Doug Zemanek is going hog wild.
Zemanek and his wife operate Pork Stork, a farm that delivers pork products to the doorstep of their customers.
Early in November, Pork Stork participated in a pumpkin recycling event at Far Gohn Brewing Company - using the pumpkins donated to help feed their army of about 150 pigs.
The idea came about as Jon Carter, of the Culpeper Rugby Club, suggested the idea to Zemanek. Pork Stork sponsors the rugby group and has ties in Culpeper as they feed their pigs spent grain from Far Gohn and also get grain from Belmont Farms Distillery.
Zemanek set up at Far Gohn Nov. 1 and 3 and accepted pumpkins to feed his pigs.
“It gives us a chance to meet customers, talk to them a little bit about our pigs and they can sample our products,” Zemanek said.
Pork Stork farms on 170 acres in Orange County and provides all cuts of meat to its customers. Zemanek said the pork chops are the most popular but also said sausage and bacon are some strong sellers.
He retired about three years ago and decided to start a farm with his wife, who is originally from Germany and whose family used to operate a dairy farm.
“We try to manage the amount of pigs on the amount of product we can sell,” Zemanek said. “We wanted something to keep us busy. She grew up on a dairy farm but always wanted to raise pigs.”
Zemanek said he had no experience farming but they’ve learned a lot about farming and breeding in three short years.
“It keeps me going, it’s a lot of outdoor work,” Zemanek said. “We do a lot of the manual labor ourselves. We made our own boards for our sheds.”
Pork Stork travels to farmer’s markets in Charlottesville and Bethesda, Md. and elsewhere. They have their meat processed in Fauquier County and have a select assortment of sausages - Italian, chorizo brats and others.
They raise two breeds - Large Black and Red Wattle.
“They’re designed to be very good foragers and have excellent tasting meat,” Zemanek said.
They start harvesting the pigs when they are a year old and have a hanging weight of 200 pounds. They feed them nuts, grass, spent grain, pumpkins and regular feed as well.
“When people buy our meat and taste it and people come back and say we have the best tasting pork chops,” Zemanek said.
They sell the pork chops for $10 a pound, bacon for $11 a pound and sausage is $9 a pound.
For more about Pork Stork, visit www.porkstork.com.