Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hog Heaven

Monday, Nov. 21, after I took Kara to classes up at Covenant College, I went to Triple H Meats to pick up the pork from 4 and 8.  Jeff helped me load the boxes in the car.  He had called me earlier to tell me they were "the nicest pigs that have ever come through here."

I asked what he meant by "nicest," and he said that they were very nice pigs personality-wise, but he was talking about the meat.  He said the meat has a nice red color to it and that the fat had a lovely, tender texture and made wonderful sausage.  "I don't know what you did to them," he added, "but that is some beautiful pork."  I told him a lot of credit belongs to Herb who was out in the yard picking up acorns for their last three weeks after I read that the best ham in the world comes from Spain where they finish the hogs on acorns.  For the rest, we just kept them on pasture and supplemented with laying crumble for chickens because that was the only pork-free feed we could find.

Jeff asked what kind of pigs they were, and when I told him Berkshire crosses, he said that explains the nice red color.   He wanted Jim's contact information, saying he might get a couple of pigs for himself.

Driving home with 243.5 pounds of pork, I felt mixed emotions.  I was sad for 4 and 8.  I still look out the back door and miss their ear-perky trot coming to see who's there.  At the same time, I felt content on their behalf, that they had fulfilled so well their created purpose and that they had so obviously enjoyed their lives.  I felt thankful to God that a search for a used hay feeder on Craigslist had led me to such an excellent pig breeder who just happened to have a couple of gilts left.  That wasn't serendipity--that was a gift from God.  And finally I felt a deep sense of satisfaction that Herb and I, complete novices when it comes to pigs, had managed to care for 4 and 8 for six months in such a way that we turned out the best pork that our butcher has ever seen.

When I got home, I put 65 pounds of fresh bacon and ham in the fridge, ready to begin curing, along with 9 pounds of fat scraps to render into lard.  I hauled the grandkids' wagon full of frozen meat out to the freezer in the hay barn where I stowed away 70 pounds of sausage; 80 pounds of ribs, chops and roasts; and 20 pounds of hocks and soup bones.

And I smiled sadly to myself at the thought that the piggies had gone home to hog heaven.  How did I know they were in heaven, besides the fact that they were such good pigs?  Well, the place they had gone was freezing cold--definitely not hot!


  1. The bacon was delicious!! Miam!!!

  2. Poor piggies . . . yes, it was. I read a comment from someone else today about being sad about butchering their turkeys, but satisfied that they helped them achieve their purpose. That's it, exactly.

  3. O.k. I've not been here in a bit and scanning to see why you are in a wheel chair! You are doing a great job with all your pork curing! I'm trying a lamb prosciutto for the first time myself. And don't forget to try some Pancetta and Guanciale (you HAVE to get those jowls!!) next time!

    1. Hi, Kristin. Thanks for checking in. The funny thing is that on top of the wheel chair, I now have a large blood clot in that leg and am having to take RAT POISON! :\ I have to laugh at the irony of it, since my dog Zephyr nearly died from eating it in Sept. and here I am taking it on purpose.

      Actually, we did get the jowls. I cured them like the rest of the bacon for two reasons. After I hurt my leg, it was just easier to smoke them like the bacon. Also, we were having our basement worked on, sheet-rocked, etc. and that was the place we would have hung the guanciale. Next time I really do want to try it, but I'm happy that at least we knew to ask for the jowls.

      Wow! Lamb prosciutto sounds really impressive. Let me know how it turns out, okay?


I LOVE comments so please take a minute and let me know you were here! Sorry I have to use Captcha, but I hope you'll comment anyway! Comments make my day! :)