WHY PASTURED PORK
If we raise our own pigs, we know what we are eating. After doing some reading and speaking with other pork producers we chose the American Guinea Hog and the Idaho Pasture Pig.
American Guinea Hogs are known for their docile disposition, which makes them easy to care for and an ideal pig for our small farm. They are known for their moderate size, excellent foraging abilities, and calm, friendly temperament. They generally love a belly rub, or a back scratch! They have exceptional mothering skills. Females with piglets are easily managed, as are adult males. They do well with children and a wide range of farm animals.
While the American Guinea Hog is smaller than industrial hog breeds, it is a good-sized farm pig. At six months, it may provide a nicely marbled carcass of up to 75 pounds hanging weight of gourmet-quality highly-flavored meat. Fat tends to peel easily from the meat.
DNA analysis conducted in 2014 by the Canadian Animal Genetic Resources Program, led by Dr. Yves Plante in collaboration with The Livestock Conservancy, support the idea that the American Guinea hog is, in fact, descended from the British Improved Essex hog, which British farmers favored because it was hardy and could feed itself by foraging.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most households were cooking with lard, and this breed produced it abundantly. As the use of lard diminished, so did the American Guinea hog’s numbers. By the 1990s, there were fewer than 100 Guinea hogs left in the United States, and it is now considered one of the rarest heritage hog breeds.
Check out our handcrafted goat milk soap which is made with lard.