Idle River Farms
Idle River Farms is Michigan's oldest heritage Red Wattle farm.
Founded and run by Matt and Kristal Burdick, they have been farming in America for as long as anyone can remember.
They’ve chosen to raise Red Wattle in small batches and harvest them only once or twice a year. Red Wattles are a rare breed of pork that produces pork so finely marbled that it’s a marvel to behold. Its flesh has a wonderfully deep pinkish—almost red—flesh which causes the intramuscular fat to stand out.
In fact, once you get a thick, juicy Red Wattle chop sizzling the redness gets even more intense. It is melt-in-your-mouth tender, a far cry from the tough-as-a-hockey-puck pork that you buy in the grocery store.
And—oh—how sweet, silky, and delicate is its luscious fat. An experience of such decadence that it might as well be dessert! Yet, there is a pure, clean flavor to heritage Red Wattle pork that gives it all a marvelous balance.
The Burdicks have an uncanny knack for anticipating the next culinary trend. Matt’s father, for instance, raised 100% grass-fed cattle in the ‘70s and ‘80s, twenty years before it was en vogue. Matt, a true son of his father, therefore passed over the Berkshire breed and threw everything behind the Red Wattle.
After combing the country for the finest breeding stock, he chose a farm south of the Mason-Dixie line. Driving back to Michigan with his precious cargo, Matt introduced these hogs to their first home-away-from-home in the Peninsula State.
It’s a home where the Burdicks give their hogs that full, long life that’s alone able to coax the very best flavor and quality out of pork. They feast on pasture during the growing season.
And, to round out their diet, Matt slow-roasts GMO-free soybeans (he grows the soy himself, expertise his grandfather taught him).
Then, after seven long months, the hogs are ready for harvest. They are then enjoyed by a tiny group of Michiganders like you who have discovered—or who are about to discover—the untold pleasures of heritage Red Wattle pork.