Our mission is to produce the most unusually extraordinary, exceptional-quality meats though thoughtful, humane treatment of animals fed unique and carefully selected fodder.
We are inspired by “de bellota” Spanish hogs and Japanese olive oil wagyu.
We promote sustainable farming methods and realize the best solution isn’t always the obvious one. We will never stop experimenting and loving every day of it!
What is humane?
In my opinion an animal is humanely raised if it has plenty of space to exhibit natural behavior and well as friends and/or family for constant company and companionship.
It is very impotent to us that all of our animals are raised without worry, stress or pain from the moment they arrive on our farm until they are butchered.
The “recipe” starts at the farm.
Someone can learn the ideal way to prepare something… but once preparation is consistently near-perfect the flavor, texture and wholesomeness of a recipe is remarkably limited by its ingredients.
Oh boy do I love pork. Pork done right is the tastiest animal.
So how does one raise the “best-tasting” pork?
To start, I had to find out what I liked and then learn from the best. After all “the best” is subjective…
After thousands of pork tastings I can say I am quite fond of Spanish ” De Bellota” and peanut-finished pork and find nothing else to be comparable.
After reading every published article I could find on a hogs diet and meat quality, as well as plenty on husbandry and processing I made Jon drive almost halfway across the state to pick up a spectrality finished whole Berkshire hog carcass from a small farm, which I insisted on cutting and wrapping myself. It took 3 days but I learned a great deal about how a hog goes together.
In my opinion Berkshire (Karabuta) hogs have the best genetic potential for such a project. After some searching we found a local breeder of Berkshire hogs from a favorable bloodline. With the housing ready and four new, lively piglets were ready to begin!
How can I make something the absolute best it can possibly be?
My best pork chop recipe starts with the piglet. It’s raised with littermates and/or similar aged friends so they keep each other company. They all have comfortable shelter, dry clean bedding, access to the outdoors, fresh air and a wallow to help keep them cool and protected from the sun (it’s also fun to play in the wallow and refreshing to get sprayed with cool water!)
It is very impotent to us that all of our animals are raised without worry, stress or pain from the moment they arrive until they are butchered.
They are fed only the best of the best, which in the world of meat animals is as unique as it is costly. It is a little bit disconcerting to walk into a local grocery store and be able to purchase “natural pork” for less than what it costs us just in feed to raise a hog. That doesn’t even include shelter, fencing, butchering…and our time to clean their pens, groom and feed twice daily!
Perfection comes with a price…and a lot of time and hard work!
But the finial product is remarkable, and unlike anything we have found anywhere else.
Finishing starts about two months before slaughter. We will start to add peanuts to their diet and offer regular “massages” (brushing and grooming, similar to the Wagyu cattle produced in Kobe, Japan)
About a month before slaughter their diet is more than 50% peanuts. Twice a day they’re given local porter brewers grains as well as a vitamin & mineral-balanced finisher. During this time they are brushed & groomed regularly and offered free-choice fresh, green alfalfa, hay & sprouted wheatgrass and/or barley.
Unlike all meat sold in California stores and markets, our animals are humanely dispatched on the farm while eating something awesome (like an apple-boysenberry Julian pie, what was used for these particular hogs)
Although many consider this a myth I can say from experience an animal that is stressed before slaughter will not produce to it’s potential. With the few USDA slaughtering facilities there is often a long journey where animals are known to loose significant market weight from stress, hunger & dehydration. They are crowded, terrified and likely even more so when they enter a facility of crying animals that smells like blood. If I am going to eat meat I want to be able to face my food. It is only fair to do everything I can to make sure they’re happy and content the entirety of their lives.
I don’t think there had been a single animal we have slaughtered that didn’t make a deep connection with. I become quite fond of these intelligent animals during their time here, especially during their scratch & groom time. Although it’s hard for me to eat something that is essentially my pet at least I know it lived a happy life where it could play with it’s friends, root, wallow, get groomed and spoiled on exceptional food.
Not only does it produce something wholesomely ethical, the taste and texture are unlike anything I have experienced anywhere.
A long-time friend who was born and raised in Spain admitted to me it was, without a doubt, the best pork he had ever tasted. He followed by saying “That is probably the highest compliment a Spaniard could give an American” it made me laugh, and was quite reassuring all my work has not been in vein!