To offset some of our homestead feed expenses, we began raising extra steers and pigs each year, selling quarters and halves of meat (nicely cut, wrapped, and frozen) to buyers from not only around here, but many miles away as well. Thanks to my daughter-in-law Kelly’s oral advertisement for our meat at her work, we have landed orders for a whole processed pig and two steers. We delivered our first pork yesterday and everyone was happy. The buyers didn’t want the ground fat to render for lard, so they gave it to us. Now we have another bag of fat to render. I do it in the oven so it is very quick and easy, making totally wonderful sealed jars of pure white lard to line our pantry shelves. The processor has a local company smoke the bacon and hams and they do a scrumptious job of it, too. We are enjoying some of our own pig’s bacon and it’s sure hard to stop eating it.



Since livestock feed is so expensive, we’ve found that raising animals to sell as processed meat is a better way to recoup our costs than simply selling live animals at the auction barn. It more than doubles our profit. And as feed is twice as high, it lets us at least break even and have our own meat nearly for free. But I sure wouldn’t want to raise more than this as the ongoing feed costs nearly eat us alive. A few is great though.



The temperatures are moderating and we’ve actually had thawing here for the last two days. That’s sure a blessing as it’s been one cold winter and the snow’s stacking up pretty high. I’m glad spring is just around the corner. I saw a big flock of evening grossbeaks in the trees yesterday — the first we’ve had for months. Wow, was that nice! I’ve got to get the sunflower seeds out for them.

Oh, just a reminder to those of you who are tossing around the idea of coming to our August seminar, folks are getting signed up and so far there are still spaces left. If you are wanting to come, it’d be best to get your deposit in so we can save your space. There’s only space for 15 people so we can give everyone personal attention. — Jackie


  1. Lisa and others,

    Right now, our beef is selling for $3.75 a pound, hanging weight, cut, wrapped and frozen to your specs. This could change with market prices this summer, but we’ll try to hold prices down as long as we can. Like with the pork, I could deliver the meat to you at my son, Bill’s, at Kerrick (near Sturgeon Lake, MN). We should have several steers available for butcher this summer as they weigh about 750 now and are growing.

  2. we’d be interested in a whole pig, friend of mine would love a half of it. then if Lisa still wanted half you would be able to sell one and a half, hope that helps you out. also I think I told you daughter would like a quarter and so would we. wow am I excited, hope that income tax check comes soon. that’s two quarter of beef. also if your chickens are laying then I’d like to buy a bunch of eggs that are free range, oh wait–it’s the chickens that are free range, not the eggs. LOL

  3. Marlene

    we might be up for the other half as well. when would the pig be ready and when would the beef be ready for slaughter…just checking finances, etc. I emailed my specifics, phone,etc to Jackie, hopefully we can get in touch soon.

  4. daughter and I would be interested in each a quarter of a steer, could ask around and maybe find a home for the other half, so excited to taste good homegrown meat. could you quote us a price please, or an approximate? thank you so much.

  5. Marlene,

    You don’t have to give a deposit or pay in advance. You can shoot me an e-mail at so could Lisa and I could put you two in touch if that would work for you gals.


  6. So Marlene…I think I might have found you on Pinterest (which of course I am not a member of) and possibly in Circle Pines. Maybe we can meet up somewhere near there or County E? or 96? Anyways, I am just a little South of Larpenteur and a tad east of Lexington..bordering south of Roseville. that?? :-) Sorry about being a luddite… just dont’ get into much technology. hope to connect with you soon. Lisa

  7. Marlene
    sorry i haven’t got ahold of you..i am a luddite, so trying to maneuver thru facebook wasn’t working well for me. We are still interested, also on beef, but i figure that won’t be for a couple of months now. where do you reside in the twin cities? have a great monday.


  8. Oh Jackie, that would be wonderful . how do we go about putting $ down on it? or do we just pay you? we would like to purchase a half a pig. and do we give instructions to the butcher or to you? Lisa do you want in on this or should i see if someone else wants to? thanks Jackie and Will. Marlene

  9. Marlene and others,

    I could save you folks in the Cities 100 miles by meeting you with the pork at my son, Bill’s place down by Sturgeon Lake if it’d help.

  10. Carol,

    I grind the fat then put it in my big turkey roasting pan. It goes in the oven at about 250 degrees and the lard just melts out. After most of it is done, I pour it off to strain it through a sieve lined with a piece of clean old sheet. Then it is quickly ladled while still very hot into sterilized jars. A hot, previously simmered new lid is put on and the ring screwed down firmly tight. It’s done! The jars seal and stay great for months in the pantry. No processing needed.

  11. Wally,

    You bet it smells great! And, mmmmm the flavor can’t be beat. Nothing in this world like it.

  12. Pat,

    While Will and I can and have done butchering of large farm animals, we both have bad backs and prefer to pay the processing, cutting, wrapping, smoking fee. Yep, we’d like to make a little profit on our meat but if we get our own meat for little cost, it’s a trade off we don’t mind.

  13. Marlene, Linda and Sue,

    Our pork prices right now are $2.75 a pound, hanging weight (without skin, head and innards). This includes processing, freezing and smoking of hams and bacon. Our animals are all raised happily and naturally, having access to pasture and sunshine. The hanging weight varies but averages about 200 pounds. Right now we have 3 pigs nearing butcher weight.
    We are about 80 miles north of Duluth.

  14. How do you can the rendered lard? Do you just heat it to liquid and put it in sterile jars with sterile lids or do you need to pressure can or water bath?

  15. I just wanted to let you know your bacon looks very good. I can almost hear it cooking and I know it would smell great.

  16. Do you process and butcher the hog yourselves? If you have the butchering and processing done doesn’t that really cut into your profits (with the price of feed so high).

  17. Jackie-

    I too would like to know your prices on your hogs. My husband and I make all our own sausages and smoke our own bacon, so it would be kind of interesting to know what your price is. Also, we have a 10 acre hobby farm in Sturgeon Lake, MN so we would not have to travel far.


    Sue and Marco

  18. Jackie and Marlene

    I am from the twin cities too, so marlene if the price works, maybe we can go in halfsies or some other arrangement. I reside over in the st. paul area of como park. we should hook up if you would like. I always love talking with people that enjoy Jackie.


  19. could you give me a $ on half a pig? steer? how many miles are you from the twin cities? thank you Ms. Jackie & mr. Will.

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