Friday, July 30, 2010

Another Pulled Pork Success

You guessed it folks, I made pulled pork again. I'll admit that this recipe was inspired by the Pulled Pork in Root Beer Sauce recipe I previously posted but this one is all mine. I started by searing each side of a center cut pork roast in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and Yard Bird Rub. Then, I boiled a can of cream soda, some Worcestershire sauce, the drippings from the roast, a can of chicken broth, chili powder, more Yard Bird, and a bit of salt and pepper. Now, into the slow cooker it goes and 5 or so hours later you have a delicious pulled pork dinner.

A great summer time side dish that happens to be one of my favorite is steamed squash. I love yellow squash, acorn squash, zucchini, pattypan squash you name it, I love it. This side dish was super simple. I just sliced yellow and pattypan squash and steamed it in the microwave with a couple tablespoons of water and a little butter.

But wait, there's more...

You don't get just one meal from this, you get two! We had leftovers tonight and since I didn't have quite enough meat for everyone I decided to make loaded baked potatoes. I cooked up some potatoes, whipped up a quick batch of micro-baked beans, a dollop of Daisy (I use generic sour cream but it is a fun slogan) and I had a tasty, belly bulging meal. Given, if you're on a low carb diet don't eat at my house! I doubt any recipes of mine will work for dieters but by golly their tasty.

Give this one a try folks, tell me what you think. If you need exact measurements slip me a note in the comments box. I'll do my best to get accurate measuring even though I'm a measure by sight kind of cook. Have a good pulled pork recipe or any pork recipe? I'd love to try it.
One thing that I lack are good side dishes that are fast, easy, and my kids will eat them with minimal complaints. Any ideas?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are Pigs Happy? Are People?

Now I've heard it all! According to ScienceDaily the UK has devised a way to ask pigs if they are happy. Don't get me wrong, I don't think animals should be abused or mistreated but I do believe they should be treated as animals not furry people. A study in the UK led by Dr. Catherine Douglas used a technique "reminiscent of Pavlov's dogs" to study the capability of complex emotions in pigs. Through utilizing a paper bag and a training clicker the study concluded that pigs in a stimulating environment are happier than pigs in a boring environment. Gee, ya think?

People are the same way. If you're stuck in a cubical for 40 hours a week I doubt hearing anything other than the 5 o'clock bell will cheer you up but if you're on a beach with a cocktail your pretty peachy. This is a no- brainer; was a study really necessary? With approximately 18.8 million Americans suffering from depression and the national unemployment rate at 9.5 percent I think there are bigger fish to fry. Not to mention that according to a 2008 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg study suicide in the United States increased for the first time in a decade.

I'm sure glad this study was done in the UK instead of the US because I don't want my tax dollars going to something as asinine as this. Sure, I want my pigs to be happy little critters but lets be realistic here. We can't feed 6.8 billion people on an 80 acre plot with less than 50 hogs on it. It just won't work unless everyone--town folk, city folk, rural folk, etc--start only eating what they raise. Realistically, do you see yourself, your neighbor, or New Yorkers with a yard full of livestock and a plentiful garden? I don't think so. This nation would starve to death without Kroger's, HyVee, or any other national grocery store on every corner. Guess what folks, the food doesn't grow in the store.

I'm glad animal welfare is on people's  minds. We should care about animals, they are worth caring about but when animal welfare comes before the welfare of mankind I think something is terribly skewed and priorities need to be re-evaluated. There are people working 40, 60, even 80 hours a week and still barely able to feed their family and I don't know about anyone else but I see a real problem with that. We have a national deficit that is outrageous, government officials squandering money that they stole from those hard working people barely scraping by but people are more concerned with keeping the food on the dinner plate happy. People, we need a wake up call. Animals should be happy and taken care of but don't people deserve the same...even more?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I just watched an amazing YouTube video about agriculture. It is a must see!! It's called One Hungry Planet by BASF Ag Products. If you've ever wondered about the history of farming or wanted to know how it has grown and evolved this is the video to see.

Just one click and you're don't want to miss this.

Well, what did you think? Was I right or was I right? Come on, tell me true...did you love it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

American Farming--Something to Appreciate

Yet another great blog from FBlog, written by fellow pork producer Chris Chinn.

Farming in America
by Chris Chinn

I spent the last two weeks in Europe with my ALOT (Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow) Class learning about agriculture in France, Belgium and England. It was a great learning experience and one that opened my eyes to how fortunate I am to farm and live in America.

We learned a great deal about the EU farm policy known as CAP and we had great conversations with farmers from the EU. The one thing that stood out to me was hearing that the EU Common Ag Policy (CAP) was focused on feeding the EU, not feeding the world. As American farmers, our concern is not only feeding the people in our country, but to feed people in other countries as well who don't have the resources (land) we do in the United States to produce food.

We learned that approximately 50% of a farmer’s net income in the EU comes from government direct payments. The government sets the price which farmers receive for the goods they produce. They also do not want the farmers to over produce so there are incentives or penalties in place to prohibit farmers from producing too much. As a result, the cost of food in the EU is higher than what we pay in America because the farmers are not allowed to run their farms efficiently and the increased regulations add to their cost of production.

