Pasture Raised Pork
BEYOND THE BACON
Customers routinely tell us that our pasture raised pork and natural bacon are the best they’ve ever had, but the truth is, we’re in the pig business for a bigger reason. We see them as an asset, a tool, and a nutrient cycler for our pastures. As an organic farm, we are limited in our options when it comes to improving the marginal soil quality and weeds of some of our pastures. We don't use any synthetic fertilizers or chemical herbicides on our land. Instead, the pigs convert the organic grain that we feed them into high quality manure fertilizer. As they move through the land consuming grain, forage, roots, and grubs, they also turns up the soil with their small plow-like noses, leaving an open seedbed. We are then able to plant annual and perennial grasses for our cattle and sheep to graze later on. The bacon is just a byproduct.
The famous Jamón Ibérico hams from Spain are unique because of the abundant masts of acorns of their agro-silvo-pastoral system that is the Oak Dehesa. They are raised among these trees, consuming the acorns that litter the pastures. This provides their unique flavor profile that has made the pork from this area of the world so coveted. Here at Caney Fork Farms we are short on acorns, but have discovered that barley imparts a similar flavor as an acorn, and peas provide the fat stabilization that mimics that of an acorn-finished hog. The inspiration doesn’t stop here. For our pasture raised pork, we have planted thousands of oak and chestnut trees that will eventually create a similar system.
BREEDS FOR THE NEEDS
Until the industrialization of agriculture, we saw the pig differently. We wanted the fattest pigs we could get. Fat lit our homes, helped us cook, and nourished our bodies in hard times. We’ve selected heritage breed hogs that haven’t lost their amazing fattening ability and have maintained their manageable size. The ease in which they build fat means that they need less grain and can utilize more forages in their diet. Their smaller size makes them gentler on the ground, live longer lives, and, well, make fantastic bacon. Our heritage hogs are different crosses between Mulefoot, Guinea Hog, and Old Spot. This cross creates a distinctive flavor with a meat-to-fat composition unique to this pedigree of pasture raised pork.
Ready to start receiving our pasture raised heritage pork directly to your neighborhood?
For more information about our pasture raised heritage pork in Tennessee, or if you have general inquiries about our breeding process or the high level of care we provide for our animals, contact us.