Forest Raised Berkshire Pork

How They Live

  Our pigs live their lives in an oak and hickory woodland. They dig and forage for their food, and  are free to act how they please. They exist on a diet of what the forest offers such as acorns, persimmons, and herbaceous wild greens.  They're given a free-choice option of non GMO, locally grown grain which contains a mineral supplement (Fertrell) ensuring they have a balanced and nutritious diet.

 They are rotated throughout the woods using a paddock system. This means they are never in one place too long, and never run out of fresh forage. Their water is always clean and available thanks to a pipe system and watering nipple that deliver well water to whatever paddock they occupy at the time.

 We recognize the issues in the industrialized meat system and have learned that there is a better and more harmonious way to raise livestock. There is no need for mistreatment or unnatural living conditions when land and animals are managed correctly.  Because not only us, but everyone deserves a quality product, we design only the highest quality of life for our livestock.

How It Works

1 - Decide if you would like a Whole or half hog.

-Hogs are available in November dropped off on 11/6/17 and ready for pickup 2-3 weeks after drop off.

-$4 per pound hanging weight. (represented  below as "Dressed" or on the rail).

-Figure 1 Cubic ft of freezer space per 15 lbs - 20 lbs of meat

-Our pigs can range from 200 - 300 lbs on the hoof, the chart below is based upon an on the hoof weight of 250 lbs.

-See image below for take home estimates.

-$ 100 deposit reserves your hog and will be applied to the final cost

2 - Customize the cuts you would like to recieve.

 -It is your choice of cuts, curing, sausage linking, spices, Nitrite free curing, etc that will determine the fee you pay to the Butcher. This cost can vary greatly depending on your processing choices. A very rough estimate ranges anywhere around  $.78 - $1.75 per lb (these numbers depend on many factors and can't be figured until rail weight is known).

3 - We deliver your animal to the Swiss Meat & Sausage Co. 

-We Deliver your hog to the processor in early November after they have had time to feed on the acorn mast.

-It is up to you to choose your cuts by filling out a cut sheet and submitting it to Swiss Meat preferably at least week before drop off (minimum 24 hrs).  You will find the online cut selection form here.

4 - Payment

-We get the dressed carcass weight from the butcher, to figure the cost of your whole or half hog at $4 lb.

-Processing fees are separate and are paid directly to the butcher.

-Payments to us can be made by cash or check.

-Your total cost (Our price + processing fee) may be $4.78  - $5.20 per lb, depending on your processing choices.

5 - Pickup

-Swiss Meat will contact you when your order is ready for pickup at their location (map below).

6 - Enjoy your locally raised Berkshire Pork

 

 

The Significance of Acorn Finished Pork and the Berkshire Breed

 

Acorn Finished-

During the era of fat in food being thought of as the cause for obesity, pork fell out of fashion. The industrial meat production system tried to compensate by breeding and feeding pigs to have less than an inch of back fat and began calling it “the other white meat.”

Our ancestry had much different meat. Pork is technically considered a red meat, and a tasty ham should be fairly red in color and marbled with fat. At present supermarket pork cuts are commonly injected with a saline solution to supplement the moisture lost in cooking. This is not necessary when a pig has a high fat content. The meat will retain a juicy texture and is far less susceptible to over-cooking.

Pigs that have the opportunity to choose their sustenance will favor foods high in fat, such as acorns. This allows them to develop a 3” thick layer of back fat, on average. It's not only about the fat being present, but its constituents. The quality that acorns provide has been raved throughout history. The famous Jámon Imbérico of Spain is said to have exquisite flavor that goes unparalleled.

Although anything consumed with lack of moderation can be harmful, it has become common knowledge that fat plays a significant role in the ecosystem of our bodies. Why would it not in those of our livestock? Thereby creating a superior quality of meat.

The Berkshire Breed-

We choose Berkshire for many reasons. One prerequisite is their capability to forage. This ensures all other traits. Modern pigs have been bred into modern industrial farming methods. They've lost their ability to see the significance of foods found in nature. Not only that, but they've been chosen upon leanness.

Berkshire pigs haven't been bred to those standards. As a heritage breed, they've retained their ability to forage, but also simply to gain the highly valued fat mentioned above. Berkshires are reminiscent of tradition. They're capable of a natural lifestyle, and consequently are able to produce fulfillment of a gourmet standard.

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