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Pork Processing Workshop

Saturday to Monday - October 10 to 12, 2015
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Food provided.

Sustainable agriculture doesn’t end at harvest. Efficient use of every crop component is an important part of sustainable production. This hands-on workshop will demonstrate how you can get the most and the best out of an organic, pasture-raised pig, from slaughter to sausage, using every part but the squeal.

The workshop will cover all the basic techniques of humane slaughter, carcass preparation, breakdown of the major components, and demonstrations of sanitary fresh and preservative processing using the entire animal.

The Nose to Tail Pork Processing Workshop will take place at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity. All equipment for the workshop will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring own knives if they would prefer working with those. Lunch will be provided each day and will include a variety of fresh pork cuts.

2015 Registration fees:

All three days: $350 for non-members; $300 for members (per person)

Journeypersons FREE

Fees cover materials, take-home documentation, a light breakfast and a delicious lunch each day.


Call MOFGA at 207-568-4142

This event sells out very quickly. Each year we maintain a wait list to cover cancellations. Please note that by submitting your wait list fee you are not guaranteed a space in the course, but will be kept on the wait list for the next available space. The MOFGA office will contact you as soon as possible to let you know once a space opens.

Interested in work exchange for this year's workshop? Call the MOFGA office for more details. Limited to 3 people.

Eric Rector, who founded this workshop in 2003, will guide the sessions on all three days, joined by a team of leaders who will direct each day's activities.

      The workshop will be guided by chef Fergus Henderson’s notion that “it would be disingenuous to the animal not to make the most of the whole beast; there is a set of delights, textural and flavorsome, which lie beyond the fillet.” Together with hands-on demonstrations, the workshop will include discussions of hog husbandry, a review of state regulations on meat slaughter and processing, the preparation of recipes for fresh and preserved meat, tastings of various finished products, and the history and tradition of putting up meat for the winter.

      On Day One we will demonstrate humane slaughter, and the efficient preparation of the carcass for subsequent processing. Pigs will be processed in two ways; one will be scalded and scraped, the other skinned. Participants will have the opportunity to safely participate in the harvest and processing.

      After creating a clean carcass ready to be broken down into primal cuts, there will be a traditional butcher’s picnic, serving several primal parts of the butchered pig to give thanks to the workers and the animal itself. Following lunch we will cover a history of the animal, discuss hog husbandry and feeding. Day One will be led by Paul Schultz of King Hill Farm and Everett Ottinger of Nettie Fox Farm.

      Day Two will begin by taking the cooled carcass and breaking it further into the major cuts: shoulder, loin, bacon, and hams. Each cut will be considered for its properties, and we will demonstrate storage and preparation of all cuts, including methods of salting and smoking the meats. Paul and Everett will lead this section along with guest chefs and butchers who will lead the section on carcass breakdown.

      On Day Three, we will further process cuts into fresh and preserved finished products, including sausage (fresh and cured), ham, bacon, pates, and lard processing. Various cures (wet and dry) will be discussed and demonstrated. Eric will lead the third day assisted by Paul and Everett as well as other visiting food enthusiasts.



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