Updated: Jan 30, 2020
We harvest the pigs for ourselves on the farm. We made the decision to sell the excess pork which our customers can pick up from the butcher.
We have invested in an LEM big gulp meat grinder. It is amazing!! There are other types and varieties, but one thing we have learned is that you do not scrimp on tools. You will regret it later.
Mike built a scalder from an old drum that he cut in half. The grandkids love scraping the hog (with our help, of course, but don’t tell them that. They think they do all the work.) The tractor brings the pig to our outdoor kitchen where we butcher and complete the processing for our family. This is another area where we would not compromise. We have stainless tables that Mike found at a scrap yard and a large cutting board that is solid surface that we can bleach.
From our pigs, we produce sausage, bacon, fat back, lard for cooking and soap making, salted hams, pork carnitas, and on the day of processing we feast on Barbequed ribs. Scraps and organs are canned into dog and chicken food and the bones are boiled for broth and bouillon. With the pig, almost nothing goes to waste.
Where do we put six pigs after processing? We process them when it is cold and leave it outside at night in sealed coolers. We start canning the sausage from the first pig just as soon as the next one is being processed. It is truly all hands on deck for the work. Bacon and hams go in the salt box for 6 to 8 weeks and then are smoked for 3 days in the smoke house Mike constructed.