by Pete on February 10th, 2013

Thanks to our good friend Jared, who is on his way to becoming a Master Charcuter-ist, if there is such a thing, we have the following photos.  Jared documented part of the breakdown of one of the Mangalitsa pigs we grew in 2012.  Beautiful animals both inside and out!  Note their fat coverage and beautiful flesh. 

by Pete on December 30th, 2012

This is the final week for these wonderful woolys.  They head off to wooly heaven this week so they can be enjoyed by many.  We've loved having them on the farm this past season.  They are all unique individuals and we will miss them.  I'll be photographing them a few times this week as a parting gesture of thanks.

This morning they awoke, like the rest of us, to a wintry wonderland.  They seemed unfazed and enjoyed their usual stroll through the woods and into the open fields to graze the clover under the snow cover and to play in the fluffy whiteness.  Their thick coat of hair and large deposits of back fat insulate them quite well.  They seem as happy as ever!

For those interested in visiting the Mangalitsa's on a plate, contact EVOO, Bondir and Beacon Hill Bistro restaurants in Boston.  They will all be receiving one our fine friends this coming Friday, January 4th.

Happy New Year to all! 

Have a tasty 2013!

by Pete on November 5th, 2012

Over the last two weeks we lost about a dozen laying hens to an unknown predator.  After years of raising chickens we have become pretty adept at figuring out which critters were nabbing our birds.  A poof of feathers means a coyote, a heavily nibbled carcass with feet still attached but head and all else gone located inside the confines of the fencing means an owl.  An innocent chicken with it's head pulled off and bits strewn apart all over the place is the work of a wiley racoon.  Feathers strewn about with the chest ripped open, a hawk.  But these last few weeks we had been stumped.

It began about two weeks ago when I found a random hen laying in the middle of the field, clearly dragged their by some critter but only partially eaten and not in the usual way.  Then another one inside the fence line, dead, but with barely any sign of attack of bite marks.  And again -  another bird dragged to the fence line (from the inside) and left there with it's head bitten off and part of it's neck chewed.  Hmm, what could it be! 

After doing some research I was thinking it could be a fox.  Someone had told us they'd seen a fox run through the field a few weeks back.  It was fairly easy to tell the direction most of the attacks were coming from since the majority of the birds were dragged in one direction and specifically to a corner of the fence line.  So I set some traps.

I set up two Have-a-hart live traps with the carcasses of the dead birds lying in repose in the back of each one.  These are the traps where the animal walks inside, steps on the trip plate and the opening slams shut trapping them inside.  We normally catch woodchucks in them but I was hoping they were big enough to also catch whatever was killing our birds. 

After the first nite I caught nada.  One of the traps was knocked over, oddly enough, but the birds were still inside.  So this next night I added a third trap, baited it with some tasty anchovies for added attractiveness and also put out our game camera to see if we could catch the critter on film....A N D.....Oila! 

The culprit was a Fisher Cat.  These are medium-sized members of the weasel family not native to these lands.  They were brought here long ago to reduce the porcupine population and now they are a vicious predator of chickens, rabbits and house cats.  They can dig and climb trees with their strong claws and large feet, and munch on most anything with their strong jaws and large teeth.  They are an incredible creature but we'd rather they keep their distance from our hens!

by Pete on October 9th, 2012

It's been a great season growing our largest ever group of Mangalitsas (aka, Wooly Pigs!) !!  With the help of our quasi-employee and friend Jared, we raised eight Wooly's this season, most of them at his farm at an undisclosed location close to Concord.  Tomorrow, four of them head off to heaven and we have been grateful to have shared time with them over the past many  months.  These are rare pigs originally from Hungary and with few being grown in the U.S., we find ourselves lucky to have the opportunity to know them.  Below is a small sample of some photos from this season. 
Should anyone be interested in discovering the culinary delights of these wonderful beasts, contact our partner restaurants:
Bondir, chef Jason Bond
EVOO, chef Peter McCarthy
Beacon Hill Bistro, chef Josh Lewin
Tomasso Trattoria, chef Neil Rogers

by Pete on September 28th, 2012

The October Hog Harvest is almost here!  We have a couple of groups of pigs which have been growing beautifully and are nearing their target weights.  For those purchasing whole pigs we have a group slightly smaller then last years which can be seen below.  They are mainly Tamworth and Large Blacks with a little Old Spot mixed in.  They have lived a stress-free life wandering the fields, chilling out under the cool pine trees and taking mud baths to their hearts content.  Needless to say they are beautiful and healthy! 

The pigs are now being fed our secret custom certified-organic ration which contains mainly barley, a bit of corn, and some wheat (soy-free!).  This ration along with the green forage the pigs enjoy improves the overall quality of the pork and ensures a clean and firmer fat.

The photos below were captured on Sept 27, 2012

note:  see our new greenhouse being built - should be finished by next week - we hope to have greens for sale this coming winter!

Eggs (9)
MPPU (4)
Pigs (16)
store (1)
eggs pigs