2nd Annual Old Fashioned Hog Killing

December 3, 2005--Posted at 7:00 p.m. CDT

CLOVER BEND, AR--Believe it or not there wasn't always a day when you could run to the store and get fresh meat. When a family would kill a hog it was usually a multi-family event where people came together to process the meat. Before the days of Wal-Mart and your local grocery store families would kill their own livestock for meat.

"It's a really historic way that we don't practice anymore, we just go to the store and buy our meat under plastic and we think that is where it comes from," said Danielle Russell, organizer of the 2nd Annual Old Fashioned Hog Killing.

Once fall rolled around farms turned to a southern favorite for their meat....pork.

"Almost everyone had hogs, raised hogs, and got together at the first frost and killed one hog," said Russell.

Saturday at the Clover Bend Historic Site inLawrence County the past was remembered with the 2nd Annual Old Fashioned Hog Killing.

"This not so much like a Civil War re-enactment but it is definitely a re-enactment," said Russell.

Both young and old participated as several generations revisited this age old tradition.

"The first step is to boil it in iron kettles, then scald the hog with the water, that loosens the bristles and then you scrape the hair off," said Russell.

By scraping off the hair the skin is able to be turned into pork rinds and crackling.

"After it is scraped you hang it up on the a-frame, cut up, and the meat is processed," said Russell.

So whether you like ham, bacon, or shoulder roast there is a little bit of everything when they cut up the entire hog.

"It is important to understand that there were times when you raised an animal and used all of it, you ate the liver even if you didn't like it," said Russell.
For region 8 native, Ceburn Christopher, events like this are a great way to actively teach children about the past.

"The historical society here does this so people can see how we used to do it," said Christopher.

It's an experience these kids won't soon forget next time they eat pork chops. All of the meat from today's hog killing was dispersed among the volunteers who helped with the event.