“The Family Pig” Complete Harvest

(4 customer reviews)


The Family Pig is an earnest and winsome course in domestic pig raising, harvesting and eating. Inspired by the pig, we go deep and wide in the preservation of pork, the salting of bacon, the harvesting of innards, the carving of flesh and the unreproved indulgence in fat and salt. You take with you not only a package of educational material and sausage of your own making, but the working knowledge of harvesting two pigs from the field to the two-year-old prosciutto hanging in your kitchen.



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Additional information

Course Dates

Aug. 20th-22nd, 2020, Jan. 14th-16th, 2021, Jan. 28th-30th, 2021

4 reviews for “The Family Pig” Complete Harvest

  1. Philip Honzay

    Having not taken an extended leisurely journey since our marriage over three years prior, this class with the Sheards became the de facto honeymoon for my wife and me. We couldn’t have enjoyed it more! The 3-days of working with our hands, learning when there are narrower margins for error and when personal preference and taste should be your guide rather than strict rules, was helpful in building an understanding and confidence in the process from kill to plate.
    Since then we’ve successfully been able to begin the process of rebuilding the hog harvest tradition my family farmstead had known with previous generations. Thank you Farmstead Meatsmith!

    • Brandon Sheard

      Thank you Phil! Great to hear from you. Kind words and I’m glad the knowledge has been put to use. I keep thinking this kind of class would be a great vacation for Brandon and I too someday 🙂

  2. Jaculin Dougher

    Taking 3 days off was challenging for me, but so very worth it. Your little bit of heaven in the Northwest is beautiful and a perfect location to “pack it all in” (pun intended). I am not quite ready to embark on solo butchering right now as I would describe myself as a 120# Chef de Cuisine in the making. I am however now confident I could enlist enough help to actually do this! What a wealth of knowledge you both have. By melding old world secrets with modern day triumphs your talents have produced a true gem. I can’t wait to enjoy prosciutto and your humble recipes are genuinely brilliant in their simplicity. I was so excited to share all my pictures while my family remarked how delicious the plunders from the class were. Truly farm to table is amazing and you are providing a remarkable resource to resurrect an almost lost art. Keep up the podcasts and your Newsletter is invaluable.
    Thank you and Blessings to your beautiful family.
    Jaculin Dougher Nov 2018 class alumni

  3. Ken Smith (verified owner)

    Brandon is one of those teachers that I would seek to study with even if I had no interest his craft, so in love is he with his art. He embodies the lesson he wishes to share. It is an incredible gift to be welcomed to his home and to have access to him in an intimate setting for three days.

    One of the things I learned that was most surprising is how straightforward many of the techniques are. All of the recipies can basically be boiled down to starting with well cared for animals, treat them with respect, maybe even reverence, honor the fat, and add salt. I’m much less intimidated by the idea of preserving meat so that it ‘goes good’ and am comforted by my favorite mantra from the class, ‘fat is forgiveness’.

    There is a more rambling review, with pictures, here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/ken-smith/charcuterie-class/10161850187240523/

  4. Carrie Nyden (verified owner)

    The Farmstead Meatsmith class is nothing short of life changing. To experience everything from the slaughter to breaking down the pig to making some of the after products is empowering. I have been removed from the food system my entire life, so learning and experiencing these skills helped me overcome deep-seated fears and gave me confidence that I can do this on my own.

    Brandon is incredibly patient, thorough, and listens to everyone’s comments and questions. There is a sense of community and lack of judgement throughout the class. I think Lauren and Brandon embody both of those values and they come through to the students. For me, these values were impactful since many group classes (not necessarily in the slaughtering realm, but in butchering, cookery, etc) don’t embody these and I can fall in the trap of perfection and comparison.

    It was really neat to meet and work alongside people who value traditional methods, well raised meat, good food, and nourishing their family and communities. Coming from a city, this isn’t something I’m used to being around. In the city, food seemed either consumed out of convenience or pure aesthetics – not focused on the farmer, the animal, sourcing, and how to help the health of the community as a whole.

    Before this class, in listening to their podcast, their lessons have impacted my and my fiancés choices and how we’ve chosen to lead our lives going forward. It was incredible to be immersed in their world, meet their children, and experience a bit of how they lead their lives. Thank you Brandon and Lauren!

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