Saturday, January 19, 2013

Homesteading....So Much Fun!

We have been homesteading for a couple of years now. We love it. Little by little, each year, we continue to add to our homesteading. I have had a book for a while entitled "The Backyard Homestead".

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

I have read the whole book, two times now, and everytime I read it, I learn something new. We have always had a garden. About three years ago, we added chickens. Here recently we added two dairy goats. They are dry as of right now, but hopefully in March, one of them will kid and we can start milking. We are so excited.

Our plans are to add beef cattle to our little homestead this spring. I would like to raise and grow 100% of our food. It takes time so we will start with baby steps!

The book above has a section in it entitled Raising Pigs. Well, I don't want to raise pigs but around here, there are alot of wild hogs. A couple of weeks ago, we were able to kill and process a wild hog.

So, I got my little book down and went to the section on raising pigs, because I remembered a page about butchering. It tells you step by step on how to butcher your own hog. I figured I would give it a try.

Well, here was the outcome!

I am not sure how many pounds we ended up with but it was alot!

I learned that primal cuts are the large cuts that are often transported to butcher shops for processing and sale. There are seven primal cuts in the halved hog carcass:

Excerpt from the book:

1. The leg, which is comparable to the round in beef and produces boneless leg, ham, and ham steaks.

2. The loin, which can produce blade chops, loin chops, butterfly chops, country-style ribs, back ribs, Canadian-style bacon, loin roasts and tenderloins.

3. The side pork, which yields the bacon.

4. The spareribs, which yield both the ribs and salt pork.

5. The Boston shoulder, from which can come pork cubes, Boston roasts and shoulder rolls.

6.The picnic shoulder, which yields roasts and steaks, ground pork and sausage.

7. The jowl, which can be cured for seasoning meat or sliced like bacon.

It says that no single carcass can produce all the above cuts. We decided what we wanted to try and went for it. It was fairly easy. We were able to cut and process, one whole pork loin, boneless loin chops, two racks of ribs, 4 slabs of bacon(uncured), two Boston roasts, two small boneless leg roasts (good for BBQ), two tenderloins, about 10 lbs. of homemade sausage (not link) and roughly 18-20 lbs. of ground pork. I also had four ham hocks.

We were really happy with the outcome. I am looking forward to processing another one in the near future. I just received a sausage stuffer I ordered and will try to process some link sausage next time.

Until then.....God Bless!


  1. Wow, that is impressive! Love how you all are taking one step at a time and learning as you go! Inspiring!