PORK
NEW FOR 2021 SEASON!
HERITAGE PORK

We are excited to announce the newest adventure over here at Brown Family Farm in Oak Park.

 

We're adding pigs to our farm!! They are all cross between Berkshire and Duroc, both of which are heritage breeds. These pigs have earned their reputation and are raised for their fat to muscle ratio. For best flavor and tenderness, meat should have marbling.

y have been a favorite through the decades for good reason; their fat to muscle ratio 

We have raised pigs in the past but it was a backyard butcher style, where we took care of everything ourselves on a smaller scale. I'm sure you all know that we bought a farm property this past year, so now we're able to expand how we please. This is one avenue of sustainable farming that we're really happy to add to our tool belt. It's been a long time coming!!

Since this is our first year offering pigs for sale, we're pretty limited in supply. 

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We have raised pigs in the past, but never to sell them. 

ow that we moved to our forever farm last spring (April 2020) we now have the space and freedom to do what we'd like with our property. So naturally, we added 15 pigs! ;) 

 

I think that diversification in farming is important, though we have always focused on CSA Shares. 

Our pigs are ONLY available to current CSA Members. 

Due to the nature of starting out, our pilot year, we have a limited supply. We will create an email list specifically for pigs (right here!) and the order of submission will be the order of which I reach out with availability. 

I chose to do it this way instead of offering it "for sale" on the website because we don't want to take deposits this season. I know that's industry standard and I'm sure we will be 

We are raising pigs this season. 

Greetings hosting families & friends!!

I am reaching out to you all at once to let you in on a little secret.... we are raising pigs this season!! This is a long email but bear with me please...

We have raised pigs in the past but it was a backyard butcher style, where we took care of everything ourselves on a smaller scale. I'm sure you all know that we bought a farm property this past year, so now we're able to expand how we please. This is one avenue of sustainable farming that we're really happy to add to our tool belt. It's been a long time coming!!
 

So with that said, we are happy to offer pigs for sale this year but we know there won't be enough to go around if we announce it to all of our members at once. We value you all very much!! As hosting families, I'd like to give you priority in this new venture of ours. We are raising 15 pigs for slaughter at the butcher shop. We are working with Quality Meats right up the road from us in Foley. We are getting Berkshire Duroc piglets which is a cross between two pigs that are a long standing favorite for MN farmers. They are both known for their marbling and their fat to muscle ratio. They're heritage breeds with long standing reputations. We're buying them from another local farmer of course! Out of Cambridge (about a half hr away from us).

 

The way it works is we will raise the pigs, send them to the butcher, where they will slaughter them. From the weight of the pig, we determine what you pay the farmers, and also what you'd pay the butcher. We are charging $3 a pound (this is not on the "on the hoof" weight, this is slaughtered and hanging). The butcher charges $1 a pound as the base rate to cut and wrap it. You can decide how you want it cut up, how thick you want your pork chops, how many of the roasts you want smoked (making it a ham- delicious!!), sausage, etc. They charge an extra 50cents a pound for making ground pork, 99cents for making ground sausage with seasoning, and $1.45 for curing and smoking (this would be like hams and bacon).

 

One thing they did mention to me was that there is usually additional fat at the end of the butchering process that you can get. For those of us who hunt deer and make sausage or snack sticks this extra fat will come in very handy. This is the first time we've ever brought pigs to a butcher, and yes, Ben & I are sending one to the butcher too! We were joking... it's worth the $ to pay for a pro to do it!! haha 

 

Now is also a great time to mention that since we've never worked directly with a butcher like this before, we might have some questions that need to be answered. Which might mean you also have questions we'll need answered. So 

 

I'm not going to request any kind of down payment for the hogs, though in the future when we have a system set up and we're selling to members too we'd probably have that set up as it's the industry standard. (Helps offset the cost of feed throughout the season). Another reason we won't be asking for a deposit is because we don't know what to expect as far as poundage. Though I do have a rough estimate to throw out there--

If the pig weighs about 250# on the hoof, it'd be about 180# slaughtered. At $3 a pound, the pig would cost $540. The processing is $1 a pound, but let's say you get some of the specialty stuff, so it averages out to about $1.75 a pound; $315. So a whole pig that was 250 pounds originally (but 180 # hanging weight) would be $855. A half hog would be roughly $430. Please keep in mind that this is a rough estimate but I can't say how big the hogs will be by butcher time. I can almost guarantee they wouldn't be more than 300# each on the hoof, i.e. 225# hanging.

 

We're getting piglets mid-April and our butcher date is November 2nd. Once the pigs go to the butcher, he calls me with weights and I call you and tell you what your half or whole will cost ($3 a pound), and then I give your number to him. He calls you directly and discusses what you'd like done with your pig, you can even specify details like how thick you want your chops. In some ways it'd be nice to have an online order form, but in some ways I do admire this old-school method of talking to your butcher and knowing what's going on! Being involved in this capacity usually results in a great product because you get what you actually want :) Then when you go to pick up your pig, you pay the processing fee directly to the butcher.

 

We are so excited to be adding the piglets this spring, this will be a new adventure for us here ;P We're doing this because it's going to help us offset some of our waste (instead of it going to the compost pile in the woods), the produce is going to feed animals that will produce another treasure for us- it's really a beautiful thing!! All the while, we're able to provide these creatures with a happy, chubby life on the farm with plenty of sunshine and green grass to dig in! 

 

Thanks for hanging in there with me through this whole explanation! :) If you could let me know either way if you're interested in pork or not, that would be great. I just want to make double sure that we cover all of your needs before accepting orders from others- so having the confirmation either way will help solidify that for me.

 

Thank you again for hosting, 

We appreciate you!!! 

Hogs were traditionally raised in the woods, as they are the ultimate forest creature. They were never meant to be raised on concrete, in cages or crates, and under fluorescent lights. Our hogs breed, gestate, farrow, and live under the farm's shade trees. They eat what they find as they forage, plus peanuts that we give them, and cracked eggs from our pasture-raised hens. They are supplemented with Non-GMO feed. Our pork is Certified Non-GMO, Certified Humane, and EOV (Ecological Outcome Verified) in the Land2Market Program.  All of our livestock are raised without the use of antibiotics, steroids and added growth hormones. We raise heritage breeds: Tamworth, Berkshire, and Gloucester Old Spots.