So what made us change our minds? Well, to be totally honest, the call from our friend and piglet supplier asking if we had room for a few came on a nice day. A nice WEEK to be honest. And maybe we had fooled ourselves into thinking the worst of winter was past us... we were wrong. Dead. Wrong. As we all now know. BUT I am proud to say that not one of these 6 pigs has even so much as a hint of frost bite. And have they ever grown!
Through those two bitterly cold weeks in February, NP kept their huts full of nice dry straw which they buried themselves in at night and (to our surprise) ate during the day, in addition to their usual rations. We also learned that during the winter, it works well to water the pigs at feeding times in rubber pans. Of course, it helps immensely that these pigs come from stock that has been bred for life outside. NP reports that only once did he even see them shiver. During the coldest days/nights they stayed huddled in their straw filled huts but you might be able to see in the photo above the fun that these pigs have had in our winter 'sacrifice lot'. They clearly enjoyed their time with us. We, however, did not anticipate the amount of digging they would be able to accomplish this time of year. Talk about strong snouts! After these guys move out, NP plans to level the pen back out and as soon as that is done, we will seed it down with cover crops. At the same time, we will expand the pig pasture.
This experience has not only left us with some extra pork on hand (we'd love to hep fill YOUR freezer ;) ) but also the confidence to take the dive into keeping pigs year round. I mean we made it through about the worst* that an Iowa winter can throw at us. (*Mother Nature, that's not a challenge ...we're not cocky enough to think you couldn't bring us to our knees if you wanted. No need to prove yourself on that point.)
What does all this mean for you? It means that we currently have what I think will be some of our nicest pork yet, available to fill YOUR freezer!
How does purchasing a 1/2 or whole hog work? Just send me (Emily) a message or phone call (email@example.com or 712-249-3187) to reserve your whole or half pork and make a down payment. Price is $2.25/lb hanging weight and we ask for a down payment of $100 which is then applied to your final bill. A detailed breakdown of cost is available here. We will take the pigs to the locker on March 23 and at that time, we will send you a reminder to call the locker and place your 'cut order'. This is your opportunity to tell the locker exactly how to cut your meat. The locker walks you through your options and you can choose things like how thick you want your pork chops to be and how many in a package. Or if you even want pork chops at all. Maybe you would rather have more roasts or more ground pork instead. That's totally cool and one of the best parts of buying a hog like this! When the locker gives us the hanging weight of your hog, we send a final bill which must be paid in full before collecting your meat from the locker. After your meat is packaged and ready for pick up, the locker will give you a call. Once you've received that call, you can pick up your meat from the locker at your convenience. You will pay the locker for the processing when you pick up your meat. And voila! A freezer full of meat and constant supper inspiration :)
Thanks for reading and as always ..... Enjoy!