Each farmer we spoke with told us they didn’t want to be farming for a direct payment check. Each farmer wanted less government involvement in their farms but they knew that wasn’t a possibility. The farmers told us groups outside of agriculture were influencing how policy was set in the EU.

After visiting with the EU farmers and representatives of the EU Commission on Agriculture, I realized how great it is to farm in America. I also realized if American Farmers don’t stand up and speak out about how we farm, we could find ourselves in a similar situation to the EU farmers with more regulations that run up our cost of production. If this happens, the cost of food in America will be much higher than what it is today, and every American will be challenged with how to put food on their dinner table.

This article really puts things in perspective and helps farmers and ranchers appreciate what we have here in the U.S. It's easy to loose sight of how lucky we Americans are especially when we hear more negatives than positives about our industry. As Americans, we tend to live by the "out of sight, out of mind" rule but that is really hurting agriculture in this country, among other things. Chris Chinn had an amazing opportunity to see what agriculture is like outside of our U.S. bubble. Hopefully, this article will encourage other farmers and ranchers to tell their story and correct the misconceptions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Introducing BaconCam--Playing at a YouTube Near You

Drum roll please................The BaconCam is officially up and running! I'm no Spielberg and even though my films are rough around the edges at least now we can give the world a first hand view of a modern hog farm from a farm family's perspective. In Modern Hog Production Part 1 A Family Affair viewers can see how our family pulls together to get the job done--even the kids, although they mostly just play.

Modern hog production has been a controversial issue for some time now. I've heard things like CAFOs are "factory farms that cause animal abuse" and that "CAFOs aren't real farms." I've also heard people say, "Those big hog businesses are putting family farmers out of business." It's past time the pork industry got some positive press. I hope this video, which is only the first of many, will help others to understand modern hog production for what it is--a family affair.

What did you think of the film? Was it what you expected? Do you have something special you would like the BaconCam to film? Please drop me a line in the comments box. I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hold On To Your Hams--Exciting News

Great news!! The Bacon Blogger has now been viewed in four, count 'em, four countries. But that is only part one of my exciting news. What is part two, you may ask.......


Yep folks, our piglets will be arriving tomorrow and we can't wait. I even took a few days off work so I could help with the piggies. Our kids are looking forward to playing with the little snouts too.

Hold on to your hams folks, that's not all!!! There is a part three.....

Photo courtesy of PorkConnection

We will be introducing the BaconCam to YouTube in the next few days. Don't worry bloggers, I will provide a link to every video. The BaconCam will show tours of the farm and the ins and outs of hog production. Everything from how we feed them to what we do with the feed after it comes back out of them. We want to share the process with you all so everyone can see what it takes to get that bacon on your BLT.

Photo from

Phew! I can't take this much excitement.

Do you have something special you would like to see on the BaconCam? Drop your suggestions in the comments section and we will do our best to show what you are most curious about. See you on the Flip side.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I've Been Flagged Abusive!?

Greetings my Bacon Bloggers! I wanted to let you all know that The Bacon Blogger has been flagged as abusive on facebook. I put this picture on facebook with a link to this blog and it was flagged as abusive.
Please someone tell me the abusive part. Inquiring minds want to know!
If anyone is concerned or confused about our family's business please don't hesitate to ask, the comments section is always open. See for yourself.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

First of Many Photo Farm Tour

Have you ever wondered what the inside of those big white barns with the giant fans look like? If you haven't seen one yet or if you've only seen what anti-aggies have posted, here's your chance to see the real deal from a real family farmer. I will be starting a little photo tour of our barn so everyone can see the process of raising pigs. In this first one the barn is empty to show how clean it is before the pigs come in. You can also see the shear size of it, this thing is huge.
Here are a few pictures to show the length of this barn. It's a heck of a long walk to the end!
Before every group of new pigs we have our barns power washed and disinfected to ensure that our piggies come into the cleanest environment possible. We also take this time to do work on the barns, repairing what needs be repaired and performing routine maintenance on the barns. Once we're done cleaning this barn it is cleaner than most homes! Doesn't it look brand new?

This is my husband, Aaron. He's fixing the water lines using his carpenter stilts. Beats a ladder!

Soon the baby piggies will be here and we can't wait to show them to you! I'll keep you updated bloggers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Request For Help

Forgive me Bacon Bloggers, for I have been away far too long. I apologize for my absence but their has been a death in the family. We laid my beloved grandmother to rest over the weekend. However, that is not the only dilemma I have been facing this week. I recently received a new flip video ultra and I've been filming the barns. I've been trying to post some videos on my blog and I can't seem to upload them. I was hoping some of you would have some advice.

I have saved the videos on my computer, clicked on the Internet/share button and selected to share on "other web sites," then I used the "Insert video" button on blogger. After I "browsed" and selected the video I clicked on "upload" and several hours later it is still not loaded. Any clues as to what I am doing wrong????

Please leave your suggestions in the comment area. Thank you in advance!

Please, please, please help!! I want to post these videos and there are many more to come. HELP!