What is the Sodium Content of Your Sausages?
We cannot guarantee any particular sodium content in our products, as we have never had them tested. However, using the USDA figures for the sodium content of plain lean pork and of salt, in the proportions present in our recipes, and the USDA figures listed for the sodium content of the average prepared sausage, we are confident that the sodium content of our products is much lower than the commercial standard. Some of our sausages contain more salt than others. Breakfast, Hot Italian, French Herb, Boerewors, Garlic, Gyoza, and Bangers contain probably less than 500 mg/link, about 40% lower than commercial sausage. Sweet Italian, Chorizo, Bratwurst, Greek, Coorgi, and Thuringer contain probably less than 300 mg/link, about 60% lower than commercial sausage.
What is the Fat Content of Your Sausages?
We cannot guarantee any particular fat content in our products, as we have never had them tested. However, judging from the fact that very little fat melts out of them when they are cooked in a pan, we are confident that they are quite lean for pork sausages.
How Lean Is Your Bacon?
Our bacon is of medium leanness. The USDA assumes that when you cook raw bacon, you lose 75% of the raw weight as the fat melts out. Our bacon usually yields 50% when cooked, twice as much as the USDA assumes. However, we have also seen leaner pork bacon on the market. If you really want lean bacon, you can special-order some Canadian-style bacon or go find some turkey bacon. Our recommendation, though, if you are concerned about the fat content of bacon, is to enjoy bacon as it should be – with a healthy dose of fat! – in small quantities on special occasions!
Do You Feed Corn?
A lot of people are concerned about the overuse of corn in America’s food system. As a general rule, we do NOT feed corn to our hogs. Our feed rations are based on barley and wheat instead, which we find produce a better-quality carcass. However, our primary goal is to make sure that our feed is locally grown, and once or twice we have purchased a few tons of locally grown organic corn rather than purchase imported barley. The last time we had to do this was in 2009.
Do You Sell Piglets?
We keep six pigs from each litter to raise up to full slaughter size. The remaining pigs in a litter – anywhere from zero to five – are available as live piglets, suckling pigs, or roaster pigs. Our available spring pigs are usually all spoken for well ahead of time, but we often have piglets readily available at other times of the year and encourage people to consider raising backyard pigs outside the traditional “season” of May-October. You will have a much easier time buying a piglet (from any source) and getting a slaughter date if you can be flexible on the timing!
Potential buyers should be aware that our piglets are somewhat more expensive than the standard market rate, because our sows eat a lot of expensive organic grain. We also do not charge a flat rate, but base the price on the live weight of the piglet. This is because we don’t generally want to sell the largest pigs in the litter (since we are primarily in the business of raising and selling pork, not feeder pigs) and this seemed the best way to set a fair price (for us and for you) on the piglets that aren’t the cream of the crop.
Do You Sell Breeding Stock?
However, we do not maintain purebred stock and our live animals are expensive for crossbreeds because of the expensive organic grain they eat. Since even certified organic hog farms may obtain breeding stock from any source, it is probably not cost-effective to purchase certified organic animals for breeding purposes – although we definitely recommend purchasing at least from a pasture-based operation if you plan on an unconfined farrowing system. That being said, if you prefer to support an organic farm with the dollars you spend on breeding stock we are happy to sell uncut boar piglets (we can’t raise uncut boars to breeding size) or gilts of any age.
Don’t You Feel Bad Sending Your Animals to the Slaughterhouse After Feeding and Petting Them Every Day?
We would feel a lot worse eating meat from animals that were raised in confinement, on poor quality feed and/or feed that was raised with GMOs and dangerous pesticides, even if we didn’t have to witness it. Whether the eater wishes to acknowledge it or not, eating meat requires taking a life. The responsible meat-eater will ensure that this life was lived in contentment and ended with respect; those who do not wish to face the reality at all would be better off as vegetarians.
Do You Have a CSA Program?
We participate in the Sheepscot Valley Multi-Farm CSA, which is administered by the Sheepscot General Store here in Whitefield. These CSA shares are designed for one person and cost $200 in 2012. The basic share is a produce box share, and you may order additional local items, including Treble Ridge Farm pork and flour, on a weekly basis as add-ons.