organic pork

Greg's Moment of Truth

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Greg and I met as seniors at Hamilton College and have basically been inseparable ever since. A year after graduation, we moved to California together so he could start his PhD program in chemistry.  From the outside looking in, he seemed pretty excited about a future career as a chemist.  

When he was a little over 1/2 way through his program though, he called me up to say that he had a realization. It wasn't a spur of the moment conversation. He wanted to be a farmer and made a point to say that he had given this a lot of thought....which in case you haven't already noticed, is Greg's M.O (He is literally the most thoughtful decision maker I've ever known).

I don't think I will ever forget that moment. He had a safe and established career path as a chemist waiting for him, but he wanted to follow his calling and become an organic farmer instead. He wanted me to know that farming was going to be hard but that done right, we could make an honest living AND make a tangible difference in people's lives and on the environment.   

We haven't turned back since. He went on to finish his PhD in record breaking time (4 yrs) knowing that as soon as he finished he would get right down to it learn all he could about organic farming. He went on after graduate school to farm for an additional three years at other organic farms in the Rochester area, all the while doing research and planning for what would eventually become Stonecrop Farm.

Life is so full of twists and turns.  It's amazing to look back at those critical moments when you could have turned left, and instead turned right... not knowing exactly where you would wind up. 

We are just a few weeks away from starting our third summer season farming together and it feels like such a GIGANTIC milestone.  Thank you all for the continued support and encouragement!

Your farmers, 
Greg and Jenney

Joy and Purpose with Pigs? Heck Yeah!

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From the very beginning, when we first decided to raise pork here at Stonecrop Farm, Greg knew we were going to have our own breeding program. Few area farmers do this but it was very important to us and here's why:

1. Breeding here means that we can guarantee the animals we raise are treated humanely from the day they're born, to the day they go to the butcher and are always clean, organic, and healthy. 

2. Breeding here means that we don't need to buy piglets from farms that might not share the same standards that we have when it comes to animal husbandry, rotational grazing, and organic principals. 

3.  Lastly, we wanted to know (with absolute certainty) that the flavor and texture of our pork is exceptional every single time, which you might not get with pigs from different farms with varied genetics and histories. 

Knowing all of this, livestock farmers like us try to select their sows carefully. We consider things like the sow's temperament, their farrowing abilities, mothering instincts, their hardiness to weather extremes, the flavor profile, and the cute-ness factor ( I mean, those spotted piglets are just the best, right?).

We've lucked out so far and wound up with 5 great sows and a feisty boar that are perfect for our systems. Though they are certainly an investment in terms of our energy and resources, we've found that raising pigs this way brings us joy and purpose and I've learned that that feeling is always a good sign that we're on the right path.    

We love hearing from you! What do you think about our breeding program? What does this aspect of our farm mean to you? 

Your Farmers, 
Jenney & Greg
 

"A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand is that the two statements in that sentence are connected by an and, and not by a but." 
John Berger, About Looking 1980