Entries in Farmstead Pork (52)


Somebody say it's hot out there?

Excessive HEAT WARNING -- Avoid outdoor activities*
*unless you are a farmer
Well, it comes every year -- right on schedule. SUMMER. Granted some years, like this summer,  it comes in gentle and warm.  Just enough to let you know meals should be cooked outside and are best enjoyed on the porch.  This summer had the added bonus of wonderful and amazing rain that came in nice digestible portions well spaced out.  Inevitably though -- summer heat ramps up and we have to be prepared.  This last week has definitely required that preparation as the dew point has been in the high 70's to more than 80 degrees almost every day.  For the animals, that high dew point is the real stressor because it makes breathing harder and negates their body's natural abilities to cool themselves.  

It makes me chuckle, just a little bit, when the news reports say it's going to be so hot outside that we should avoid outdoor activities.  There must be an implied asterisk there, that states unless you are a farmer.  When it gets that hot, farmers don't get to take the days off, instead the work is a little harder since the animals need to be taken care of more closely in order to stay healthy and happy. 

Cattle generally do really well in hot weather but prefer to have shade so we try to plan our grazing so they have daily access to shade.  This can be challenging when you use rotational grazing and they get moved to new pastures every single day.  The pastures have to be planned to include a portion of shade for each day.  Cattle also drink more water during the day.  Our cattle that are at a leased property right now need to have water hauled to them.  During hot days -- each full grown cow can drink in excess of 10 gallons of water per day. 

Pigs have the hardest time in heat if not given shade.  Mud is not required but does help tremendously.  SInce pigs don't sweat, the moisture from the mud evaporating can be very cooling.  

Chickens adapt very well to the heat, finding shade as they range around the pastures.  Unfortunately, one of the adaptations also used by chickens in the heat is to not produce as many eggs.  Our chickens have dropped production by about 80%.  We realize many of you are not getting all of the amazing pastured eggs from our ladies that you are used to.  

For all the animals, the key to thriving in the heat is an ample and always available supply of clean drinking water.  We have been very appreciative of the solar powered water system that we installed two years ago.  It ensures there is an almost endless supply of fresh water available to all the animals all the time!



If you had to just buy half a pig...which side would you buy?

It's like having a meat counter at your house every day!

We will be having a set of our very special organic fed and Pasture Raised Heritage hogs going to the Butcher this month.  It has been a  couple months since we have offered any of our pork in bulk and I know there are several people excited to get their orders in.  If you want to buy our pork in the most CONVENIENT and VALUED way, this is your chance!

When you buy pork by the half, you get important perks unavailable when you buy it by the cut.
  • The first is price - at $6/# hanging weight, this is the most economical way to buy our amazing pork.  You make one purchase at great savings over individual cuts.
  • Perhaps the most important reason to buy our pork in bulk is CONVENIENCE.  When you buy an entire half of pork you have essentially done a large part of your meat shopping for several months -- with one purchase.  Now, whenever you want to serve your family a very special meal of heritage pork -- all you have to is walk a couple steps to your freezer and pick out the packages that sound the best to you for dinner that night.  
  • Another key perk is cut CHOICE.  Do you want thick or thin bacon?  Do you like your sausage hot or mild?  How many chops per package are convenient for you?  What about the thickness of your chops?  It's your choice!  Laura or Jeff will call you and easily walk through the steps to ensure you get exactly what you need for a multitude of meals at your fingertips.

To see what buying half a pork would be like -- Visit this blog post on our site that details exactly what buying 1/2  pig looks like --- 

The cost is $6/# hanging weight and the typical 1/2 a hog weighs 80-100 pounds.  All processing fees are included in the price.  

Buying Pork by the side from Synergistic Acres

We are anticipating the weight of our pigs to be 300 pounds on the hoof.  The price you pay for the pigs is not based on this weight, however, it is based on hanging weight.

When you buy half a pig, your price would be based on half of that hanging weight.  In this example, that would be 108 pounds.  

(24) Porterhouse pork chops 14.51#
(2) Jowl bacon 2.04#
(2) Bacon ends 1.5#
(7) Bacon 7.2#
(6) Ground Pork 6#
(5) Shoulder Roasts 19.97#
(2) Ossobucco 4.3#
(1) Pork season (stew meat) 2.13#
(1) Country style ribs 2.15#
(1) Spare ribs 5.14#
(2) Lard 4.19#
(1) Ears 0.5#
(1) Tail 0.25#
(2) Trotters 3.55#
(2) Cured hams 23.42#

The cost of the pork is $6/# based on the hanging weight of the animal.  For our typical pig with a hanging weight of 215 pounds, a half would cost $6*(215/2) =$648. 
Therefore, your final cost on a typical pig would be $6/# of hanging weight = $648 + $30 curing fee = $678.  Your actual cost will depend on the weight of the side you order.  This will provide most families with a year of pork. 

We are excited to be able to offer this naturally-raised, woodlot, heritage pork to you & appreciate your support as we have worked to grow this unique product for you.
We must have our orders by Sunday, FEBRUARY 12

Simply send us an email letting us know you are interested We will get back with you and find out how you want it cut, how to send in the deposit and arrange for delivery.  Your pork will be ready for delivery early-March.

Our Summer litter of piglets and why we had a piglet in the kitchen

We had a great litter of piglets born this week.  Laura and I went on an overnight camping trip with the girls to a nearby lake to celebrate 14 years of marriage.  While gone, one of our sows had her piglets.  Luckily, Grandpa was dutifully watching the farm and took care of everything.  Saturn, mama sow, had 8 piglets that survived the birth and they are doing great.

