Along with our 100% grass-fed beef, Hay Mama also offers delicious, pasture raised pork. Our pigs are a heritage breed (Berkshire/Duroc), pasture raised and fed a 100% Organic diet; and like our cattle, they are never given antibiotics or growth hormones.
At Hay Mama, we believe bacon should be its own food group; and as such, we are happy to announce our delicious, heritage breed pork is available on the Hay Mama site while supplies last.
It was over 5 years ago when we got our first drove of pigs at the ranch in a desire to learn more about pigs, the process of raising them, and to see how much better the resulting product would be. We sourced 8 heritage breed piglets, a Berkshire Duroc cross, to begin this journey. Not long after they arrived at P Bar, our family spent some time at the ranch, much of it with the pigs.
We all immediately fell in love with these amazing and sweet creatures. They were shy at first but soon warmed up to us after our 3x daily visits to hand feed them apples, watermelon, and other produce. They would run up to us and nuzzle on our shoes and legs and enjoyed back scratches as well as all the treats we brought them. Their setup is all a pig could ask for with a pond fed by a constant flow of fresh water, mud to roll around in, and pastures to roam in where they can eat grass, dig up roots and play with sticks.
At that time, our daughter was around 10 years old and she adored the pigs. When she soon after realized we were raising them for meat, she protested and said she didn’t think anyone should eat them and declared herself a vegetarian. We understood and supported her decision. Of course the smell of bacon cooking made the reality of this challenging. Luckily she is an open-minded person and a great listener, so we engaged in conversations around livestock, the commercial meat industry, and what it meant for these creatures to have a high quality of life. She gained an appreciation for why someone may choose to be a vegetarian. She also recognized that if you did not want to go the vegetarian route, choosing to eat meat raised in an ethical and responsible way was a virtuous option. Understanding the horrific conditions and treatment of animals at industrial pork operations (which is how the vast majority of the pork produced in the US is raised), and realizing the horrible impact such practices have on these smart and sweet creatures, she concluded we were offering a much better alternative.
She went on to create a tri-fold brochure that anyone who enjoyed our early pork products had to read and sign to make sure those people knew these animals were 1) loved 2) well cared for and 3) respected. One of our key tenets in raising cattle and pigs is providing them with the highest quality life and least amount of stress possible. We believe it is our responsibility as stewards to help our land to be as healthy as possible, and that goal also includes all the animals that are part of that ecosystem, whether wild or domesticated.
What you’ll experience when it is time for a meal, is the culmination of this endeavor and it is what makes this pork so tender, delicious, and special. We choose heritage breeds, raise them well and without growth hormones or antibiotics, and process them at the same artisanal packing house we use for our beef. Prepare it with care, and know how grateful we all are that you are part of this journey.