Thank you for supporting local, pasture-raised meat production!
Please place your pork share order using this form,
or email us with any questions.
We have learned so much since we first started raising hogs in 2016. Five years later, we now have our own breeding pairs and are currently the home to over fifty pigs living their best lives out on pasture. Pork shares are now available!
What is a “pork share?”
A pork share means that you are receiving your “share” of the live animal, and the farmer is providing the service of transporting to the butcher and arranging the butcher service. Pork share members receive a variety of cuts. We currently do not sell individual pieces of meat, such as one pork chop, or one pack of sausage as a pork share from our farm. When we can identify a USDA inspected processor that we want to work with, we will be able to offer individual retail cuts of pork. Because these shares are not processed under USDA inspection, they are not SNAP eligible and are not labeled for retail sale.
By purchasing our pork, you have chosen to support multiple local family owned businesses. You have also chosen to help sustain alternatives to the industrial meat system which creates much unnecessary suffering for both the animals and the people working in dangerous meatpacking plants.
Our current herd of pigs are Old Spot x Red Wattle crosses, which originally came from Kimberly Russler at Lola Farms who works to preserve heritage breeds. Old spots are also known as “cottage pigs” and are the preferred breed by the British Royal Family for their dinner table. Red Wattle pigs are known for their high-quality, well-marbled, flavorful meat that tends more towards beef than “the other white meat.” They also have great mothering ability. Both breeds are well suited to thriving outdoors in a pasture system.
At our farm, these pasture-raised hogs enjoy fresh grass, plus a ration of locally milled soy-free, certified organic feed. We do not administer any medications unless determined by a veterinarian to be necessary for the animal’s health and welfare. We use NO hormones or antibiotics to promote growth. Each week, the pigs move to a new paddock. This regular rotational grazing means that diseases, parasites, and manure do not build up as they do in confinement systems and the pigs enjoy a fresh pasture weekly. Instead, the pigs spread their own manure across the farm in a way that benefits our farming system. The rotational pasture system does require extra labor, but we believe it results in a healthier, happier animal, and a more delicious product.
Engaging in natural behaviors is extremely important for animal welfare. Our hogs play in the mud, root around in the soil, and enjoy portable shade houses as their manure supplies vital nutrients to our soil. We do not alter the animals in any way, including castrating males as we believe it is an unnecessary stress.
Our breeder boar is named “Cowboy,” and he is a gentle and friendly animal. Our sows farrow (give birth) outside in a nest of hay and nurse their own young. By four weeks old, the piglets are starting to sample fresh grass and solid food. By eight weeks the piglets are quite large and we wean them (separate them) from their mothers. At approximately twelve months of age, we transport the hogs to a local, independently operated butcher. The animals are harvested quickly and humanely, then cut to order, packaged and frozen. The butchers we work with are not USDA inspected, which is why our pork is sold as a “pork share” of the live animal and not labeled for resale. The main difference is that a USDA inspector is not present during the processing. We believe it is in the animals’ interest to travel the shortest distance to the best available butcher, and in our customers’ interest to work with the cleanest and most transparent operations we can find. Certified organic pork processing is not currently available anywhere in Florida that we are aware of.
You may notice a deeper, richer color and more complex flavor to our pork. This is completely normal because we allow our stock more time to mature while freely foraging to achieve this higher quality meat. Our hogs generally live about a year on the farm and get a lot of exercise. Commercial confinement breeds may only live for six months, and suffer sunburn if turned out on to pasture. Tragically, during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, thousands of confinement hogs were euthanized due to supply chain issues and closures at meatpacking facilities. We view this as a totally preventable situation and an injustice to both the animals and farmers everywhere. Our country needs more diversified, small and medium scale producers, and a larger network of de-centralized processing facilities to prevent this kind of crisis in the future. We are proud to be taking part in building the alternative to the industrial food system, and we thank you for joining us.
Please note, our pork shares are available to individuals and families for personal consumption/home use only. Non-USDA inspected meat is not available for restaurants to serve, or for retailers or distributors to re-sell to the public.
Tips for preparing your pasture raised pork:
- Thaw in the refrigerator, then allow pork to come to room temperature before cooking
- Use lower temperatures to prevent shrinkage or toughening
- Link sausages do best with a little water in the pan first, then sear
- Pastured pork can quickly go from done to over done so plan your entire meal prep accordingly
- The standard safe temperature for pork has been lowered to 145F
- Allow meat to rest before cutting
- We encourage you to utilize all parts and even render any fat into lard for other cooking needs. To render lard: trim any undesired fat off the edge of your pork chops and cut into ½” cubes. Heat over low heat until the fat melts, then pour it through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer into a glass jar. Refrigerate and use in biscuits, pie crusts or to fry up an egg.
Local businesses that are currently involved in our pastured pork production:
Backyard Feed, St. Augustine, FL
North Florida Custom Meats, Lake Butler, FL
Braddock’s Slaughterhouse, Seville, FL