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Pork: Be Inspired

April 7, 2011

Less than two months ago I first wrote about Flying Pigs Farm. They are an amazing pork producer that is less than fifty miles northeast of Albany and just about twenty-five miles east of Saratoga Springs.

Then I got a bit upset when I found out why one cannot find their products locally.

But I just got some encouraging news from the farm this week. They are starting a ten-week meat CSA, starting on May 10, 2011. Initially this was just going to be available for pick-up at the farm in Sushan or down in New York City. However, if they can secure a modest number of subscribers, they will establish a Capital Region drop-off.

All Over Albany mentioned this a full three days ago, with links to all the details. Me, I may be a bit late to the game, but I’m going to try and sell this thing.

First the good news:
We only need 20-25 subscribers
to make this happen. And the program looks wonderful. It’s head to tail eating, with each week consisting of one piece of solid muscle meat and three other meaty treats.

This is from the farm’s .pdf

Week One: Pork chops, smoked sliced bacon, sausage and rillettes.
Week Two: Shoulder, hot dogs, liverwurst, and smoked hock.
Week Three: Pork chops, sausage, smoked sliced bacon, and fresh shank.
Week Four: Blade roast, kielbasa, sausage, and rendered leaf lard.
Week Five: Cutlets, ground sirloin, smoked ham steak, and sausage.

Other treats in weeks six through ten involve spare ribs, an actual tail, and a piecrust made with their leaf lard. Along with each shipment come recipes and instructions for what to do with what you’ve got. I’m really curious to see what they suggest you do with the tail.

While these delights regularly sell out at the farmers markets, CSA members have a secured supply.

The catch:
Flying Pigs Farm products are not inexpensive.

Ten weeks of the CSA will set you back $550, which is a reported savings of $50 if you were to buy all the items a la carte. And if you get your money to the farm before April 18, you can take off an additional $20. Plus they are throwing in a Flying Pigs Farm hat to all subscribers.

There is no question about it that $50 a week is a lot to spend on a modest amount of meat. The estimated quantity of each package of meat can be found here.

Frankly, that is more meat than we eat in a week here at the Fussy household. But even still, I’m seriously considering it, mostly because it sounds just too delicious to pass up. While I know I could source happy leaf lard if I wanted it, I won’t. But this delicate fat, which was the precursor to shortening, makes me swoon. Maybe it’s just the cholesterol talking. But if it just showed up, not only would I be compelled to use it, I would also be inspired to start baking.

Plus, I love pork. I do.

It’s not so hard to find reasonably happy chickens. But finding pork from pigs that were sustainably and ethically raised is difficult, especially once my CSA kicks in and I rarely find myself at the farmers markets. And Flying Pigs Farm goes even one step further, by raising delicious heritage breed pigs.

I would love to have a freezer full of happy bacon.
I am dreaming of their rillettes.
I want to eat their liverwurst.

The other thing I find about CSAs is that in some ways it’s easier to spend a large chunk of money upfront than it is to contemplate the price of happy meat on every trip to the market.

Certainly this is not for everyone, but we only need to find twenty people.

Surely we can do that. Right? Right! If you are interested, email farmer Mike at mike@flyingpigsfarm.com or call him at (518) 854-3844. And if you are not interested, but know someone else who might be, please pass this along to them. The clock is ticking, and so is our chance to show a dynamite local farm that they are appreciated close to home.

And don’t forget, only 16 more days to vote in the Times Union Best of the Capital Region poll.  Here is the ballot that I have submitted, for your consideration.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Shawn permalink
    April 7, 2011 10:00 am

    If I can talk my wife into this … I’m in.

  2. April 7, 2011 10:25 am

    Hello Everyone. Greg from Flying Pigs Farm here. Because of the great response we’ve received from the Capital Area, we’ve decided to offer a CSA pickup location!

    Please check out our website for more details. Accepting orders now!

    http://flyingpigsfarm.com/purchase-products/through-our-csa/

  3. Jenny on the Block permalink
    April 7, 2011 12:18 pm

    I’m looking for someone in the Buckingham Pond area of Albany to split a share with me. Since they have laid out what they are offering in which weeks, it shouldn’t be too hard to split relatively evenly. There are only a few things we would need to compromise on (I’m happy to give up the liverwurst!).

    • April 7, 2011 12:30 pm

      Jenny – I’m over by Crestwood Plaza and would love to split a share with you. I will gladly take the liverwurst. I think we could do it by going through the weeks where you would get the chops on week 1 and 7 and I would get them week 3 and 9 etc. Email me at cato1076@hotmail.com
      ~Chrystal

  4. April 7, 2011 12:18 pm

    We’re already set with a couple Roxbury pork shares for the coming season, but they don’t include leaf lard. I’ll have to speak to them about that.

  5. April 7, 2011 10:08 pm

    I urge all of you to also check out Tilldale Farm in Hoosick (http://www.longviewlambs.com/pdf/Tilldale_Brochure.pdf) for grass-fed, pasture-raised, heritage-breed beef and pork. I’m not positive if the prices on this brochure are still current, but it says their CSA is $270 for 30 lbs. of meat. We have been bartering loaves with JoAnne & Dan Tilley for almost a year (we met them at the Delmar Farmers Market, we’re both vendors) – they are warm and welcoming people deeply involved in the farming community. The bacon is thick, flavorful and TO DIE FOR – it’s nothing like what you get from Hannaford. Everything we’ve tried from the Tilleys (and we’ve tried it all, even got some hamhocks) has literally been the best meat we’ve ever tasted. We stopped being vegan soon after we started working the market next to Tilldale….that should tell you something.

    Not looking to compete with the CSA you’re offering here, just sayin’ how wonderful & worth it responsibly raised beef & pork are to us (no antibiotics or hormones), and if you’re considering joining a meat CSA, our family recommends it.

  6. Ewan permalink
    May 12, 2011 10:12 am

    Picked up the first batch yesterday; but sadly it seems that there were only 4 signups (!!) in Albany, so it may not continue even for this season.

    I confess, even I got some grief for spending this much money, in advance, on pork; but the first set of meat looks absolutely fabulous..

  7. Shawn permalink
    May 12, 2011 11:14 am

    We ate the sausage last night. Amazing stuff.

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