It took approximately a little over a week to pick up the pork from the butcher. Any reservations we may of had through the process quickly disappeared when we inventoried the meat. In the end, our pig live weight was 265 lbs. and hanging weight totaled 185 lbs. The 185 resulted in the following:
- 18 lb cured ham
- 2 spare ribs
- 2 boston butts
- 26 packages of pork chops
- 10 lbs. smoked bacon
- 11 lbs. pork side
- 8 hocks
- 2 pork roasts
- 3 ham roasts
- 1 pork liver
- 1 pork heart
- 2 giant bags of lard- I have rendered 1 bag and it gave me 9 quarts of lard.
We call that the “money shot”. Over the past week we have been taste testing the pork. The big question was if we could notice a difference between store bought pork and this and regular feeder pigs and this. Based on our initial meals- hands down this pork is amazing. You can’t even compare to regular grocery store. In addition, we are even noticing differences between regular feeder pigs and our pork. I believe we will very quickly become food snobs. The kids already will complain about eggs that are more than 2 weeks old.
One of the interesting thing that has begun to happen with this hobby farm is you research and learn about one aspect of farming and it is like a rabbit hole and the journey keeps going farther and farther. Much farther than you ever originally planned for or expected. If you notice in the photo there are 2 giant bags of lard and we began to do a lot of research of uses of lard. Dustin and I spent a day rendering the lard and have been putting it to good use. We have heard that it is best in biscuits or pie crusts. We haven’t had a chance yet but the little bit we are using it is pretty amazing. The second detour I am taking is using lard for traditional soap and soap making. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will try my first batch.
For the rendering process, I slow cooked the lard in a crockpot- actually 4 crock pots and then filtered the liquid and let it cool.
One other new project I am working on is hatching quail eggs. I purchased a few dozen and will be putting them in the incubator on Monday. We will see how we do. You look at the tiny eggs and wonder if how fragile they will be.
I will make one mention of the goats- I went out this morning to do my barn chores and you always hear about how mischievous goats are… well…. Vanilla Bean had found a way to shove her head in the cattle panel fencing to keep her out of the chicken pen. She normally does this but for some reason today she couldn’t get herself out of the fence. I gave her some time to do it independently and they I began to try shoving and pushing her head back with no luck. Eventually I had to get the lock cutters and cut a hole in the fence.