Travis and Lydia Hood, HWC-2018-04-10

Listen to this episode here.

DSCF7807-2.jpg

Travis Hood changed his life, and then he changed ours here in central Kentucky. Over the past  few years, at Hood's Heritage Hogs, he raised the standard for pork and remade our relationship with pork fat. We will never be the same.

 Travis Hood and his mother-in-law at the  Lexington Farmers Market . When I asked her name, she said, "They call me the Meemaw."

Travis Hood and his mother-in-law at the Lexington Farmers Market. When I asked her name, she said, "They call me the Meemaw."

We know a lot now about what great pork tastes and feels like, how it cooks up, how to use every driplet and tidbit. We know a little about Travis's first heritage pork breed, Red Wattles, and we even know a little about wattles in general.

Listen to this beautiful and poignant show for many reasons. You will learn whether you can eat those dangling bits of "hoggie bling" this rare heritage breed sports. You will also hear the truth about farming in this place and time. Travis and Lydia speak candidly about the physical demands and the isolation. Behind the stories, we sense how the local farm economy challenges every part and particle of a person and family.

We wanted Travis to be our guest on Hot Water Cornbread for the longest time, even though we know how hard it is for farmers to make the long trek into town to our studio. When he came, he brought the extraordinary Lydia Hood with him, and so the wait was worth it.

 Travis Hood and Lucy, his first Red Wattle sow, with her 2014 summer litter. Photo by  Sarah Jane Webb : Thank you!

Travis Hood and Lucy, his first Red Wattle sow, with her 2014 summer litter. Photo by Sarah Jane Webb: Thank you!

Travis left golf course management in Indiana and moved with an extended family to hilly Robertson County, Kentucky, to grow hogs. Lydia’s mother and others in her family came to Robertson County, too. All have worked off the farm, grown vegetable gardens, made soap, lard and other porky products, and added much goodness to central Kentucky life.

As Travis, Lydia and their boys begin making a transition to new work, and possibly a new home, we say a fervent "thank you." We owe you so much. And you are, by definition, both irreplaceable and incomparable.

Rona RobertsComment