Bill and Paula Koch of Thistle Down Farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky, have been in pursuit of perfect pork for more than 25 years. Thistle Down Farm is a family affair born from a three-prong passion: Bill’s worldwide search for the best tasting pork and the ideal methods for raising pigs, paired with Paula’s lifelong love of agriculture and her father’s decades-long meat curing experience.
Their small passel of Ossabaw and Mangalitsa hogs enjoy year-round pastures where they graze on bluegrass, orchard, fescue, clover and alfalfa. In addition to open pasture, the hogs are supplied non-GMO pelleted feed (made up of less than 10% corn), plus a daily slop made from orchard grass, oatmeal and wheat. With room to forage and socialize, the pigs develop fats and flavors only conceivable in a stress-free environment.