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[DTW] Pigs in MI

I have been looking into buying a whole pig, does anyone have any advice? I have a couple of numbers from the net but haven't called yet so I have not fully done my homework but... When you buy a pig do you get all the good stuff (trotters, head, innards)? Is it possible to partake in the butchery, or observe? Where do you get the "specialty" pork, Tamworth, Berkshire, Mangalista? What size freezer its necessary to house the noble beast?

As an aside, are there any shops that carry, or can get specific cuts from the "specialty" pigs? I have tried Jack's in Novi but that is far from home (Garden City) and I haven't been entirely happy.

To explain all my pork talk tonight, I have nearly forty five pounds of butts, spares, baby backs, and sausage rubbed down and waiting for the smoker :)

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  1. Can't say if this is what you want...I have heard good things from a coworker but no personal experience with these folks.


    1 Reply
    1. re: coney with everything

      We've bought so much pork from them over the last few years. Two or three suckling pigs, hams for every holiday, shoulders, ears, plus just the everyday pork.

      They use a custom butcher, so you can pretty much specify whatever part of the pig you want. I think the ears were free (I think Jon was kind of grossed out that we eat them, but whatever).

    2. Here is a thread we did a while ago about pigs and breeds and suppliers in SE Michigan. It's about suckling pigs but as you know if you want them bigger... just wait a bit.


      1. We are also looking for jowl per your previous request.

        1. The Garden Gate Farm is a CSA Farm and a vendor at both the Farmington and Auburn Hills Farmers Markets. They raise pigs and heirloom vegetables. They live in the thumb but will bring whatever you need to either market. We have gotten excellent pork from them. They are not certified organic but they are certified naturally grown...which,basically means the pigs are raised using organic practices but they have not paid to have the farm certified. They do all their own butchering and I have to say, they have some of the best bacon I have ever tasted. We dropped a bundle last week because they had bacon burgers and portabella and swiss sausages!

          1. Buying a whole pig has been on my bucket list for awhile. However, a word of warning: I'm assuming that when you mentioned wanting to partake in the butchering, you were not referring to the actual slaughtering process. It isn't pretty (I worked in a packing house in Kansas City) and, believe me, If you want innards, you'll get all and more than you imagined! (Funny story about when a Japanese group came to observe the hog kill floor but that's for another time - one of those "you had to be there!")

            7 Replies
            1. re: SonyBob

              SonyBob! You're alive! I thought you might have fallen off the face of the earth or something...

              Anyway, have you spoken to Mary about her new location for DJBs? I mean, it's a former Baja Fresh, and for her purposes it's *waaaaaaaay* too tiny. I mean where are people going to sit? I'm a bit worried...

              1. re: boagman

                I have seen the space and its no more smaller than the old place....

                It is so far a lot more....bright. I hope they darken it up a bit...not as dark as before but you know what I mean.

              2. re: SonyBob

                I'll just say that if you are doing a whole pig, you really should take part in the butchering process (if you can stomach haha it and it is allowed).
                I follow another blog (a wine site) that had a poster discussing the whole process of his pig purchase (finding the right farm, butchering, processing for whatever his needs, smoking different things, etc) - it really intrigued me, but I don't have the inclination to put forth all that effort.

                1. re: Markcron

                  I would discuss this more with people on where they can do this but every time I recommend people to talk to I get deleted.

                  1. re: Markcron

                    There are more and more Mangalitsa farmers coming to Michigan.

                    1. re: Markcron

                      I talked to Willy Kohl (A founding member of Earthy Delight's) this last weekend and he was talking about farms in G.R. and Okemos. They already have a farm in Swartz Creek that I hope to tour soon.

                      1. re: JanPrimus

                        Might I be able to meet you there for the tour in Swartz Creek? Regrets, again, for missing Bizzarebeque...

                  2. My BF and I and another couple purchased a hog at the Washtenaw 4-H Fair livestock auction this past week. It was an interesting experience, especially seeing your food on the hoof. Nice to meet the kid that raised the hog for market. The entire purchase price goes to the boy or girl, so it's a great cause.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: houndgirl

                      You may of seen the Wooly Mangalitsa there at the fair...I just purchased one to be raised.

                    2. I just bought a Tamworth from http://www.backfortyacres.com/ in Chelsea....I'll get it in the fall.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: momskitchen

                        I just emailed Back Forty, hopefully there are some left.

                        Thanks for all the info, I have been offline for the last 6 weeks or so, lots of posts to go through :)