Pork Party and other Farm News

I can’t believe a whole week has gone by since Pork Party 2010!  It has been a whirlwind of a week:  we finally had all the pork in the freezer and it was time to process the Thanksgiving turkeys.  Here’s a picture of them in their final days:

Very delicious turkeys!

We taste-tested the two breeds of heritage turkeys that we raised this year: there wasn’t a real consensus at this house, but the Bourbon Red turkey had very dark and delicious meat.  Nothing beats a fresh, organic, home-grown heritage turkey on the Thanksgiving table.

Back to the Pork Party…  I am going to post several pictures from both the slaughter (Saturday) and the butchering (Sunday).  Disclaimer: I am not choosing any of the gruesome ones, but the following photos may be disturbing.

Our biggest pig: Almost 500 lbs. live weight!!

All three kills went perfectly:  we used cheddar cheese as their last meal, and they were shot in the back of their heads and killed immediately.  They were bled out there in the orchard then brought up to the house (in a borrowed Kubota, no TRF tractor yet…) to be scalded, scraped, gutted, halved, and hanged.

Pig Scalding




The metal barrel is half full of water that we kept at about 150 degrees with a wood fire underneath.  We dipped each end of the pig in for about 6-8 minutes to loosen their hair so we could scrape it all off.

Above: paint scrapers were the tool of choice. Below: Getting ready to gut the pig

A big pile of pig hairs

Sawing the carcass in half for hanging

After it’s sawed in half, we are ready to hang it in the tree to cool for the night:

Five pig halves hanging in the tree!

Lucas is very pleased with these pig halves... and look how strong he is, holding 350 lbs up!

And all that was only half the work.  We started Sunday morning before dawn, breaking down the first half to put the shoulder roast into the smoker and get some pork belly into the bacon brine.  Over the course of the day, thanks to the many friends who came to the farm to help out, we made four different types of sausage, ground about 50 pounds of pork, and cut, wrapped, and froze altogether about 600 pounds of meat.  Here’s some pictures from the day:

Cubes waiting to be ground and the finished sausages

Lee heroically weighing half the big pig on a bathroom scale: that side weighed 175 pounds!

Check out those ribs!

Happy helpers shaving some trotters

We are breathing a huge sigh of relief here on the farm, and gearing up for more off-farm work and on-farm planning over the winter.


About Tangled Roots Farm

A forest shiitake mushroom farmer in Shrewsbury, Vermont.
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1 Response to Pork Party and other Farm News

  1. Gram says:

    Next year I’m coming

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