Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fresh pork an easier way - local producers!

Raising pigs is nothing to sneeze at and you need to have the right facilities ....so its not for everyone. Sometimes I get requests from folks to 'grow out' a pig for them either because they don't have the time, space, or inclination to do it themselves. 

But I got too much pig hatin' in me to raise them for anyone but us.  So I just politely thank them and say, "No." Good thing there are folks in your area that are happy to grow up a pig, have it dressed, and bring it it you wrapped and ready for the freezer.

The other day a bunch of us online gals were ogling a craigslist ad.... I gotta say.. the hams this guy had were amazing.  Dave at Spring Hill Farms right here in central Ohio was advertising hickory smoked hams for the holidays. One of the bunch called him up and placed an order. We all sat around waiting to see what happened and..... a very nice man delivered a beautiful box of pork right to her door! And he played with her goats so she was really happy.

I'd been lurking on his blog for a while. Dave and I seem to have similar thoughts on raising stock and when he started talking about doing things the "old timey" way. well.. I was sold. Especially since he raises Tamworth hogs. I have to say we are definitely getting Tams again - they are easy keepers, grow like bad weeds, free range like kings, and oh.. the bacons and hams are the business.

If you are looking for locally raised pork (beef and chicken also) in central Ohio look no further than Spring Hill Farms. Dave will get you set up, for sure.

Besides craigslist, another great place to look for local producers is on Local Harvest. This site is a great place to find local farms, CSA's, farm markets, and U-pick farms near you. Check it out - from bison to blueberries you are sure to find exactly what you need - locally.

Happy Hams everybody!


the Goodwife said...

I've been skulking round craigslist for a while looking for sacrificial hogs. Nobody round here seems to have Tamworths, but I have found some Red Wattle hogs. I'll prolly just got with the garden variety mutt hog for 30 bucks or so. The Red Wattles are around 75 bucks and I don't have any experience to tell me if they are worth the extra money. I found a gentlemen caller for my girls and am going to bring him home on Sunday to court my ladies. As soon as they are knocked up he'll go home and I'll be happy! ;)

vrtlarica said...

We are buying half of a pig from our neighbor this year.
It is the first time we are trying to make our own sausages, bacon and all other delicacies. Maybe even some blood sausages.

Lori said...

Thanks for those links! As much as my area is agricultural, there are only 2 farms within an hour drive. I can't have pigs but I sure do want some fresh pork!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

We were blessed this year to buy part of our neighbor's (already processed) pig, named Ham. I love having that sausage in the freezer. Maybe one day we'll give it a whirl. Happy Thanksgiving, OFG!!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hey GW, unless you are breeding or super picky, "mutts" are good enough. Now we did find that the bacons on the tams were really spectacular. You'll see more feeders in the spring and then run, don't walk. We missed out on Tams this year because our guy sold out! Just keep your eyes peeled.

VRT - wow neighbors WITH pigs.. now that is a blessing for sure. Do you have a good reference book? Making sausage and stuff is easier than you think. Great work!

Hi Lori! Keep lookin'.. someone has pork somewhere. Maybe someone who has other stock?

Happy Thanksgiving THHP! Great find with your neighbors too. Maybe you can share chores with them in exchange for them housing a porker for you? Hum.. lots of ideas. We'll be canning some of our meat this year - now that I have the "pressure canner madness" that is!

Mr. H. said...

I'm sure I have mentioned this to you before but the best meat of any kind I have ever had, besides wild game, was from the hogs I raised about 18 years ago...geez time flys. I raised 2 for my wife and one for the mother-in-law. If I ever raise a "meat" animal again pigs would be my first choice.

Being an almost vegetarian it is very hard for me to come over here and see all of your delicious pork.:) I think I will go eat a big green leaf now.:(

vrtlarica said...

I don't have any book on making sausages. I asked around people who make sausages and all recipes are very similar, so we will try a few different ones and see how we like them.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

VRT - yep its easier than you think. Pretty much is ground meat and spices. I really like Ruhlman's books - see the link to his site under my bloglist.

We like bulk sausage so we don't bother with the casings. Except for making bratwurst, most recipes I use begin with "remove the sausage casings".. we go straight for bulk. And its easy to put in quart freezer bags and freeze flat.

Mr. H - how's that green leaf going? Just kidding.. we've found for our money pigs are the best "meat" investment..and pork is really versatile. We save a ton of money by dressing them ourselves. Raised right you are still pretty far ahead even if you took them to butcher. I can't wait for the season's first big ol' pork chop...soon..very soon...

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