As you consider purchasing New Frontier Farms pork, you may be wondering how our pork is different from grocery store pork. Here are a few of the ways our pork is bound to be a family favorite: they're a different breed, pasture raised and fed a variety of foods, and will be processed at an amazing local processor. And like most farmers, animal welfare is always our top priority on our farm. Continue reading to learn more about each of these differences.
They're a different breed
Our pigs are two different breeds - mulefoot and yorkshire. The mulefoot breed is native to America and is considered a heritage breed. They are easily identified by their solid hoof which resembles that of a mule (as you can see in the photo of Frannie) and their solid black color (which shows up in small amounts as you can see on Frannie's nose). The mulefoot is on the Livestock Conservancy's list of critical breeds because less than 200 purebred animals are registered within the United States. (It may seem weird to eat a critical breed, but they say the best way to save an endanger livestock species is to eat it in order to create a demand for the breed, which would cause other producers to become interested in raising them).
The yorkshire breed is more of your traditional pink pork breed, but they are great when paired with the mulefoot for our pasture raised system because they are strong and sturdy. Also, due to their size to length ratio, they are quite active.
But what does this heritage cross background mean for the taste of our pork? A lot!
According to Florence Fabricant of the New York Times, heritage pork is "darker, more heavily marbled with fat, juicier and richer-tasting than most pork, and perfect for grilling." And of the heritage pork breeds, the mulefoot has came out on top when compared in blind taste tests.
They're pasture raised and supplemented with a variety of foods
Studies have shown that pig's raised on pasture have redder meat - combine that with the naturally redder and richer meat of the mulefoot and you get delicious, flavorful pork.
Every day, twice a day, our pigs get a pig feed mix from our local feed mill with crops grown locally, but they also get supplemented with all sorts of different foods.
Our pigs have been great recyclers for us. Pigs are monogastric animals (aka they have a single-chamber stomach) just like humans, so they are able to fully use a variety of different foods. Soon after we got the pigs from the family that farrowed them (an awesome family that takes great care of their sows and their litters - I knew they were the right one when she sent me tons of pictures of them as babies!), we reached out to a local apple orchard and asked if they had any "waste" apples they'd be willing to give us. They were so happy to get rid of these apples they couldn't sell and we were happy to have delicious, fresh, local apples for our pigs. They loved them and were able to turn "waste" into bacon!
Then when fall was winding down, we reached out to a local pumpkin patch and got a whole truck load of baking pumpkins that they had left over! The pigs really enjoyed chowing down on these too!
They also enjoy lots of left overs from our kitchen (think crackers I forgot were in the cupboard that expired, banana peels, and leftovers from our 2 year old's dinner plate). We love being able to diversify our pigs' diets, while also using products that would normally be thrown away or left to rot.
They will be processed at our amazing local processor - Lonsdale Country Market
My grandpa used to send his cattle to the Lonsdale Country Market and we loved the beef, so I am really excited for our pigs to be processed at this local, family owned processor. They specialize in bringing their customers the most delicious, fresh, and high quality meats sure to satisfy your tastes. They make the most delicious brats - including, but not limited to, Bacon Cheddar, Cranberry Wild Rice, Beer & Sauerkraut, Honey Cheddar, Bloody Mary, and Teriyaki Pineapple Brat.
I am so excited to have one of our pigs processed for our family and see the amazing work that the team at Lonsdale Country Market will do!
Their welfare is our top priority
Like most farmers, animal welfare is always our top priority on our farm. No matter the animal, no matter the day or situation, the animals needs come first. Both Nicholas and I have our Proper Animal Handling certification and are currently working on obtaining our Pork Quality Assurance certification to help ensure we are always up to date on what is best for our animals.
In addition to certifications, we have a lot of fun caring for our animals as well. Each time we feed them, we give them a few scratches. It's amazing how they have slowly warmed up to us over the time that they have been on our farm.
We want to ensure that all our animals only have one bad day, so we do our best to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment day in and day out.
Check out the below videos for some of our daily fun.
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