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PORK
Naturally Raised without Antibiotics.
HERITAGE PORK

We are excited to share more about our newest adventure over here at Brown Family Farm in Oak Park.

 

We added pigs to our farm back in 2021. They are crosses between Red Waddle, Hampshire & Berkshire; all are well known heritage breeds. These pigs have earned their reputation and are raised for their fat to muscle ratio. For best flavor and tenderness pork should have marbling. The cross breeding between the oldest Heritage Hog lines provides us with piglets that possess all of the desirable traits from their lineage! 

Our neighbor farrows for us. She's right around the corner and you can actually see her barn from our front door. Talk about local! These pigs are born and raised on the farm, with the most comfortable life possible.

We are selling our pigs has halves and wholes again this season. We're charging a base price per pound ($3.75) and you work directly with our butcher to customize your processing. The thickness of your chops, the amount of hams or roasts, seasoned sausage, you get to choose what you want! Butchering costs are explained more below and paid directly to the butcher. More info on this below.

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William supervising the little piggies while getting used to their new home.
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Storing their feed inside of the barn to keep it dry and safe from pests! 

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H A P P Y   &   H E A L T H Y

Animal husbandry should be your first question when considering locally raised meats. How are they cared for? What do they eat? Where do they live and how much space do they have?
 

Hogs are the ultimate foraging creature; they enjoy being able to exercise their instincts to root up the ground looking for bugs, worms, roots, and any organic material they can find. Yes, they eat SO much produce on our farm here too! More on this below.

As piglets we start them on a special feed. It's a higher protein feed that encourages structural & bone growth early on. After that high protein grain, we switched them to the standard feed ratio. We're getting thousands of pounds delivered to us now that we have a grain wagon, which sits in our driveway. So we feed them with buckets everyday.

We offer our feed as "free choice", so they have access to food all the time; as much or as little as they want. It encourages healthy eating habits where they're not gorging themselves. It also allows them to forage at their own pace and let their natural instincts shine. They can spend as much or as little effort foraging as they want. Though it seems to be their favorite thing to do! 

They also get fresh bedding and hay consistently. They cherry pick through it and get all the seeds and tasty remnants. We have been using it as "bedding" because it is what we had on hand. Previous farm owners had left a lot of hay in the loft so we're steadily working through it. It's a welcomed surprise for these pigs for sure! It's hay (not straw) so it does hold an amount of nutritional value to them but I'd say the main benefit is comfort. They make a hog pile in the hay and bed down like a bunch of baby birds in a nest. We'll also buy corn stalk bales from our neighbors which provide as much nutrition as they do entertainment! 

This is the beauty of free choice; our hogs are able to eat whatever they want to whenever they want. Fresh produce and grains alike. It makes for healthy eating habits resulting in healthy growing rates, which in turn helps us to provide you with the best quality Premium Heritage Breed Pork.

We are giving them the trimmings from plants, or over-ripe muskmelons for example. Which is 100% their favorite food of all time! A good example of the produce they're getting is when we bring them tons of cauliflower greens. When we go out and harvest cauliflower for our CSA, we leave the head leaves intact, which completely cover the 'face' of the cauliflower to keep it safe in travel. We haul the cauliflower in from the field on the wagon and bring it to the pack shed where we will wash it and cut away the outer leaves, exposing a beautiful head of cauliflower! (That's what goes in your CSA!)

 

When we trim all the leaves off, we put them in gaylords and have SO MUCH produce/ greens/ fruits etc. to bring them. A gaylord in a unit of measurement, it's the bins that are used for watermelons and pumpkins at grocery stores. With the cauliflower, a single day's CSA harvest will yield at least 1-2 gaylords of fresh greens for them!

They have so much extra produce to enjoy that they never even finish it, they are fed greens every single day of the week which results in wonderful marbling!

 

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Enjoying their fresh hay!
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I'm ready for my close up!
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Building their home!
WHOLE & HALF HOGS

The way it works is you pay us to raise the pig for you and pay the butcher to process it for you. The cost paid to us is based on the hanging weight of the pig, we charge $3.75 per pound. This is how we have sold every bit of our pork until just this past winter, Jan 2024, when we started offering Pork Shares of 1/5th Hogs.

For our Half & Whole customers, our butcher dates in 2024 start in the middle of September and run weekly through the middle of October. We are taking orders from our Returning Customers currently and look forward to getting everyone their dates on the calendar soon. 

If you are NEW to our pork and want to get in on it for this season, enter your email in the form above. If you get on that list, you'll automatically receive all of the information about ALL of the Pork options we have for you, and first dibs on all availability! 

If you commit to a half or a whole hog, you get to 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 can do specialty processing (which has an extra charge) for smoking, making sausage or ground pork, making brats, with many more options available. The butcher walks through the process with you to answer questions and get you exactly what you want.

 

​We had never ordered pork like this before we brought our own hogs in.

 

I was a newbie! I can tell you that they will answer all of your questions and walk you through the whole process. There is a 'standard' processing and we still go with most of that today. For example: we want bone-in pork chops, our hams quartered and smoked, bacon thick cut and smoked, etc. That's what almost everyone does, but there are more options and they will go through all of it with you.

From the day that we drop off our pigs to the day you pick up your processed pork is generally 2 weeks. They'll call you directly when your pork is ready, and you pay for processing at their shop when you go pick up.

The picture below is our daughter with one of the piglets. Our youngest daughter took the picture- they're "modeling"! ;) 

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WHAT TO EXPECT $

Now that we have a couple years' worth of data under our belts, I can share some of the examples from previous seasons! We plan our butcher dates so that the pigs are right about 250 hanging weight at the time they go to the butcher shop. There is some variation- some pigs will weigh 225 and some are 275, we don't know the exact weight until we hear back from the butcher.

A half hog would be ~125 pounds hanging weight. The total you would pay us is 125 pounds *$3.75/lb= $468. We ask that everyone makes a deposit at the beginning of the season to hold your butcher spot, $100 for a half and $200 for a whole. Then after we get the exact hanging weights back that are assigned to our Customers, we send you an invoice for the remaining balance. 

We work with Backroads Meats in Milaca. They have a base processing fee of $1.10 per pound for a half hog and $1.05 for a whole hog. There are additional expenses for smoking the hams or making brats for example. There aren't additional costs for anything that's just cut and wrapped. So, the pork chops for example, are just going to cost you the base processing fee per pound because they're just cut from the loin, there isn't any additional processing/ smoking, etc. 

The processing generally runs about $300 a half. That can vary depending on what you choose to have made up with your pork. 

On average our hogs weigh between 225-250. If you have a preference like the biggest or smallest hog for example, please make sure to let us know. That's easy to accommodate!

If you're ready to get on the list for our heritage pork, just scroll up until you see the spot to enter in your email. I'll be in touch!! 

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