We did have a sad emergency on Sunday -- day 3.  One of the piglets had a small wound on its side that had opened up its abdominal cavity and organs that are supposed to be on the inside of its body were hanging out on the outside.  It was walking around like nothing had really happened.  We decided to give this little fella as much of a chance of survival as possible.  So I brought the piglet inside, calling for Laura to come help.  We laid our new baby piglet out on the counter and began the delicate work of carefully cleaning each square millimeter of tissue to ensure what we put back inside was what came out -- with no extra dirt or other foreign substances.  After we had it all cleaned up, we began the process of gently trying to push the insides in a hole way too small.  How did they ever come out?  During this process, a good friend and neighbor stopped by.  This was fortuitous because she had some experience as a vet assistant and was a very nice gentle set of hands to work alongside with.  After getting everything put back in, we sewed him up and laid him in a basket to be safe, rest and heal.  Sadly, he only lived about 1 hour after the surgery, but passed away peacefully.  The shock of the event ended up being too much for his body to handle.  

Some people would be surprised to see the care and sacrifice we give to our animals.  The very animals we know later we will be eating for dinner.  The truth is, it's about respect.  We strive to make every day up until the very last day the very best for that animal it can be.  Sometimes that means doing surgery on the kitchen counter.  


Family's Coming, what are you serving?


If you are fond of traditions and great food with loving family, then you'll agree that a ham raised on our farm would be the perfect centerpiece to your family feast.


A lot goes into creating our hams.  It starts, of course, with the pig.  We raise our pigs outside, on grass in pastures that are rotated every fourteen days to ensure a clean, healthy environment for the pigs.  The pigs we raise thrive in this pasture based method because of their rare Heritage genetics that have changed little for hundreds of years.  Large Black Hogs are known for their ability to convert pasture forage into gourmet meat.   

Next is the feed the pigs receive.  In addition to natural forages they get from the pasture, they are also fed hundreds of gallons of whey from a local, organic dairy, thousands of pounds of apple pomace from a local cider mill, thousands of organic sweet potatoes from another local farm and a nutritious mix of organic grains.  This diverse diet provides a complex and delicious flavor profile to the meat that makes our hams incredibly special.  

The last step is the curing of the ham.  Ours is cured by the award winning meat artisans at Paradise Meats in Trimble, Missouri.  They start with a Maple Sugar brine in which the ham is soaked before getting smoked to infuse a sweet, savory flavor.  The hams are just the right amount of sweet deliciousness without being overly flavored to cover up the fantastic pork.  The ham is fully cooked, so will only need to be reheated and served. 

We would be honored to share one of our hams with you.  Just reply to this email and let us know what size works best for you.  They range from 3 - 9 pounds and are just $10.75 per pound.  They are available for pick-up from the farm by appointment or we would be happy to bring one up to the city for you.  

Our deliveries this week are:
Wednesday, March 23rd
3:45 91st and Metcalf
4:30 95th and I35
5:30-6 Bulk it in old Lenexa

Thursday, March 24th
4:15 151st and 69 hwy
5:00 151st and 69 hwy


Make your Easter special with a VERY Special Ham

A lot of "specialness" goes into making your Easter so Special

Our hams taste FANTASTIC.  They are pre-cooked, Maple Sugar cured, and smoked.  It is a three week process to slow cure the hams to perfection.  They would make an elegant and delicious centerpiece for your Easter family meal.

Our pigs are Special - They are a rare Heritage breed, Large Black.  Once upon a time, they were one of the most popular pigs raised on thousands of small farms.   They were revered for their ability to convert forage and natural foods into the most delicious pork.  However, when the economics of food changed to favor cheap food grown intensively indoors, Large Blacks lost favor.  There are now fewer than 500 breeding sows in the United States.  We are helping their comeback and so are our customers that are once again valuing them for their AMAZING pork.

Our Farm is Special - We treat our pigs very differently than most farms.  We honor the pigginess of the pig and allow them a natural life.  We have found, that by honoring them as pigs, they reward us by helping our land while growing healthy and strong.   We don't just raise them outside, we raise them in woodlots and pastures.  These paddocks are rotated every couple weeks to ensure they are fresh and with rest, will be ready for the pigs to return in a year or so.  

Their Diet is Special - The pigs find an incredible amount of their diet in our woods and pastures.  They find nuts and roots and berries, they chomp on grass, and even eat the bark of trees that are rotting away.  We supplement their foraging with other natural foods.  We search out and offer seasonal surpluses such as 1000's of pounds of pumpkins, truckloads of acorns, hundreds of pounds of organic sweet potatoes, and many tons of apples.  Additionally, they have free choice whey from a local dairy and vegetable surplus from local organic grocery stores.  Sourcing all of this local and nutritional food takes an immense amount of time.  However, the flavor of pork is affected dramatically by the food they eat.  That's why we work hard to provide a lot of diversity to their diet, so you get a rich, complex flavor in your pork.  

Their Butchering is Special - We use the best butcher in the area, Paradise Meats in Trimble, MO.  The butchering is crucial anytime you are dealing with meat.  However, it is infinitely more important when dealing with cured meats.  This is when the butcher becomes a chef.  The Fantasma family uses traditional recipes to cure their smoked maple-cured hams.  


Email or call to reserve your ham today.  We will be delivering to the Kansas City area on Wednesday, March 23rd and Thursday, March 24th.

Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
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