Restock Dates: Please see our Farm Blog where we post our weekly newsletter for the latest updates

All About Pigs - Including A Delicious Pork Roast Recipe!

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

August 30, 2021

In 2016 Joel Salatin published his 10th book titled "The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for All God's Creation".

As I was looking back over our newsletters I realized that I have not mentioned our pigs in quite some time. So, I have decided to remedy that and devote this newsletter to our pigs!

The first thing I am reminded of is how smart the pig is and what a survival instinct God gave them. They are by far the smartest animal on our farm. By the way, the chicken is at the opposite end of the intellect from the pig!!! Just saying.

Many of you probably remember that May 2020 we purchased 100 weaned pigs that were going to be euthanized on a large commercial farm in NC. Here is a picture from that farm.


Here is a picture taken shortly after their arrival here at Nature's Gourmet Farm.


We really did not know if they would survive or thrive - leaving the confined concrete building where they were born and spent the first few weeks of their life to NOW being put to pasture with plenty of grass and fresh water as well as shade trees.

After being here a few days I noticed their little ears were starting to sunburn because they were not spending much time under the trees. So, I put together a temporary tarp structure for them to rest under out of the sun. That worked really good until they reached about 50 pounds or so and learned how to pull, shake, and tear the structure.


No problem. It had served its purpose.

Well, fortunately they DID thrive. And thrive they did... by late fall they had eaten and rooted most of the grass. Then, this Spring the grass came back less the weeds that had been there before.

To give you an idea how well they thrived - I delivered seven to Homestead this week for processing. The average hanging weight was 346.7 pounds each.

One of the principles I emphasize is the importance of interaction with the animals. They need to see you and be around you on a regular basis as well as relate positive experiences with your visits. That is why we show up and feed them each morning and evening vs. simply putting a bulk feeder in the pasture.

I have never felt threatened by any of the NC pigs. Most of them come up to greet me and grunt back as I talk to them (not that I believe they understand anything I am saying). The only time I have felt threatened is by some of the sows when they have young piggies.

The NC pigs have also been very helpful in "cleansing" the pasture of stuff that does not belong in the pasture. This is a picture of some of the items they unearthed (found) for me to remove. The items include 2-broken disk blades that have probably been there since the 1970's, a folding skinning knife, a plow shank, and various metal pieces that I don't know what they came from. So far, they have not found the Copeland Gang's buried loot! But, I am still hoping.


Maybe you are wondering how we get them to market (boy, I wish I had a video of this)? Two keys to success are: First, no surprises. That means do not bring out the trailer the morning you expect to load them or you will be disappointed. You need to bring it out days before and let them get used to the idea of getting on the trailer. Second, they follow the feed! Put the trailer out early and add the first feed point in the trailer (the larger ones think they have to be first to the first feed) and then make all of this a stress-free experience.

Be aware though - your trailer may need some repairs later. For example, when they are bored, they will find something to chew on (and remove) like lights and the little rubber seal to the wheel bearings. Once, they broke the valve stem on the rear Kubota tractor tire that "was" full of water. That fix was two hours' work and an $85 tractor repair job.

Overall, the pigs are among our favorite animals on the farm. Most days it is not hard to find something to laugh at them about. Hope you enjoyed.

Now, for a fantastic Pork Roast Recipe from our long time customers and friends Stephen & Vicki in Natchez. For years, they have purchased a half cow and whole pig. In fact, they own one of the pigs at the processor now.

1. Cut a boneless pork shoulder roast into 3 equal pieces.
2. Mix 1/2 cup each of Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil together.
3. Juice 1 orange along with its zest. Juice 2 limes along with its zest.
4. Pour the ACV, Olive Oil, orange juice, lime juice and zest over the meat in a baking pot with a lid.
5. Evenly add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme, garlic, paprika, and onion powder.
6. Quarter two large onions and smother the meat.
7. Bake at 350 with the lid on until tender. When done, remove the lid and brown the top of the meat.
We use the juices as is for gravy..

Thanks to Stephen & Vicki for sending in this pork roast recipe and see below for a nice savings on a pork roast for your family.

SALE Items:
1) Beef Ribs - Sold Out

2) Pork Shoulder Roast/Boston Butt- marked down $1.25 from $7.25/lb. to $6.00/lb. Save 17%

3) 3# Whole Chicken - price rollback to $3.90 lb.
We are getting a bit heavy on 3-4# whole chicken inventory and have decided to offer a rollback sale to $3.90 per lb. This will give our customers an extra incentive to maybe test one of the "bragging" recipes submitted by Nature's Gourmet Farm customers. I know many folks are looking for the larger 5+ lb. chickens, but we are cutting most of them into breast, leg quarters, and wings to sell - and still have a hard time keeping up.

As always, we thank you for rewarding our hard work with your trust and support.

More from the blog

Farm Visitors

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year. Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families.

Farmer Musings!

Beth & I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving - and turkey if you purchased one our our pastured turkeys. For our family the turkey did not disappoint. I spatchcocked (removed the backbone) so the turkey would lay flat. Beth then brined it for a day before smoking. It turned out tasty and juicy. Before our Thanksgiving meal each of us shared something we were thankful for. Beth's sister Debra shared the following:

A Day Processing Ground Beef!

Overall rain this week on our farm was about ONE inch! Not a lot in the big scheme of things, but very appreciated. It was enough to make a difference for our winter grass as you can see from this picture. In some areas of other pastures it appears that the seedlings died after germinating back in October. An observation that the heavy dews was not enough to keep them alive.