Wow, there’s so much to report. The pig is in my freezer now, just waiting for me to wrap my head around what comes first. But before I get to that, here’s a bit about the process.
J and I drove out to Lake Hughes (not too far from Lancaster) to check out the farm first hand and have a little weekend outing (extra thanks to mom and Jack for making this possible!). We didn’t see anyone when we pulled up, but several noisy geese announced our arrival and before long Vicky and the border collie Kip welcomed us to the farm.
ReRide turns out not to be some elaborate Facebook ruse, but the real deal – over 100 acres of rolling hills, complete with oak trees, California buckwheat, and some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve encountered in SoCal. Our timing was perfect. There had been three litters of pigs born the week before, and watching them run around nursing from whichever sow was most convenient was one of the more charming things I had ever seen.
Lefty and Vicky were excellent tour guides, teaching us bits about their process as they introduced us to the farm. We learned about how they started and how they grew to where they are now – getting ready to work with folks in San Diego on providing the hams for high-end prosciutto.
We had hoped to see happy pigs, and ReRide was like pig paradise. Lefty made sure to show us our pig, who was contentedly snoozing in the sun until Lefty made him get up so I could get a picture. He was enormous, and I briefly wondered just what the hell I had gotten myself into. But without much prompting, it was simple to mentally shift into cook mode, and we couldn’t help but admire his large hams and jowls.
Nothing will make you feel all weak and citified quite like standing around at a farm in the heat and realizing that you are almost dying just standing there, never mind the real work of feeding, watering, moving the pigs around, and castrating. I was glad when Vicky offered us water, and we could catch a bit of breeze. Also the A/C in the car on the way home was invaluable.
Looking through the photos from the day, my daughter came into the room. She too was charmed by the pics of the babies. She asked if we eat pigs, and I said that yes, we did. “We should not eat pigs!” she declared. “Ok,” I said, “we won’t. You still like pork, right?” Of course she likes pork. And that’s what we will be eating – pork. Just like when I was her age.
Here’s a bonus pic of Lola the goat:
Up Next: Slaughter Day (the SFW edition)