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.


Pigs

Thinking about raising your own bacon? Come on in and check it out... this is what I know about raising up feeder pigs on the cheap, dressing them in your yard, and then frying them up in a pan. Go meat!

Below are my best "How to Feed Pigs" posts:

How to grow out feeder pigs - on the cheap. Part One. Reminds you that pigz can be big mean and dangerous. So be prepared before you launch into your own pork growing adventure.

How to grow out feeder pigs - on the cheap. Part Two. Talks about the nitty gritty of what to feed and how much. And how to do it without breaking the piggy bank.

Whatcha feedin' them pigz. Talks about the tidy circle of thrift on the farm - how putting your feed dollars toward your dairy critters pays off for everyone. Feed the goats well and they will produce milk for the chickens, who lay eggs, which can be fed for the hogs. And pour on all that milk for the hogs and you have a double dip in dairy efficiency.  Start making cheese and its a 3 part win for everyone. Don't forget the use them pigz to do your tilling and clearing. Fence in those pigz back in your deepest thicket - they'll clear the land and feed themselves so you don't have to.

What I'm feeding the pigz today. Don't forget to grow your own fodder for the pigz. My turnip project this year was a hit right out of the park. Turnips are a triple threat - greens and the roots for the livestock...and yourself. Its a great project that really pays off.


Fencing, Fencing, Fencing....

The #1 key to success for pigz is.... fencing. You have to have good fencing. Don't try and do it on the cheap - spend as much money and time that you have to keep the pigz contained.

Here is an overview of my fencing strategies. The first thing we say when asked how to raise pigs is that you need good fencing.

Here is a guide to the tools you need for fencing. The tools aren't expensive... and the electric charger is worth it's weight in gold. 

How To Hog Harvest

Now that you've raised up those pigz... have a harvest! A home hog harvest to be exact! Can you butcher pigz yourself? Sure you can! Here's how:

For an exact, step by step, filled-with-pictures, guide to how to butcher a hog at home check out our wildly popular post, How to Hog Harvest - Step by Step.  Be warned tho, this is a GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF BUTCHERING. With pictures and everything.


Overview of what happened.... not so many pictures:

If you just want to know what happened, how the day went, below are our posts on butchering days:

Hog Harvest 2010 Recap - Day One. What's a home hog harvest like? See here how things went. No pix and just an overview of the day.

Hog Harvest 2011. We had some monster Tamworth hogs - by the day's end we had huge hog halves hanging in the garage. And a great time was had by all. 

Hog Harvest 2012. How we got the job done in just a few hours.


Making Meat:

OK so you have some hog halves hanging... now what?  Turn those pigz into pork. Lets talk about meat!

Meat Day! What do you do with a huge hog half? Get to cutting. Part up that half into manageable portions.

More Meat Day! Chops and how to take off the bacons.

Then there is Grinding Day! Make sausage or ground pork..and the oh lardy lardy lardy..its lard.

Do you want to make your own bacon? Sure you can!

And don't forget the pancetta! Its unsmoked bacon and its perfect.

Even a smallish pig gives good results. See the Meat Day results for a less-than-200lbs-hog.

And another Meat Day overview - a larger hog. Still worth the effort and absolutely delish.

Once you get those huge hams back from the butcher, you'll need to know how to cut up a whole ham. Here's how! 









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