30 years living in the country and I never had an urge to raise a pig for butcher. Now I want one. I want it for two reasons. 1) I hate weeding, and my garden is always out of control come late summer. It is my understanding that a pig allowed in your garden after the harvest is done, will root up those crab grass roots, and leave some manure for next season! 2) I want the lard. I want the lard for the very occasional high heat frying I do. .....and for my bread recipe that calls for shortening. .....and for pie crust.
Lard is stable at high heats. In other words, it won't throw off free radicals. Every time I fry perch in vegetable oil I cringe. Vegetable oil is not stable at high temperatures, and gives off free radicals. I know it's not a good thing to be doing. My bread recipe calls for shortening ---I won't do it! --- full of trans fats, formed by the hydrogenation process. I don't make many pies, but, have you ever had pie crust made with lard? We are talkin' about flaky. .....and the plus to all this, lard is an excellent source of vitamin D. I know this is thinking outside the box for some of you. Try googling "free radicals", "trans fats", and yes "lard". The thinking is changing on this stuff.
The meat will be organic, and I will save some ribs for a summer picnic, the hams, some bacon, and try some liver sausage. The rest I will probably give away. (we just don't eat that much pork, I know my Dad wants some pork chops that taste like when he was growing up -- he can't find it in the store.)
So, I am gathering fence posts and pig panels, figuring out feeders and waterers. Checking into solar electric web fencing too. Come spring I just need to find my feeder pig. Maybe someone will barter for maple syrup.......