|Chris Birky talks about how he breeds his pigs for consistently tasty pork.|
Jeff and I took a trip out to Birky Family Farms on Saturday for their Spring Fest. We were lured in by the $1 brats. When we arrived we found they had several different kinds of brats to choose from: original, smokey, Polish and Cajun. We tried three different kinds and Jeff and I both agreed the Polish, with it's bolder garlic flavor, was our favorite. We also agreed that we'd pass on the sauerkraut and say yes to grilled peppers and onion and of course yellow mustard.
For a cold and windy spring day, their was a steady stream of people going into the country store and a line ordering brats. Many folks left with a sack full of brats to share.
Birky Farms is a small family business in north west Indiana between Valparaiso and Malden, it's centered around raising quality pork. They feed their pigs no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no animal by-products, no steroids, and no paylean.
This family does it all from the breeding, raising and even helping with the butchering. In addition to the pigs they no-till farm 1500 acres. They also reach out to their community and church to stock their Country Market which is located at the front of the drive right on the farm. They sell locally sourced maple syrup (tapped this spring), eggs, cheese, pork, beef, chicken, baked goods and preserves.
Chis Birky welcomed us when we pulled up and said hello to every person who stopped by. He answered all sorts of questions. When I asked him to give me his elevator speech about his farm. He looked at me oddly and I had to explain that I wasn't talking about corn elevators. To be fair we had just been discussing where he gets his pig feed.
Chris took the time to talk with us and even show us his sows, this group is about three weeks along. I learned a lot about pigs and how he selectively breeds a combination of Durocs, Yorkshires, Landrace and Chester White to raise healthy pigs that give healthy pork.
|A pair of goats make excellent weed eaters around the barns.|
We'll be going back for their Friday lunches this summer and to buy butter and meat. I'm grateful to have a farmer with such high standards just ten miles down the road.