Red Wattle Pork

We are currently taking orders for 2014. Reserve a half or whole red wattle hog now. Harvest anticipated for September or October 2013. To reserve, email liz@amarantafarm.com

We raise Red Wattle Pigs on our abundant pastures. The pigs get to do what they love best — nosing through dirt for succulent worms and other goodies — and we get the benefit of their rotovation to push out noxious weeds and bring more fertility to the fields. They romp in fresh air, wallow in mud and sleep wherever they please in their spacious paddock. We scratch their ears when we feed them and move them every few weeks to a fresh area. We supplement their pasturing with pig chow (non medicated, no animal by-products) and extra garden produce. They have never received any antibiotics. In the Fall, they’ll get new tasty treats: lots of windfall apples from our old orchards.

Red Wattles in the apple orchard

Red Wattles in the apple orchard

We may someday breed our own pigs, but for now we buy weaners from regional farms.

Red Wattles are a heritage breed once raised in the South (with genetic roots that may go back to islands near Australia). Because they don’t do well in the close confinement conditions urged by the pork industry, they fell into disfavor and are currently listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as “critical” – the highest priority for restoration and conservation.

Red Wattles thrive on pasture, and the meat has been winning taste tests around the country. It is rich, red, and well-marbled — some of the best pork we’ve ever tasted. Here’s what some others say about it:

Connoisseurs describe Red Wattle meat as unusually flavorful and tender. Chef Kevin Gillespie serves Red Wattle pork at Spokane’s prestigious Luna restaurant, as does chef Mario Batali at the posh Del Posto restaurant in New York City (Hobby Farms Magazine)

…red wattles produce what is possibly the best tasting pork in the world. In blind taste tests, they have bested many other breeds of pig. Their meat is deep red and interlaced with rich veins of fat. When cooked the fat liquefies, imbuing the meat with moisture and a complex broth that seems perfectly balanced to appeal to every carnivorous neuron that still pulses in our primitive brain centers. To eat properly roasted red wattle pork unadorned by spices and condiments is to partake of one of the greatest and purest culinary delights (Greenfire Farms)

Red Wattle under the rosebush.

Ordering Our Pork

We sell our hogs by the whole or half. You buy a portion of the live animal and we have it custom exempt processed at Valley Meat Services in Wallowa, Oregon.

Once the pig is delivered to the butcher, you will communicate directly with them as to how you want your meat cut and wrapped, whether you want any smoking or curing, etc.

If you’re not familiar with how the custom-exempt process works, we can send you more detailed information and walk you through it.

It is probably easiest to order our pork if you’re in Northeast Oregon or SE Washington. However, we will also be delivering some to Portland, so if you’re in the Portland area and interested, let us know.

Cost

For custom-exempt processing, we charge $3.oo/lb hanging weight. Fees for slaughter, butchering and curing are additional.

We aim to slaughter the pigs when they weigh about 300 lbs (live weight), but the animals vary, so some could be a little more or a little less. We estimate the hanging weight at about 65-70% of live weight (again that’s a rough figure; it varies by animal), so 300 lbs live weight would be about 195-210 lbs hanging weight. So that’s roughly $585 to $630 for a whole pig (plus fees for slaughter, butchering, curing).

To reserve a pig, please contact liz@amarantafarm.com. We ask for a deposit.