Pied Piper of Pigs…

One of the barriers for small farm folks is a place where you can process your livestock humanely, as almost all of those facilities have closed down due to regulation barriers. In order for me to sell, by the piece, products have to be done in a USDA certified facility where a regulator can certify that the animal walked… often 100’s of miles away.

For example, in southern california they have NONE, nada, as in “zero”…. livestock have to be sent out-of-state or to the north, to be processed. In northern california, fairly local, we do have one that will do beef… and none that will do pork. I have to go a 100 miles (each way) to get pork processed. Most of our pork products have to be sold as “pet food”.

A farm in Vermont, Sugar Mountain Farm, has taken the project on, to solve the problem for their area… and are requesting Kickstarter funding.  What is special about this farm, is that they are re-introducing the old pasturing methods and sharing that information on-line. Walter has a blog and moderates a group that helps farmers with a multitude of questions. He gives freely of his time, energy, and experience!

We are supporting their project, and I’m passing the word on.

But maybe there is something in YOUR local area you would like to support.  You can check out the Kickstarter site, and find a way (from as little as a single $, to more) to support building our local resilience (i.e. decrease our reliance on industrial foods/services). It’s another way YOU can make a difference.





  1. sugarmtnfarm said,

    April 5, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for sharing our project on your blog! We appreciate how so many people are helping to spread the word on blogs, Facebook and by tweeting. I made a short link that is easy to pass out. Capitalization does not matter:


    Keep on enjoying the good life!


    -Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    in the mountains of Vermont

  2. April 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I heard there is a USDA place opening in Petaluma… one that will handle pork. Unverified… just the word on the street.

    • April 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

      I heard underground rumors as well… a group, I think, working on buying the facility and developing the local, organic market. It would be AWESOME if they did that, and I would be willing to help support it. Now, how to find out more info… I guess I could go talk to the facility in Petaluma, and see if they will tell me anything. They are currently the only place that does USDA beef kills and Golden Gate North is the only local (Santa Rosa) USDA processor that I know of. In the past they would not do pigs… said it took different equipment.

  3. sugarmtnfarm said,

    April 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

    They’re right that it does take some special equipment to do pigs right. You can skin them, which only takes a different cradle, but if you want to do the pig right you want the skin left on to retain quality and because many customers want the skin on the meat for cooking. This means having a scalding and scraping machine. We just received ours. Check out these two links which include a movie of unloading the beast:



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