From the Farmer

Pork Processing This Week

While looking into veterinary and vet tech schools, a friend in the business told me, “As a vet, you see a lot of animals when they need you, when they aren’t in great shape. As a farmer, you get to give them a great life and spend time with them in a different way, and you give their bodies a purpose after being with them at the end. I don’t know which is better for an animal lover.”

Years and thousands of chickens processed (or as I prefer to say, “transitioned”) later, I don’t know either. But I do know that every time a processing date approaches, we make time to take these creatures extra food and do things for them to ensure they are comfortable. Extra bedding on a wet night for chickens, and a bucket of broken eggs served over broken carrots for pigs. I also know, well, believe that the right people to raise animals for meat are the ones who experience this cognitive dissonance.

As I write, Alex Hencin is likely moving the trailer down to Pig Town so that the hogs can get comfortable and climb in and out of it. This makes loading them easier and eases their stress when it comes time for the journey.

Last year, 2017, was our first year raising pigs and we learned a whole lot. They really are smart and present. You hear horror stories about pigs escaping, but so long as they have everything they need inside their portable electric fence line, they really don’t push it. We learned, especially, about filling out a cut sheet. Never leave it to a mostly-vegetarian-running-a-vegetable-stand to fill out a cut sheet. It turns out that pork chops were a big deal at my grandmother’s house, but today, sausage is king.

For 2018, we are working with two different processors so that we can continue to provide customers with the maple, apple, sweet-hot and sage sausages that everyone raves about, but also, we can have some freedom getting primal cuts for Chef Bonnie and the Willowsford Kitchen team. We’ll get as much bacon as we possibly can, and probably forego some of the ham. We are grateful to have consulted with our friends Mike and Molly Peterson, of Heritage Hollow Farms, and believe we will have the right mix of pork products for everyone.

In the coming weeks, we are offering 20% off of all Willowsford Farm pork to make space for our new product. If you have a favorite recipe, please feel free to share it with us at

And this week, forgive your local market manager if she seems a little down. She has grown too attached to these pigs!


Farmer Deb

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