A Mulefoot hog at Harborside Farms (Michael Green)
You won't find gestation crates on Clint and Pam Cavers' family
If you want to see their heritage breed Mulefoot hogs, head for the forest to find the large black pigs, with tusks and tails intact, foraging on the ground, or snorting about in the mud of their vast outdoor pen.
"I don't maintain my numbers like the pig industry," said Pam Cavers. "I don't know how many piglets one sow has until she decides to pull them out of the bush."
Indeed, their whole farm looks like the poster child for the free-range movement, with ducks, chickens, goats, lambs and grassfed cows doing their thing; the whole place operating under a chorus of clucks, grunts, snorts and moos.
It's referred to as "unconventional" farming, but for Cavers and her family it seems only natural.
"If you choose to eat meat you should eat it in a way that you are aware of its life and of its death, and how it is processed. I guess that makes us unconventional because we are very open about that," she explained.
"There are no walls when you walk into our meat shop so you can see exactly what we are doing and that is the way that we have the farm as well."
The hormone and antibiotic free animals the Cavers raise are processed and sold on-site in their butcher shop. And while their well-marbled cuts of pork, beef and lamb have found a devout following of subscribers over the past 15 years, their charcuterie is now grabbing all the attention.
Two weeks ago they won the seventh annual Great Manitoba Food Fight, taking home $10,000 for their prosciutto, which is cured in their cooler for well over a year.
Their charcuterie, from the prosciutto to the Tuscan salami, beef bresaola, sobrasada and capicola, are all incredibly deep with flavour and a texture that melts on your tongue.
"We've had good teachers; a couple really good friends of ours are old Italian boys in the city that grew up with this stuff," said Pam. "They remember working with their grandpa and their dads... and they showed us everything. Like we got invited into the lair," Pam joked.
This old-school Italian knowledge is certainly now being well-practiced, as the Cavers have extended their meat business beyond their subscriber-based farm share.
You can now order their charcuterie online - they deliver to Winnipeg every second week - along with their poultry and all manner of nose-to-tail delights.