For cured meats we highly recommend getting a book on the subject and learning the chemistry involved. Curing meat is easy and fun to do but you have to do it right!
What our Pigs Eat
The taste of pork is highly influenced by what a hog eats more so than any other farm animal. A hog eating sweet grains tastes sweet. A hog eating sagebrush tastes like sage. There are even some farms that offer specialty diets for hogs like "cranberry and hazelnut" since that imparts a different taste in the meat. Good tasting pork starts with hogs that are fed a good tasting diet.
Equally important is feeding wholesome foods consistently through their life so that proper marbling is established as the hog grows in size. Forcing a hog to grow fast and "lean" on a high protein diet and then fattening it up in the last month will give you lean meat with lots of skin fat. It won't produce the marbling in the meat that keeps it moist when cooking and imparts such excellent flavor.
We also believe natural foods are the best for hogs and for the people eating our pork. Natural feeding means our hogs get a mixture of nutritional dense foods and roughage. They are never fed antibiotics, ruminant by-products, GMOs, or growth hormones. It takes hogs longer to grow on a natural diet but they are healthy, happy, and satiated during their life.
Our hog's diet includes:
Home grown grain hay, alfalfa hay, wheat, barley, heirloom corn, walnuts, almonds, and eggs. We have been able to get heirloom seed for our hay, wheat, corn, and barley crops and save some of the seed for next year's planting. Everything we grow here is non-GMO.