I grew up on a farm. Growing up that way, you feel more connected to your food, especially where meat is concerned. Taking responsibility for the animals which give their lives is easier to do when you see their face every day as you care for them, rather than seeing meat magically appear on a styrofoam tray at the grocery store.
Last year we purchased a side of beef. While the meat was local, antibiotic and hormone free, and grazed in the pastures, I found that something else was missing besides just knowing the animal. Growing up on a farm also had a sense of community. Neighbors would help when it came time to butcher the animals. Food, whether raised or grown, was shared and traded, helping to build that community.
When some friends recently offered to sell us a pig, the community aspect felt a bit closer. Not only were we supporting a local farmer, we were supporting someone we knew. Since we weren’t wanting to purchase an entire hog for our own family at the moment, we ended up buying it and splitting it with three other families, adding a greater sense of community. And then, my husband came up with his own city twist on community food.
The processing plant was located near a fun and affordable golf course. My husband enjoys golf but doesn’t get to play very often. In fact, it had been a couple of years ago. He came up with the idea of golf and pig day. The guys worked long hours that week so they could take off on Friday and headed out for a relaxing day of golf before picking up the pig and heading back to someone’s house to divvy up the wrapped packages.
I won’t say that the community feel is quite the same as the turkey parties I remember from my childhood, but I was happy to see my husband embracing this aspect of our food.
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