My husband and I are retired and have taken up good eatin' as a serious hobby. We get our beef grass fed from a nearby ranch and just bought our first whole hog from a local farmer. We have some land here in central British Columbia and our dream is to raise our own piggies on it. For now, though, buying a happy pig, raised locally, is good enough for us.
We got most of our pig wrapped and frozen from the butcher but requested a shoulder, 2 hams, 2 hocks, and some pork belly delivered fresh. We rubbed the pork bellies with cure and, a week later, smoked them. Delicious, even though the more we learn the more we realize all that we did wrong. We are brining the hams and hocks and will smoke them next week.
The fresh shoulder became Cochinita Pibil which we have greatly enjoyed in Mexico. My husband added preserved lemons and a splash of fish pickle to the pibil which was a knockout success.
The cost of the hung weight of our pork was over $ 2 a pound (things are always more expensive in Canada, the price of living in a big country with a tiny population) but worth every dime so far.
We are looking forward to learning more on this site and asking some questions on the forums.