Milk-fed pork? This seems like a bizarre combination, but this is what the Jensen’s say makes their pork so tender.
Mark and Jennifer Jensen, along with their four children: Dawson, Audrey, Olivia and Jay own and operate a small, organic family farm – Sutton Ridge Farm – in Jordan, Minnesota, southwest of the Twin Cities. The 80 acre farm is home to 8 pigs, 20 sheep, 31 cows, a few barn cats and a variety of crops.
Eight years ago they bought the farm and moved their family out of the city because they knew it would provide many memories and opportunities for their children and allow Jennifer to expand her passion for gardening.
Raising pigs was not a thought until pork prices spiked. Jennifer thought, “We should raise our own pigs!” Even though she didn’t have experience, but she did have unwavering determination driven by her passion for nutrition. Raising hogs would provide quality meat at a much lower price for their family and neighboring families.
That first year they started with three piglets, and through the help of neighbors six years latter Sutton Ridge Farm is still raising hogs and living out Jennifer’s dream.
Why a Pig’s Diet is so Important-
“A pig, more than any other animal is what it eats. If a pig has a regular diet of apples, the meat will taste sweet. If they eat acorns, the flavor will be nutty. If they eat bakery waste or ‘garbage’, guess what? You won’t want to eat it.” Said Jennifer.
This is why their pigs eat fresh produce from their garden and orchard and a variety freshly-ground grains grown on the farm, in addition of their daily buckets of milk.
Sutton Ridge Farm is forging their own path by not excluding traditional feed- corn and soy beans- from their pigs’ diets. They have found that the grains negatively affect their meat’s flavor profile, instead of enhancing it like the other foods they receive.
Better Taste through a Stress-Free Life-
When first starting the Jensen’s made a commitment to raise their livestock with respect to ensure they live good lives before transitioning into the food chain. Fostering a stress-free life not only makes the pigs happier, which positively affects the meat. When they are unhappy or stressed their bodies release hormones that creates “off-flavors” in the meat.
Learn More about Sutton Ridge Farm by vising their website