Farming is a very seasonal operation.
While that seems like an obvious statement, I wonder if that’s so. Are fresh tomatoes or strawberries ever not available at the grocery store? Does the milk change flavors or creaminess as winter melts to summer? Is the meat stocked at the meat counter different in July than in November? We eat very out of sync with the seasons, as a culture.
Yet, strawberries are only really ripe in June and July. Beef only marbles well in the fall. And June butter from grass fed cows is prized for it’s nutrient density.
So, now that the leaves are reds and yellows and falling from the trees, it is hog harvesting season. November/December is really prime time for harvesting, but October is good, too. The grasses have dried. The roots are sweet and are very nutrient dense as the plants prepare for winter. The animals (pigs and cows) are packing on fat and storing it in their muscles (marbelling) against the cold. The flies, pesky varmints, are gone. If you plan to salt and hang, or cure, any pork (like proscuitto or coppa), the natural heat/cool cycle and dryness of fall is the perfect primary cure condition.
Harvesting is seasonal.
It’s Hog Harvest time. We always do a couple of hogs on the farm every year just for ourselves. We want to scald and scrape the hide so we can use it. We want to hang a few legs of proscuitto and a few coppas. We like our own bacon (here’s a quick video about that) and sausage recipe. The only way we get the pork we want preserved the way we like is to do it ourselves.
We learned this cool skill (how to make bacon, how to make a bunch of different sausages, how to make proscuitto). We think that if you value the best tasting pork, if you consider food your art medium, if you want to live more in sync with natural cycles and the universe, or if you simply want to know how to procure calories in a tough situation, this is an invaluable skill. We want to share. That’s what life is about.
We are seeking folks who want to learn these skills. We plan to share more on the blog about living well, living in sync with the world around us, and how to eat in a healthy manner.
Farming is seasonal. Soil is seasonal. Planting is seasonal. Harvest is seasonal.
You can watch our videos on YouTube. Follow our facebook page. And come to the farm for a class (you get the farmers and the farm for a time, plus the specific information of the class). Come join us!
P.S. The Anyone Can Farm: Homestead Hog Harvest class for 2017 is around the corner! Sign up while there’s still space in this opportunity!