This little piggy went to market

Things can happen around here pretty quickly sometimes….

Jim suggested to me on Wednesday  I need to start wearing one of those  go-pro video cameras.

I told him it would be  pretty boring.

He just rolled his eyes and shook his head “no” (ie. would not be boring)

Anyway,  Not going to unpack my whole day yesterday for you, just a short portion.

Wife and I were talking about how well we are doing staying on our food budget this winter. (We are still staying in the $175 a month range, which is WAY down from a year ago when we were spending twice  that amount.)

I suggested maybe we could think about buying a live pig off of Craigslist and have it butchered.  The cost per pound can be 1/2 of what you pay in the store, and if we looked for a pig that was pasture raised w/o a bunch of chemicals and hormones, so much the better.

Within an hour I found two farmers who were selling exactly what I was looking for.

Next step was to line up an appointment with a local locker and coordinate delivery.

Called a locker that we have used in the past and been very happy with.

I  was on my cell phone and the reception sucked.  It was  getting close to quitting time at the locker and I was concerned I might have to deal with someone who was tired and ready to go home.

I did.

Conversation started out OK, next thing I know she is telling me…”whoa- whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa”....(in that condescending tone that tells me she thinks she is talking with an idiot)

I asked about possible dates on their calendar to bring in a hog, as well as various cutting options.

I hung up, got a hold of the farmer, He tells me he is flexible on delivery, so I decide to call the locker back and get it over with.

Sure enough,  I got the same lady again.  Phone reception still sucked. I told her who I was and attempted to firm up the rest of the details on this pig processing gig.

You’d think it would be simple.

It wasn’t.

By the time we were finished, I felt like I had just been in a wrestling match with an octopus.

I did get her name….I’ll call her Janey.

Went to the locker’s home page and downloaded their “cut sheet.”  If you’ve never dealt with a locker before, a “cut sheet” gives all the possible options you have when it comes to types of cuts, size of cuts, smoking, sausages, packaging, etc.  You fill that out when you drop an animal off to be butchered.

I decided last night I am personally, physically going to stop by the locker next week and have another conversation with “Janey” and revise the cut list I gave her over the phone.

I much rather have those kind of interactions in person, eyeball to eye-ball than over a phone with a poor connection.

Growing up, my dad encouraged me to “look people in the eye” when I talk.

I love doing that.

I really do believe our eyes are a window into our souls.

Side note – I’ve looked into more than one set of eyes and wondered if there was anybody home. 😉

Couple of years ago I butchered a pig myself here  on the farm.  I’d raised it along with my pet pig Winston to keep her company.

I actually enjoyed the whole process of butchering (except for the killing part).

There is something about knowing where my food really comes from that is grounding.

The hardest part for me is when you raise an animal yourself and you allow yourself to become attached to it.

Some of you who are long time readers from my other blog would remember Winston..but for those of you who don’t, I’ll close with a picture of her and I…and no, I did not eat her.

Donated her to a camp for handicapped kids. (I was thinking petting zoo.)…. (they were thinking their annual pancake and sausage breakfast)

poster

My friend Winston the Pig.

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Update 2-15-2015

Thought I would include a couple of  Cut charts for those of you interested in knowing where your cut’s of meat come from.

pig-butcher-diagram-2

Pork cut chart 

Cuts Of Beef

beef cut chart

 

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5 thoughts on “This little piggy went to market

  1. That is an adorable photo! She looks very affectionate and… well cared for. 🙂
    ____________________________
    She was very social and loved to have her belly rubbed, just like a dog. 🙂 What some people do not realize is that pigs are highly intelligent, right up there with dolphins, and that attraction they have with mud holes is an attempt to get cool..they don’t sweat. She was at least 650 pounds when I had to say good by and could easily have put on another 250-300 pounds. DM

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  2. Aw… WInston! I loved this story. I’m such a city mouse. This was fascinating. Butchering pigs and lockers and such. All I ever thought a locker was is a place to hold my stuff at work. 😉
    _____________________________
    You are so funny 🙂 Thanks for the comment! DM

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am clearly a city mouse too. I kept thinking the same thing…”gym locker, foot locker, school locker…who knew there were have-your-pig-butchered-lockers!”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dad bought half a steer when I was little. I remember the jokes about the “half” thing but didn’t know the details of how we ended up with a freezer of meet. Thanks for a fun and informative read!

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  4. The woman who handled that at our processor was terrible to deal with too. One of the most consistently rude people I’ve ever met. Fortunately the company changed ownership and she was replaced by a person is friendly and helpful. Whenever you find someone like that working in a “customer relations” capacity you can be almost sure that either the company has no local competition, or that they work for the government (which also has no local competition).

    It’s time to take our last two hogs in now. I’ll probably do that sometime over the next week. Will be good to have it done, even though I’ll miss having them around.

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