Thursday, January 5, 2012

Locally Grown Pork

This is what a 222 lb (carcass weight) Berkshire hog looks like. I am super excited to have a freezer full of locally grown meat! This will be especially helpful as we have started our 31 Days of Nothing Challenge. We ordered a whole hog from a local farmer early in the summer. We just had it delivered at the end of November.

Here is a list of the items we got.

24 lbs of bacon
40 lbs of sausage, breakfast, hot and mild
48 1" cut porkchops
64 brat patties
50 tenderloins
4 roasts at 4 lbs each
1 whole picnic roast to smoke ourselves

Buy purchasing our hog from a local farmer, we can feel comfortable with what we are eating and what we are feeding our children. It's important to get to know your farmer. Make sure they are using sustainable methods. These hogs were grown outside in the sun, ate home mixed foods and were not given any growth hormones or antibiotics.

Here is the breakdown of our cost. We pay the farmer $1.25 per hanging weight of the hog. We then have to pay the locker fee. The locker charges different fees depending on how you would like your meat. For instance, tenderizing runs $.15 lb, grinding meat runs $.20 lb, making patties runs $.40 lb. There are also charges for curing and smoking if you desire that.

The total price for our meat was $458.65. This includes all the locker fees. This averages out to be about $2.66 per lb. I am averaging that number because we are charged for the actual carcass weight of the animal and not the butchered weight.

Whether your buying a half or a whole hog there is going to be a larger up front cost. If you plan this purchase into your budget it won't be such a big deal. We know each year we will be paying for a hog in November, so we work that number into our budget at the beginning of the year.

If you are curious about buying from local farmers and don't know where to start is a great resource and can lead you in the right direction.

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday at Spain in Iowa.


  1. Eat Wild is another website to help you find local meats. We have purchase 1/2 berkshire hog several times in the past, although this year we just made a bulk purchase of sausage. I think we might do a hog again this year, but we haven't decided yet. It really is better meat!

  2. Sara, can you share what this cost? I am so doing getting a local pork in 2012. Would love to have an idea of cost for budgeting.

  3. Wow! That will keep your freezer full for a while! My daughter actually has a pork intolerance, so we can't have any pork in the house. But we have been looking into local beef.

  4. Wow, that's really interesting. That's the kind of thing we should all be doing. Consumers need to be more aware of what they are buying. Not to mention I'm sure this product is much better than what you get in a grocery store.

  5. I love this! Next year we are definitely ordering a portion of beef, but we are on the fence about pork. While we do have an extra freezer, I'm always concerned about losing it all in a power outage. I have to say, though, the amount of bacon you got is REALLY tempting!!

  6. Thanks for this. I linked it to my blog's fb page to give people ideas of what you get with a hog.

  7. We just bought a whole pastured hog and 1/2 of a grass-fed cow for the first time this year. I found our local farm through the same website you did. We are more than pleased and will be making this a yearly purchase as well. Enjoy your meat!

  8. Michelle I went back and added the costs into the post. I forgot I was going to do that, thanks for the reminder! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

  9. Where did you buy your hog from? We're SE of Des Moines and researching places to buy. Thanks for the blog by the way, read it all the time. :)

  10. I was raised on grass fed cattle that lived within 10 miles of my parents house. I knew which pasture my beef came from every year - although I could never go see the cows, simply because the year I did, I refused to eat any of the meat in our freezer. My husbands parents have always raised pigs and chickens - so each year, our own freezer is now full of beef, chicken, and pork - all of which I have helped raise. Not only is it more cost effective in the long run, it's healthier and the meat just plain tastes better! Here in Washington, we just paid about $2/lb average for our pork, which we got yesterday! I think my portion of the half beef we split with my parents came to about $400 total, plus $100 earlier in the year to help buy feed. We didn't do chickens this year, but since his parents raise and then take care of the process of getting to our freezer - we don't pay anything but feed cost. It's amazing for our grocery bill! I highly recommend for everyone to look into local meat in their area!

  11. Thanks Liz. We bought our hog from a man named Tom Rosburg. I know some farmer's in southern Iowa who also sell pork - Stamps Family Farm. If you want more info you can send me message.

    Thanks for the info Dani. I agree, the meat tastes way better than store bought.

  12. This is awesome! I keep wanting to purchase direct from a farmer and having a hard time coming up with the money up front. Plus, seems like everywhere I look the prices are way more than what you paid... I must not be looking in the right places.