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May 13, 2011 05:47 AM

humanely raised, locally sourced pork butts for bbq, any ideas?

title pretty much says it all. also, purchasing a half hog now for butchering in fall, who do we talk to?

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  1. Check the freezers at Codman Community Farm; they often have pork shoulders in there. Also, call Drumlin Farm; I think several of their pigs "went to market" recently. Another option is to join a meat CSA - John Crow, Apple Cheek (from VT but they have local drop-offs), Chestnut Farms, to name a few.

    1. if you want a half hog, you might try Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds in Concord. They raise some very yummy pork in addition to their excellent chickens. They may also be able to help you with pork butt. (I recently purchased some hog jowl from them which I made into guanciale in a fun and easy kitchen experiment. Very nice!)

      Stillman Farm is another possibility for local pork butt.

      More generally, while meat CSAs can be great - I love mine! - farmers market season starts in a few weeks. Check out the markets near you for farmers who raise pork. Stillman's and Chestnut Farm show up in several of the farmers markets in my area. If memory serves, Chestnut Farm does Lexington and Arlington; Stillman's does Arlington and Belmont.

      Backyard Birds
      159 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA 01742

      4 Replies
      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        Second Pete and Jens. I also happen to get my meat (beef, pork, and some chickens) from Tilldale Farm in NY. She is considering a Boston-area delivery if there is enough interest. Right now, we meet in the middle for pickup or I meet them at a farmer's market. The meat is delicious and prices reasonable for the quality, imho.

        Tilldale Farm

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            well, I'll 4th for pete + jen's, but i'm not sure the OP would absolutely find a pork butt in their honor-store freezers, whereas at Codman or Drumlin (both in Lincoln), which are lesser-known in town, he/she might actually find one.
            I get my meat from Chestnut on a monthly basis, and I will vouch for its excellence, but when I'm out (yes, it happens), I'll run over to my locals and they almost always have something delicious in the freezer. Often, in fact, pork butts.

            1. re: porcospino

              I agree you can't count on finding a particular cut at the Pete and Jen's mini-store. However, contacting them in advance might yield the desired result.

          2. I have half a hog from Brambly Farms - the meat is amazing. Not sure if they do cuts, but here's their website:

            1. This is a little less local than the excellent suggestions for farms and CSAs, but it might be more convenient - some Whole Foods stores have been carrying pork raised in New York by the Lucki 7 farm. I cooked a pork butt from them a few weeks ago and it was GREAT - very clean-tasting and moist. Definitely better than the usual Whole Foods pork - you can actually see a difference in the texture - the NY meat is much firmer and less wet-looking in the case. One other possible advantage over the CSA options: I don't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure the Lucki 7 meat hasn't been frozen (or if it has, it was done very quickly to avoid degrading the meat), which is a problem I find with a lot of local meat - it was raised well but the freezing process really hurts the texture.

              I looked on the Lucki 7 website and they have some description of their farming practices, along with references to a 3rd party certification they use. It's hard without doing substantial research to judge certifications - some really are just marketing - but based on looking quickly this one looks like it's still evolving, but it seems genuine and not an effort at greenwashing.

              I've definitely seen it at the Charles River Plaza Whole Foods (on the edge of Beacon Hill) and in the little Prospect Street store near Central Square Cambridge, but other stores may carry it as well. They've had all sorts of cuts - full shoulders with the bone, boneless butts, loin cuts, etc. Pretty reasonable prices, for Whole Foods at least - about a dollar more per pound than their regular pork. Definitely call ahead for availability - I've seen it pretty consistently at the Charles River Plaza store but it's still a real farm, not a commodity stream, so there are likely to be ups and downs in supply.

              1. I recently bought some really nice pork butt from Stillman's farm that I used to make pulled pork. Here is a link to the markets they are at: