In my formative years, my Grandpa Morgan’s neighbor was a bachelor that had a large farm full of meat pigs, running on pasture meadows. My brother Gene and I were frequently helping him – frankly as much as we were allowed to because those pigs were so much fun to be around – along with the hillside stream of pure running brook water. Those were the old time Pole-n-China meat pigs. I learned animal husbandry as much from Henry Boyd, his pigs and mules as anyone.
When Nancy wanted to add pigs to our place, I was delighted over the idea. I had come across a very attractive breed in called the Red Wattle hog being bred by a retired Air Force Sgt. Major, Ed Orr; in French Camp, Mississippi. I was very much impressed with the size and looks of this red meat breed and suggested we try those here on Falster Farm.
There are several attributes to a sustainable farming practice: picking a breed that is attractive to you, selecting breeding stock; raising that stock to critical standards; butchering that stock at the right time and in the right way; and, marketing and selling that stock at a reasonable profit.
There is a world of difference between commodity (factory farm) pork and meat quality pork. Elsewhere we have discussed the way we select and raise our stock; the point of this post is butchering our stock at the right time and in the right way, and delivery.
Over the years we have had good relationships and a bad and less than fulfilling relationship with the abattoir process and processors. The primary reason we chose not to sell beef, pork or mutton when we farmed in San Antonio area was due to the lack of a reliable local facility. Moving to North East Texas made a significant change in that situation . So we are now very much satisfied with the quality of our arrangement with Cobb’s Meat Processing in the Sumpter (Paris,) Texas area. We found they were fully certified with the Texas Regulatory agencies and they got our brand and private label certified as well.
Nothing beats a delicious cut of meat pork – so said my grandpa, and the older I get the more I’ve come to agree with that statement. But the pork we ate on the farm wasn’t like the commodity pork in today’s grocery chain – and I mean nothing like it. I was in the delicatessen business for a number of years and as a result learned a good bit about the various commercial producers and packers. When you buy commercial pork you buy a “Picnic” that has been richly injected with water . . . yes impregnated with water. Well, I’d rather not delve into that whole issue, let me say that at Falster Farm all our meats are juicy, not juiced. Just the way your family wants them.
Cobb’s Processing is family owned by Manning and Karen Cobb. They treat our tender, pampered animals gently and humanely. Processing is finished by custom hanging for an old world aging of the pork that is hard to find.
Six of our most recent Top Hogs were pre-purchased by Executive Chef Fritz Doss of the prestigious Sheraton Hotel Convention Center in Downtown Dallas. They were processed to his gourmet cut requirements and boxed ready for delivery.
Nancy Gail, our granddaughter Sydney Lane Nichols and I were additionally hired to deliver this order to their loading dock. I had rigged our Dodge 3500 dually with an insulated tonneau cover and lined the bed with 4×8 political campaign signs for insulation! Worked just great!
I was talking on the cell phone with a mini cattle customer as Nancy opened the lid to show the unloading crew the boxes of Falster Gourmet Pork.
One man jumped in and started tossing them up to his crew members.
We made a comment to the Purchasing Agent that we hoped he enjoyed a sample of our pork and he said he’d probably not even get to taste it! Well, don’t let that happen to you, make sure you get your order in for the next go-round so you don’t miss out.
We hunted down Chef Fritz to personally thank him for his business. This was a first for the hotel- they have not ventured into local, farm raised meats before and we hope it proves to be a successful venture for them…we know as far as tastes go, pastured pork will fit the bill!
Chef Fritz had our mouths watering as he told of his first use for his just delivered pastured, locally produced pork- Honey Lacquered Pork Belly Sliders served on a nest of Jalapeño & Fennel Slaw.
Of course, Chef Nancy is taking it all in and asking questions so she can make her own rendition, I’m looking forward to trying it at home.
We don’t get to Dallas that often so there is usually a bit of shopping to be done before we head for home.