Just to be clear, we raise hogs to feed people. The hogs live a really good life for 8 months (about 2 months longer than other meat hogs), and then they have one bad day. As an omnivore, that is a scenario I can live with. As a farmer who sells pork, it is a subject that I often have to handle carefully. Let's be plain - this is the end result:
It is easy to get carried away by the joy of pictures of cute piglets loving life out in swathes of rich, green pasture. Lucky me, I get to live this every day; I have a part in making life like this for these fortunate few pigs, and it is vastly rewarding.
It's easy to get caught up in the pretty part of the story, and it is a very true story, but there is one unspoken fact: We like bacon. And pork chops.
I'm not telling you this to get you down - if anything, you should be happy. Happy that you have a choice between hogs raised our way versus raised like widgets in a commercial hog house (which I personally view as a horrifying situation for such noble and misunderstood animals) for as cheaply as they can squeeze a penny. Because you buy ethically treated pork from a farmer like me, more hogs get to live the good life. The hogs and I owe you our gratitude. And you are rewarded with healthy meat and superior flavor.
This is my thank you note to my small number of customers last year who are helping buy the oats and pasture seed this year, and who helped us afford to keep Big Lil for our sow herd. She's grateful, too.
And this is also a sales pitch. Due to increased interest in our pork, we are raising more pigs this year than last. Our current batch will be ready in August. We have one available - he's a bit smaller, but is by no means runty; he is quite sturdy and gaining muscle nicely, but he will not provide as big a hog as we normally produce. This is great news for someone who wants to try our pork but on a somewhat smaller scale. Right now, we have whole or half hog options available. Pricing information is under the "About" tab on the menu.
Also, we will have more piglets born in June and ready for your freezer in late February or early March. We haven't decided how many to keep just yet, so if you are interested in this batch, contact me.
And to those of you more interested in buying smaller meat bundles or individual cuts of pork, we've heard you! I am working on the legal and logistical details of making that happen in 2017. We will have weekly drop-off points in Springfield, MO. as well as occasional drop-offs in Oklahoma. You will be able to make your selections in our on-line store, put the cuts in your shopping cart, pay in advance, then just come to the delivery point and pick up your package of goodies. By next year, we also plan to include chicken and eggs to the shopping options.
Once again, thank you for your interest and support. The farm, the pigs and I are grateful; we couldn't do it without you.
Merry Schepers lives on a farm with her heritage pigs in Nixa, MO.