Palmetto Creek Farms

Palmetto Creek Farms is an independently run family farm located in Avon Park, FL where Jim Wood raises the Hereford breed of pigs in wide open spaces.  His pigs are free to root around in the soil, take mud baths, take shelter under shade, and roam about freely, expressing their pigness as nature intended. 
Palmetto Creek Farm is unique in being the only USDA slaughter facility that operates on the same premises that the animals are raised.   If limiting food miles is a concern of yours, then this is the farm for you.
Jim operates a transparent farm and is eager to have chefs come out to visit him and witness first-hand the quality of life he provides for his animals.  
Read about our last trip to Palmetto Creek Farms on the Hinckley's Fancy Meats blog.

FARM PROFILE

A statement about the diet of Jim's pigs taken from the Palmetto Creek Farms website:
"First lets talk about diet.  We will compare the two extremes of Show pigs and meat quality hogs.  Show pigs would normaly be fed a diet of around 22 to 24 percent protein feed.  The reason for this is if you feed high protien feed the hog puts on more muscle and less fat ( both intermuscular and back fat).  If you feed a lower protein diet of 10 or 12 percent protein the hog will put on less muscle and more fat.
    What is prefered is a balance between the high fat and low fat hog. We feed a 16 percent protein which works well with our breed of hog.  This gives us just about the right amount of fat both in the muscle and on the back.  Commodity hogs run between 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch of back fat.  Our hogs run between 3/4 and 1 inch of back fat.      Also you need a good amount of intramuscular fat.  This gives you your flavor and tenderness like in a good steak.
    Secondly you need good genitics for meat quality. As most of you know the Berkshire is known for meat quality.  This is because the fat has not been bred out of this breed as bad as most other breeds.  The same is true of the Hereford. Another genitic trait that both breeds share is the meat is at a near neutral ph.  This trait effects the meats ability to retain water in the muscle better than supermarket pork.
    Third the enviroment in which the animal is raised determines how much exercise and stress the animal is exposed to.  Just like with people to little exercise or to much stress can effect the muscles of the animal and also the meat quality.  It is our belief that exercise allows more oxygen in the blood to travel throughout the meat of the hog which provides meat with more redness in color."

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