Guner and Heidi Tautrim raise pigs with their sons on a Gaviota Coast ranch that’s been in the family since 1866. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

Since 1866, when Bruce Orella bought a 6,000-acre slice of the Gaviota Coast, Guner Tautrim’s family has farmed the seaside stretch from Refugio Beach to El Capitan, which was divvied up between Orella’s 11 children when he died in 1901. Originally, they ranched cattle for tallow and hides and steadily diversified into walnuts, lima beans, tomatoes, and beef cattle over the decades.

Pigs are now a critical part of that mix. Tautrim started raising them four years ago and now sells thick-cut bacon, five styles of sausage, smoked ham steaks, pork chops, Boston butts, baby back ribs, and much more direct to consumers under the name Gaviota Givings. The sixth-generation descendant is seeing interest in his sustainably raised, home-delivered meat quickly rise in the coronavirus era.

“We raise our hogs on pasture and move them often,” said Tautrim, who has both purebred Kunekune (originally from New Zealand) and a heritage breed called Berkshire–Red Wattle. “We also feed them organic Modesto milling grain along with some supplemental spent grain from local breweries and any excess veggies that are in season.”

Tautrim’s favorite preparation is brining, then dry-rubbing, and then smoking the Boston butt for 10 hours to make pulled pork. That’s a bit of a commitment, so he suggested the ham steak as an alternative. “Since these are already cooked, they make a tasty and fast breakfast in the cast iron skillet,” he said. “Just brown and add to an egg and you’re in for a treat.” He also sells whole and half hogs, which is a good option for those seeking custom cuts.

“We give them lots of love and nothing but the best food,” said Tautrim of what makes Gaviota Givings’ pork special. “They get to enjoy lush pastures on the Gaviota Coast, and they never have any hormones, antibiotics, or GMO ingredients. Plus, they have the best view in the world!”

See the menu at or text your order directly to Tautrim at (805) 698-8823.

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