Breed: Most of our pigs are purebred Berkshire pigs. Berkshires are known for their rich flavor, darker colored meat, and beautiful marbling. They are also a hearty breed that are well suited for our cold winters and dry summers.
We also are currently experimenting with cross breeding a variety of other heritage breeds including: Large Black, Mulefoot, Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spot, and Hereford. All of these pigs offer unique and desirable attributes. Our goal in cross breeding these varieties to our Berkshires is simply to create the best pork possible.
Environment: Our pigs are raised in the fresh outdoors! They love to wander around their 2.5 acre paddock where they can graze on grasses, root through the dirt and wallow in their self made mud holes. The have a large shelter that they can escape the elements when they want to. Otherwise, they are free to run around and explore. Their feed, water, and shelter are strategically placed in such a way that they walk around a lot each day. This keeps the pigs healthy and tones their muscle which in turn provides for a wonderful and highly sought after texture in the pork.
The maximum stocking density of our pigs is 20 pigs/acre. This allows each pig nearly 2200 ft2. Consider the commercial average is 6.8 ft2. This means that in the space we provide just one pig, the average commercial farm would raise 320 pigs! Now that's Hog Heaven!
Feed: Our pig feed is formulated by us. Our feed consists of oats, wheat, barley, triticale, and alfalfa. In fact the small grains we use as opposed to the traditional corn/soy pig feed produces a beautiful fat that is firm and white. This is part of the secret to our Farm Fresh Lard. ALL of our feed is grown in Utah mostly from local farmers we know. All of our feed is GMO free.
Our feed is milled by our good friends and neighbors the Holden Family. They are dedicated to providing the highest quality feed in Utah. They work hard to mill our feed fresh on a weekly basis. This is important to keep the nutrients at their highest levels before oxidation ruins the nutritional value. Our feed contains no animal by products, no medication/antibiotics, and no GMO products. We do not feed our pigs any bread, donuts, or other garbage that ruins meat quality.
Handling: As a family we love raising pigs. We cherish the opportunity to work together. Since our kids were small, they have always been taught to treat all animals with kindness and respect. We believe that pigs and other farm animals are provided to us by our Creator for our benefit. Since each animal will ultimately be killed to provide us with protein and nourishment, we believe it is our moral duty as stewards of the animals to provide them with a happy, comfortable life.
Our pigs are allowed to run, root, and wallow. We herd them gently when needed and never use electric prods. Common industry practice is to dock tails and clip a piglet's teeth. We have never found this necessary and is perhaps a benefit of raising our pigs in a stress free environment. We also don't use gestation crates. This is another benefit of providing ample room. Quite simply, by not cramming our pigs into unnaturally small areas, the pigs don't stress out. This means they don't chew on each other, get easily sick and spread disease. Basically, by keeping pigs in a natural and comfortable environment, it makes it easy for us to keep things simple without all the extra steps, procedures, and medications that are often found in commercially raised pigs.
Pork Quality: This may soon goofy, but our pork is an artistic expression of our passion for quality food. The combination of pig breed (genetics), premium GMO free feed, natural stress-free environment, and humane handling help create pork that is the finest available. We believe it to be more nutrient dense and lower in cholesterol, and high in omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). We have invested a great deal of resources to offer lard, bratwursts, and sausage that is free of preservatives and MSG. We have done a great deal of research to discover that "naturally cured" or "no nitrates added" claims are misleading and frankly, bold faced lies.
Our pork has a deep red color that is boldly contrasted with beautiful white marbling. When cooked, it retains it's moisture and has a rich pork flavor. The texture is never mushy and has a delightful spring when chewed. There are plenty of sources for Berkshire or even Heritage breed pork. However, the top chefs in Utah seek out our pork and find it to be of considerably higher quality than what is available through their regular distribution channels.
Food Philosophy: Call it boastful, but we believe we offer some of the finest pork available. Further we believe that it is healthier and more sustainably raised than traditional commercial pork. However, we also believe that this is how all of our food should be raised and that it should be as affordable as possible. The supply and demand curve would dictate that we should charge considerably more for our pork. But we believe that healthy and sustainably raised pork should be affordable to as many people as possible. We realize that our pork is not as cheap as supermarket pork, then again the quality isn't even in the same realm. That said, with all thing considered we don't believe you will find a better value. Besides, pork this good is just enjoyable to eat!
Community: One of the greatest rewards we have experienced farming is the sense of community we feel. We have seen several small business opportunities emerge as we have built our farm. Local restaurants, delis, and consumers have committed their pork business to us. As a result we have been able to raise pigs knowing that when they reach a market weight that we would be able to sell them. Knowing this, we have been able to commit our feed business to our local feed company (the Holden family). Together we have been able to commit to local grain farmers who raised entire grain crops just for us. We have also teamed up with other small family farms who help keep us supplied with pigs and cattle. Our local butchers also benefit from our consistent business which helps motivate them to work with us rather than against us when we pursue "crazy" ideas like preservative free recipes and humane handling of our animals. Because all this business stays local, fuel is saved, we cut out "the middle man" and are able to offer customers a better product at the lowest possible price. Each party involved is also more profitable and incurs less risk. Profits and efficiencies aside, we have made great friends and found common interest in great food.