Is buying a whole pig cheaper than buying cuts at the market?
That is really the wrong question, but the answer is “no.”
I think the right question is “why pay more for my pork?” And there are several parts to answering that question. First, there is no comparison in taste. Pasture-raised pork, especially when fed as our pigs are, is always better. Actually, the word “better” is too weak.
To continue this line, many people want to know what is in the food they eat; we tell you upfront. You can visit our farm and look at the barrels of food they will be eating next. No weird chemicals get close to them, and none get into them.
Next, it matters that our meat is raised humanely. If one is going to eat meat, the animal it comes from deserves the best life we can give it. To extend this moral argument, our pigs are given great lives, but they would never have life were they not ultimately entering the food chain. We pamper our pigs, giving them lives no wild pig would ever experience.
Finally, we believe it is important to have a sustainable, local economy. We try to buy what food we don’t grow from neighboring farmers, and our long-term goal is to be part of a completely sustainable local economy here in Lost Valley.
How much freezer space do I need for a whole pig?
Most pigs, cut and wrapped, fill a little more than two milk crates (12″ x 18″ x 10″)
Do we get the organs & bones?
Yes. You get the whole pig, as much as you want. I save the kidneys, liver and heart, and if you want the head and feet, you are welcome to take them with you.
Can we bring children to the farm to see the animals?
Yes! We enjoy giving tours, especially to children. Just call ahead (541 937 2365).
How much time does one of the butchering workshops take?
The workshops range from 2-4 hours, mostly depending on how much socializing we do. I have found that people who want to take the workshop find many other things in common with each other and with me, so sometimes we are not particularly efficient with our time. But some of my repeat customers know what they are doing and are finished in a little over an hour.
On average, what does a whole pig and the workshop cost?
The pigs normally dress-out at between 130 and 175 lbs.. If the pig is 15o lbs., and is a Berkshire, that works out to: $450. I charge a $75 kill/clean fee, and the workshop fee is $50. Often, customers split the pig with a neighbor, who comes to the workshop with them. In that case, I charge each customer the workshop fee, but the cost of the pig and the kill/clean fee is split.
Do you ever offer discounts?
Yes. My customers are my best marketing. They often share the meat they have cut with friends and relatives, and those friends and relatives sometimes become new customers. A customer who sends me a new customer gets a 10% discount on their next pig.
What is the best way to cook pork?
There are many ways to cook pork, some involving exotic cures, some involving marinades, in fact there is a whole discipline called, charcuterie, devoted to curing and cooking pork. However, a short answer I normally give is, “grill it, rare.” Our pigs never eat meat, so they can not get diseases such as trichinosis. So, grilling your chops rare leaves the moisture in, and saves the best flavor.