Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce my first foray into the world of home raised pork. Meet Bacon and Pork Chops!
These two beauties are the latest additions to our little homestead. They are Hampshire barrows – that is, castrated young males – and in late October they will supply our freezer with roasts, chops, hams, sausage, and bacon. Getting a couple of feeder pigs has been a goal of mine for some time. A homestead just doesn’t feel right without a couple of pigs, just like I couldn’t imagine one without at least a few chickens strutting around. It’s not just because of the delicious meat they’ll provide. These little guys will earn their keep by producing manure to be composted for the garden, and by disposing of any and all food scraps we supply them: potatoes that are getting soft, the dregs of milk in the bottom of a cereal bowl, fat trimmings from a roast of beef (but not pork, of course!), stale bread or crackers, slightly burnt baking experiments (I have had an embarrassing number of these), you name it!
Once I’ve been through the process of raising hogs and know what to expect, I also look forward to using future swine for labor in clearing or tilling vegetable plots, removing stumps, and other similar chores around the farm, but I want to get my feet under me first. There is seizing life by the horns, and then there’s biting off more than you can chew! For the next several months, my goal will be to learn as much as I possibly can from Bacon and Pork Chops as they grow big, strong, and delicious. Let the adventure begin!