The pigs have landed at Hill Family Farm! For our first batch, we purchased 3, five-week old, Large Black/Yorkshire cross hogs.
Both Large Black Hogs and Yorkshire Hogs are heritage breeds and we are excited to be playing a small part in helping to sustain these great breeds.
What is so special about the Large Black Hog?
Perhaps the most important thing about Large Blacks is their pedigree. They retain the traits of their ancestors that lived on the pastures and woods of England in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are hardy animals able to handle the cold and heat. They can effectively convert pasture and goodies found in the ground into nutrition. Great mothering ability; good sized litters; longevity. Despite their large size they are well known as very docile hogs. Their dark coloring makes them more resistant to sunburn. And their pork might be the best available; micro-marbled and deliciously Old World flavor.
What is so special about the Yorkshire Hog?
Yorkshires are known as the “mother” breed because Yorkshire sows typically farrow and raise large litters of pigs. They too trace their heritage back to the farms of 18th century England. Yorkshires are white in color and have erect ears. The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low backfat, in addition to being very sound and durable.
Combining these 2 breeds leads to pigs that thrive outside on pasture, resulting in pork that is leaner, healthier and tastier than anything you can buy at a super market. Starting out we will be selling our pigs in bulk, not individual cuts. In other words, you will be able to buy 1/2 a hog, or the whole hog. This provides you with better value and allows you to choose how your pork will be processed, cut and packaged. (More detailed info to come soon.)
These initial 3 pigs should be ready for market around the end of May, first part of June. We have had numerous folks express interest in our pork and expect these 3 to sell quickly. If you are interested, please call me asap (615-330-3153) or complete the form below to discuss pricing and placing a deposit on your share. (Pork FAQs and Pricing)
Have to be honest here, I’ve never been one to pay particular attention to the different label terms on a package of chicken, or a carton of eggs. Chicken breasts, check. Large eggs, none broken, check. That was pretty much it for me.
However, following Lynn’s breast cancer, she became much more aware of the labels and by default, so did I. This education really ramped up once we committed to launching Hill Family Farm. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned is that what the USDA’s definitions allow and what we consumers think they mean, are not necessarily the same. I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise the major food companies and grocery store chains like to take these terms and use them to make us think the food we’re buying (and in many case, paying a premium for) is healthier for us than what it really may be.
I believe an educated consumer is a better customer. So, with that in mind, here are a handful of those USDA approved terms and what they really mean:
Can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked that very question. Sometimes when people ask why a farm, you can tell they’re thinking we must be crazy. (There have been days when we thought we might be crazy as well!) Others will ask and then be very supportive and encouraging in their response.
When my position at LifeWay Christian Resources was deleted this past July, starting a farm was not on our list of potential job options. However, over time, as other doors closed or never opened, we began to think/pray more and more about the possibility of a farm.
I’ve always enjoyed having a garden and we got our first chickens almost 2 years ago. On top of that, we downsized to our current home on 5 acres back in February, thinking this would be where we would retire, have a bigger garden and maybe a few farm animals. Little did we know how much sooner retirement was headed our way!
Now that we’ve started down the road of becoming small farm owner/operators, we are excited and looking forward to the future. One of the things we are most excited about is getting to know our customers and having them join us on the farm. We want people to know where their food is coming from, while at the same time, building new friendships. Feel free to join us as we walk this new road!