Lucky George Farm is located in Derby, Iowa, about one hour south of Des Moines! You can shop their products online here. Thanks Jason and Angela for sharing your story with us!
What is the name of your farm and where are you located?
Lucky George Farm is our little patch of Grace where our family works to make the world a better place. We have reclaimed a forgotten farm in the southwest corner of Lucas County. Just 20 acres of land outside of Derby, IA where we are raising our children and creating a future for them.
Tell us a little about the make-up of your farm.
Lucky George Farm is a conservancy farm specializing in breeds of critically endangered heritage breed livestock. Our signature item is the Large Black Pig, one of three breeds originating from the U.K. that are the ancestors to all the North American Pig Breeds. The Large Black is a deep dark red meat pork with a denser muscle fiber and marbling of fat. The meat has a unique taste that is robust yet not gamey. We also have meat goats, ducks, geese, and chickens.
What does your farm specialize in?
Lucky George Farm is a small conservancy farm where we raise a critically endangered breed of pig called the Large Black.
We also raise a variety of Heritage breed chickens, Milking Devon cows, rabbit, meat goats, sheep, Angora goats, quail, geese, and ducks on the farm. We look to preserve species that have fell out of favor due to factory farming and industrial food practices. Going back to outdoor farming where livestock is nurtured on grass, in the sun, and running in multi-species herds is the essence of our farm.
Can you tell us a few things that make your signature product(s) special?
Large Black are beautiful, loving, great mothers, docile, and wonderful to raise because they are the kind of family pig that people used to have on their own small homesteads centuries ago. Our pigs are grazers taking Iowa grasses and converting it into deep red meat with amazing marbling that give them an exquisite flavor.
For the second year in a row our farm provided the Large Black Pig that was used by the winning chef at the Cochon555 Minneapolis event. Here we are at the end of the night. From left to right: Our daughter Rian, my husband Jason Johnson, the winning Chef Jorge Guzman of Surly Brewing Company, myself (Angela Johnson), our daughter Harrisen, and Chef Thomas Boemer the 2015 Minneapolis winner as well as the 2015 National Grand Cochon winner. Thomas used our Large Black pigs both times.
What is the most important thing for consumers to know about your products?
We take great care in raising our animals in an environmentally sustainable fashion. We also take care to honor the whole animal by using every bit possible whether that be in converting into a processed product or into a specialty cut. We work hard to offer a diverse product mix where customers can find something that meets their interests and tastes. interests and taste.
Do you have a funny/interesting/surprising story about your business?
We bought a foreclosure farm that was essentially uninhabitable until repairs had been completed on the house. We, a family of 7 lived in a 1972 Winnebago for four months until the house was “done”, still a work in progress.
Anything else we should know?
During the Summer of 2016, we imported 3 new bloodlines of Large Blacks from the United Kingdom. This is the first import since two bloodlines were imported to the U.S. in 1997. Expensive, cumbersome, problematic, bureaucratic. The new bloodlines will help reinvigorate the American Herd that has some signs of small genetic footprints and possibly some inbreeding. We believe it is necessary to create an island for a breed, in this case away from what is actually there origin, an island, the U.K., to protect against threats of disease that could wipe out a small country herd. We intend to have all the English Bloodlines, sourced directly from Great Britain in the next 3-5 years.