Dandelion salad and whiskey grains sounds like a pretty good dinner if you're a pig.
We've been raising animals here on the side of Hooker Mountain for longer than we've been doing just about anything else. Kempton got his first pair of pigs in 2004, and our first adventure into real farming came when we launched a meat chicken CSA in 2011. While many of the animals we raise head to our family dinner table, we're proud to raise fine pastured pork and grass-fed beef for sale.
One thing we know from years of experience is that animals love space and freedom as much as you and I, especially pigs. Pigs love grass, it's that simple. They run in it, rip it up, sleep in it, and eat a lot of it. And this may come as a surprise, they eat a lot of hay too. And when pigs are fed plenty of grass, given lots of space in which to be pigs, and fed delicious whole grains and distilling mashes, they're happier and they taste so much better than you even know (well, most of you). We do all our own farrowing here on the farm, and almost always have a big ol' boar around. The one we have now is a built like an aircraft carrier, but he's nice. In the spring we usually have piglets for sale, and we take orders for whole and half pigs by the end of June.
Grass and beef were made for each other. We firmly believe beef should come exclusively from grass and manage our herd accordingly. We raise Jersey cattle and crosses, for two reasons; one, the bull calves are easy to come by here in grass-fed dairy country, and two, Jerseys have the most exquisite, tender and flavorful beef simply finished on grass alone. In summer months, we rotationally graze our herd through our paddocks, moving them every few days onto fresh grass or to clean up cropped fields.
Dry Cured and Fermented Pastured Pork Sausage
For So many years we searched trying to find someone that could take our beautiful pasture-raised pork and give it the justice it deserved. This fall we found that someone in Artisan Meats of Vermont, and they turned our pigs into authentic old world fermented sausages that are so damn good. Carrie says it's like eating a stick of cheese, bacon and butter.
One of the reasons these are so good is that we put the whole entire pig into these sausages. Most ground meat products are made with what's called trim, meaning all the little pieces leftover once the good cuts are gone. Not for our sausages. No, that's not good enough! we said, hams? throw 'em in! shoulder roast? throw it in! loin chops? yes, that too! This gives these sausages a firm yet soft texture you can only get when you use the whole pig. Mixed with simple herbs, spices and salt, and dry fermented, these sausages have long shelf life and are ready to eat with your favorite Vermont cheese.
Dry Cured Fermented Sausage - 4oz sticks - $8
Available at distillery or at market only.
One more interesting note about our sausages, Did you know our pork looses about 1/2 its weight during the dry curing process? This means a 4oz sausage has about a half pound of pork go into it!