom, Are You Being Served, so named one after Mr. Humphries. Martha is named after Martha Stewart. Nigel just was the most British sounding name we could think of.

Martha and Mr. Humphries are both pure Old Spots. Nigel is 1/2 Old Spot and 1/2 Large Black. The Large Black is another heritage breed that is also listed in critical status by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. I really like the looks of Nigel. He's only a week older, but considerably larger than the other two.

We have the little porkers in the barn until we get the pasture all squared away for them. I never realized what a vicious world it is for pigs. They do not like to share at all. They take turns standing in the middle of their feed dish and biting the ears of the others that try to eat( just like in Mr. Humphries picture). I'm finding that pigs can be a bit picky too. They don't like raw carrots but scarf down cooked ones. I've taken to throwing all the cooking scraps into a pan and boiling them. Yes, I'm cooking for pigs. Trust me, it will all pay off in the end. Yesterday, I fixed them a nice, big bowl of oats for breakfast.

Now to the important part, BACON. I bought some bacon, sausage, and a roast with the pigs to see what I was in store for. All I have to say is, if that was bacon, what the hell have I been eating the rest of my life. It was nothing like Oscar Mayer. It was thick and meaty and substantial. It was delicious. It also didn't have any ingredients in it that weren't completely naturual. I can't wait to try the rest.

We're really hoping we can make a difference with this breed. We can't let them just fade off the planet like so many other species. I think we're in the middle of a food revolution where people actually care what they're putting into their bodies. I'd be very proud to be part of that revolution. Pigs weren't meant to live in closed up buildings never seeing the sun except maybe when they're loaded on the truck to take them to the slaughterhouse. They are meant to root around in pastures and forests. The stuff that you buy on slabs of styrofoam wrapped in plastic is not what pork is. It's some engineered product that we are told is pork. If you don't already know, you'll see when these pigs become pork.

Are you going to be part of the revolution?


  1. Which one will be breakfast one day soon? Lol

  2. Yes, yes I am. Enjoying your blog, I am glad I found you guys and OFG.