A wonderful neighbor friend gifted me a Muscovy duck and Kunekune pig for butchering and I got around to it this weekend here at Leafhopper Farm. The pig was culled last week, then scalded and hung for a few days for ageing. The Kunekune is a breed of pig from New Zeland and the name means “fat and round” in Maori. This pig certainly is fat and round, which means lots of fat for the freezer! Anyone need some lard? Grazing is another trait of this species -they can survive on grass alone! 1 acre of grass can sustain 5 Kunekune, which is a very good return on your investment of veggie to fat
Butchering is one of my favorite jobs on the farm. I appreciate looking at the meat, seeing the amazing result of human evolution with this animal as a food source and how domestication and forethought has magically turned grass into meat. As you can see below, there’s a lot of fat too!
The cut above is a rib rack with bacon and thick back fat. I’ll say my main cut to separate is not as smooth as I’d like. Every place a crease shows is a place more surface area invites bacteria to make a home. In the commercial meat world, because the cuts will be shipped around the country and sometimes internationally, there is high risk of contamination over time. At the farm, we process the pig and have it in the freezer much faster, sealing in freshness and avoiding defrosting situations in between handling. There’s nothing better than home grown!
It took me a few hours of good cutting to take apart half the pig. Another hour went into wrapping- a not to be rushed process involving an initial plastic layer to prevent freezer burn, followed by a layer of butcher paper for added protection and easy handling. All this meat will go into the chest freezer and the lard will wait in the cooler for friends and neighbors who are looking for nitrate free pork lard to cook with. We’ll never have to buy cooking oil again. The only parts not shown above were the grids- small bits which go into sausage. Those went into the freezer first thing.
Leafhopper Farm has been processing it’s own home grown meats for seven years now and continues to raise quality animals on certified organic grain and no-spray-non GMO pasture. We’ve raised goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and pigs- all of which were processed on site at the farm by me, Liz Crain. I hope to continue offering one-on-one classes in butchering, along with opportunities for local residence to acquire safe, natural meat from small, local farms. Please inquire at- firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you too can have clean local meat and support local farms!