By Rob Gaston, April 23rd, 2014
Heather Hill is one of central Indiana’s best known pork producers, and has been involved at Dig IN both by providing product and being a presenter at the speaker’s series. Her story is best told in her own words: “I have been involved in grain and hog farming with my husband Marc for more than 10 years at Hill Farms in Greenfield, IN. He is the fifth generation of his family to be on the farm. We market 12,000 pigs a year. The grain grown on our farm is used to feed our pigs. Our operation is farrow to finish which means the pigs are bred, born and raised on our farm until they go to market. We have three children.”
A lot of Hill’s product goes to processing facilities such as the Indiana Packers Corporation in Delphi, but at the same time sells direct to the consumer under the label “The Pork Shoppe”. Her product can be found at the fairground farmer’s market in Greenfield, as well as at Tuttle Orchards and online at www.HoosierHarvestmarket.com. Since the Hills send to large processing facilities, you’ve likely eaten her pork at some point under a brand name label on the grocery store shelf, and likes the consistent standards and quality that comes from grocery store packages.
Her favorite way to prepare pork? As with many Indiana farmers, Hill prefers the simple approach to accentuate the flavor of farm fresh meat: “To me, nothing beats a pork burger on the grill…you can always purchase ground pork and patty it yourself using whatever spices you want to include.” Here is a quick and easy recipe that she recommends: http://www.porkbeinspired.com/RecipeDetail/550/Pork_Burgers_on_Sandwich_Buns.aspx
Finally, some advice on what to look for when finding quality cuts of meat: “When purchasing fresh pork cuts, you want the meat to be a reddish pink color and firm to the touch. You also do not want to see moisture exuding out of the product.”