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Cooking Your Way Through a Half Hog: Tips and Recipes

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a cut sheet?
    When a butcher custom processes an animal for you, they need to know how you want it broken down. They fill out a cut sheet to record your choices. Different parts can be cut different ways. For instance, the loin can be made into pork chops or loin roasts. You get to choose how much loin you want made into roasts and/or chops. Same with the rest of the pig, you get to choose if you want: smoked and sliced bacon or fresh pork belly... how much of the animal you want ground... if you want any of the ground meat made into sausages... if you would like your hams smoked... It's completely what YOU want. Our butcher is very good about walking customers through the process if they have never done it before.
  • How much freezer space will I need for a whole or half hog?
    That depends on how big your actual hog is and how you have it processed, but to be safe you should plan on 3.5 cubic feet for a half hog or 7 cubic feet for a whole hog. In many cases it will take less space.
  • Can I butcher a hog myself?
    Yes. You may opt to butcher a whole hog purchase yourself and save the butcher processing fee. Please contact us and we can work out details. Hilary teaches personal home butchery instruction if you want to do it yourself but need some guidance.
  • What do you feed your pigs?
    Our pigs eat a lot of forage in the summer, hay in the winter, dairy by products, and soy-free grain. See these blog posts:
  • Is raw milk safe?
    Raw milk is as safe as any food, as long as it is produced under strict sanitary conditions. Not all raw milk is produced under strict sanitary conditions, though! Many farmers don't sanitize udders and equipment sufficiently, or chill the milk rapidly. While some folks might be able to drink milk from those farms without problem, people in high risk groups such as children, elderly, pregnant and nursing women, and people with weakened immune systems should stay away from it. We pride ourselves on producing the best, cleanest milk possible. The state of Vermont has standards for selling raw milk that we meet, which includes testing our cows to make sure they are healthy, rapidly chilling the milk, and keeping our equipment sanitized. We maintain a clean milking parlor and test our milk twice a month. Be an informed buyer. Don't assume that anyone who has a cow is doing the best job possible. Before you buy raw milk from anyone, you should ask the farmer about their practices and ask to see their operation, which they are legally obligated to show you in the state of Vermont. Does it look clean? Is the equipment shiny, or splattered milk milk and manure? How do they chill their milk (putting jars of warm milk in the fridge is NOT good enough)? Ask them if they are selling milk legally. There is no reason that any farmer who is motivated to do the best job possible can't meet state requirements. We invite you to come visit our milking parlor and processing room so you can see for yourself!
  • What percent fat is Lynch Lineback milk?
    That's impossible to answer because we do not standardize milkfat like a dairy plant does. Fat content changes with the season, cow's diet, and stage of lactation, although they don't make as much cream as jerseys. Individual jars of milk will vary widely. Similarly, at times the cream is noticeably yellow, other times it is more snowy white. The cream always rises to the top which makes it easy to collect for making butter or sour cream.
  • If I am lactose intolerant, will I be able to drink your milk?
    There is a very good chance that the answer is yes. Doctors tell people that they are lactose intolerant when they have trouble digesting super processed factory milk which has been rendered hard to digest. Store bought, factory produced milk is nothing like the perfect super food that is raw milk. I have known many people who were "lactose intolerant" but could drink my raw milk just fine. In most cases of "lactose intolerance", the problem is what was done to the milk, not that the person is truly lactose intolerant. See the blog:
  • Do you sell soap?
    We have soap available for purchase in the milk room. We do not ship soap, it must be purchased on farm. Hilary used to have a goat milk soap store on Etsy called The Northwoods Goat and she sold soap world wide. She is now selling cow's milk soap here on the farm. Only one or two varieties will be available at a time, not the entire selection she used to offer. Soap can be ordered in bulk (batches of 32 or 64 bars) for a discount.
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