Fall is upon us and to celebrate a great year, and a great harvest, we at SHF hosted our first Pig Roast! It was, as you can imagine, DELICIOUS!
Neither of us had ever participated in the roasting of a pig and so much research was needed. Off to google, where we found the Three Guys from Miami website. There they explained, in great detail, the Cuban method of roasting a pig. I must say it seemed incredibly do-able, no real expensive equipment, no turning a pig on a spit all day, no burying any imported banana leaves… We were sold.
Choosing the pig was easy. This group of pigs had a runt and as a farmer looking to make the most money I can off of my animals, it was easy to choose who would feed us on roast night.
The block pit went up quickly; that was no problem. Next we needed our grates. The Miami guys have plans for rebar cooking grates. But seeing as Kendra comes from a family of welders, a simple rebar grate would not suffice. Norm, Kendra’s father, sent down 2 beautiful, custom-made stainless steel frames to hold the pig. Now all we needed was hot charcoal, some beer, and some friends to enjoy it with. And of course a Horseshoe Pit.
The Friends were willing. We invited our congregation ( the New Milford South congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses) to join us for the big day. They were happy to join us! But we still had a few pounds of pork to account for and so we extended the invite to some of our Farm Helpers.
Over the last few years that we have been building this farm, we have not done it alone. First and foremost, our families have essentially become farmers through association. They have helped us financially so we were able to realize this goal. They have spent hours working on buildings, laying foundations, and putting up fencing. They have painted houses and painted faces. They have designed and created farm equipment, and loaned equipment of their own. They have helped with farm events, publicity, and most importantly, they have purchased pork 🙂
In addition, we have had great help from other great friends. Weather it was time spent cutting 90 foot tall trees (because I’m too afraid to do it myself) or staying till 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday because somebody thought it would be a good idea to save ducks till the end of butcher day. Ugh. Maybe it was helping me win a tug of war with a 350 lb pig or perhaps it was because you captured the plucking gun on your HD cam in slow motion. You know who you are!
So those last few invitation spots were sent to SOME of our helpers. We could not invite all the helpers we have had (for there have been too many to fit), and that says something as to the amount of help we have gratefully received. (Don’t worry, this will happen again)
The event was a huge success. The Miami Guys know their stuff! The pork was delicious, there were many takers of seconds… and thirds. (we saw you!) There were lots of shouts from the Horseshoe pit and volleyball was played well into the night.
So now our season begins to wind down. Half of the pigs we raised this year are already feeding families around us and the other half has but a month to go. The meat chickens and ducks are tucked away nicely in the deep freezer. The garden did better this year and we made our first dollar on produce this year. (unbelievable.) Our dairy girls have settled in nicely this season and next year we look forward to fresh milk, cheese and soap! 10 people have left the farm this year with the knowledge and experience under their belts to raise and process their own meat birds and we can’t wait to see pictures of their own harvests to come. And, also unbelievable, we have EGGS for sale! After a yearlong battle with a certain fox, we have come out victorious and have eggs to show for it! It certainly has been a year worth celebrating.
Finally, for those who don’t know, we are expecting. With fall at the door, we now eagerly anticipate the coming of our 3rd baby. You may not hear from us for some time on the farm blog, not much left in store on the farm this year. Spring will bring a new host of tasks and stories. There are some big changes in our farm’s future, so stay tuned. Until then, stay warm, enjoy what you’ve put up for winter, and as always, thanks for your support.
Austin and Kendra, +3