This week we took a big step away from using pork raised off-farm to raising it ourselves. Trent, myself and Christian each have our own reasons why we wanted to do this -and each set of reasons are manifold and complex. Speaking for myself exclusively, I want to raise hogs because I am dead set on becoming the best charcutiere I am capable of becoming. And I have realized from day-one that the only hope I have of meeting that goal is to have the best pork to work with. Moreover, I know that the only way I have any hope of getting the best pork to work with NOW, is if Trent is in charge of raising it.
There are other reasons too.
Like Trent and Christian, I want to own the process of producing food from from "field to table" and I want to make make the farm a rich and robust source of as many different kinds of endogenously produced foods as are possible and practical. With the arrival of these fine purebred Berkshire sows, we are taking a big step in the direction of being able to enjoy a farm that can produce a well rounded cuisine.
If you are serious about cooking as a craft, don't let anyone -including yourself- fool you into thinking that you can make anything truly worth offering to someone who isn't suffering from starvation, a meal made from substandard ingredients. Every ingredient has to be the most carefully bred and raised thing you can imagine. Wild food has to carefully chosen and harvested too, otherwise the process of cooking and eating is bound to be disappointing.
I'll be posting on the progress of these beautiful animals as they make their way from the barn to the abattoir, thenceforward to the kitchen and finally, the table. Both sows are pregnant gilts (never given birth before) who we expect to deliver in one month. We are planning to raise and harvest most of the offspring and keep a few to breed. It all very sobering and very exciting.
Also shown in the slide show are three male calves and the Hendricks horses. Who, btw are slated to be bred tomorrow, I believe. If I can tear myself away from the kitchen when the veterinarian comes to do the deed, I'll take pictures.