Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Pigs

One percenters…

…these pigs are in the one percent of pigs raised outside in pastures. They were out exploring and foraging today. Carolyn

This weekend one of our bull-renters delivered a litter of six piglets to Thistle Hill Farm.

It was cold and gusty, and I was glad their hay-filled pigloo didn’t blow away. These four brothers and two sisters are Tamworth Berkshire crosses. Originally from central England, Tamworths are known for their red color and long abdomen, which makes for wonderful bacon. The Berkshires are black, sometimes with white spots, and produce meat […]

From the kitchens of Thistle Hill…

…and yes while we have two kitchens…son Church continues his triumphs on the Kamado Joe grill. This time it’s a pork belly smoked by that apple wood tree we harvested a few weeks ago. Church recommends scoring the fat side diagonally and then rubbing all sides with Bone Suckin’ Seasoning and extra brown sugar. Cover […]

A sign of spring…

…along with Forsythia and Daffodils…baby piglets. And again this year we’re importing our “weanlings” from Indian Summer Farm in Forest, Virginia. Berkshire is probably the leading pig among the heritage breeds and these are 3/4 Berks.  But we also like the leaner meat, and particularly the bacon, the Tamworth produces…so these piglets also have Tamworth […]

A Thistle Hill special weekend treat…

…applewood smoked pork ribs. Son Church got the recipe for the rub from a trucker…a mix of paprika, salt and pepper and chili, garlic and onion powder. Still a long way to go with the 3-2-1 method of wrapping, unwrapping and mopping.  The secret of course is the apple wood smoke and we’re using our […]

This little piggy…

..is off to the market soon. This guy claims to be a Berkshire, but for some reason I keep seeing a Gloucester Old Spot!  No matter; both are delicious breeds. However, unless you pre-ordered, you’ll just have to take our word for it.  This year’s group has already sold out. Beef coming soon.  Don’t be […]

It’s maybe not the Riviera…

…our pigs don’t know the difference. Here they’re soaking up the rays on an unseasonable winter day at Thistle Hill.  Actually pigs do have to worry about sunburn.  That’s one of the reason they wallow in the mud! David

Thistle Hill ham…

..using Curt’s go-to recipe with thanks to “everydaymaven.com”. It starts with scoring the ham than patting on a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and kosher salt. Have to punch cloves in, of course. After 1:15 in an oven, baste with a sixth of a cup of maple syrup. Cook 15 minutes more and baste […]

Pigs first snowfall…

..and they got a kick out of it. Mackenzie got in the spirit, too! David

The Class of 2021…

…the next batch of piglets have arrived at Thistle Hill and will “graduate” next March! We’ve pretty much settled on crosses of Berkshire and Tamworth for our purposes…both are heritage English pigs known for their bacon and hams. We’ve also found they’re easy to handle…no minor attribute when dealing with pigs.  Their predecessors incidentally are […]