Well the end of the year is once again upon us. Thanks to all of you who supported us during the year, whether it was a cooking workshop, team-building cooking class, one of our feasts, or purchasing product from our online shop, it is through your ongoing generous support that we are able to continue to do our research and training, and survive as a small-scale farmer. We hope that you all have a well deserved break.
It has been a hard year for us. The on-going drought and searing heat has literally turned large pockets or our rural landscape into a green desert. This year fewer veld flowers than ever before, bloomed. the ground water has dramatically decreased and many of the boreholes in the valley have dried up. At Wickedfood Earth we are down to around 5 000L of water a day, just enough to irrigate our school gardens and quench the thirst of our animals. Our fruit harvest is less than a quarter of that of previous years, as was our garlic harvest. On the positive side, the fruit we did get has been turned into a delicious relish, and dried. The bird life has also been great, many more species than we usually see (and troublesome at times, we are getting a lot more fruit damage than usual).
One of the highlights for us was our baby sun bird. In spring the parents built a nest on our veranda, a meter from our front door. We watched as they took it in turns sitting on the egg, and got excited as we heard the chick squawking for food. Then the big day arrived. Early in the morning the chick climbed to the top of the nest, plucked up the courage and tumbled to the floor. Undaunted it gathered all its strength and with a perfect second attempt, flew to the safety of the nearby bushes. We watched it for the remainder of the day as both parents took it in turns to catch insects on the wing, as many as 15 at a time, all still alive, to feed the chick. It still lives in the garden, and most mornings come and sits on the office window to say hi. More pictures…..
- Hams- We have once again produced limited hand-crafted hams for Christmas. Each ham is individually cured, dependent on its weight, using time-honoured, artisanal practices. All our hams are selected from our own free-range pigs. We do not use preservatives, or liquid smoke. Once cured, our hams are vacuum packed and flash frozen to lock in flavour, perfect for a hot Xmas day (mail Mike to pre-order).
- Hot smoked cured ham – De-boned, cured in a brine, as below, and then hot smoked. They are already cooked, and are delicious served cold, with either a mustard sauce, sweet pickle or marjoram salsa. These hot smoked hams are between ±1,kg and ±3kg, at R180/kg.
- Brined ham (gammon) – A pork leg that has been cured in a salt/sugar brine solution, cold smoked and then cured further. This ham first needs to be boiled, before it is brushed with a glaze and then roasted in the oven. We still have one left – 4,2kg @ R714;
- Our cured meats– cut to order, great for Xmas cold meat platters – coppa, pancetta, cured venison and beef carpaccio and salami, and some great other specials;
- Cold smoked bacon - Dry cured with our special spice cure and cold smoked by local master smoker, Roy Gibbs;
- Fresh frozen pork and beef cuts - necks, shoulders, chops and steaks, loin roasts, bellies, fillet, and mince;
- Pedi lamb – We have a herd of indigenous veld raised Pedi sheep. We will be slaughtering and butchering 2, one for pre-order just before Xmas and one for the market (mail Mike to pre-order). Cuts will include:
- Neck chops;
- Whole shoulders x 2
- loin and belly chops;
- Legs x 2;
- Our famous sausage and hamburger paties – venison, beef and pork boerewors, thin pure lamb sausage, and pork chourizo and Italian style;
- Preserves, jams, relishes and bottled fruit, all hand made from Wickedfood Earth Farm fruit and vegetables.
- Free-range chickens – From Ruth of New Harmony Chickens – pre-order before midday Wednesday essential. She can supply:
- 1,5kg @ R110 each
- 1,8kg @ R135
- 2,2kg @ R155
- 500g livers @ R30.
Xmas Workshop and Lunch
We will be offering ±1 hour hands-on workshop and q&a session on:
- how to prepare gammon;
- great sauces for ham;
- de-boning and stuffing a chicken;
- The perfect Xmas pudding for hot weather – our very different take on Xmas pudding and brandy sauce.
This will be followed by a 3 course lunch of our mezze dips from our own vegetables, cured meats, two different hams, with vegetables and other goodies produced on the farm, and dessert. R350pp including the workshop, bookings essential (contact Cilla 076 236-2345, firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information contact: Mike on 060 761-0885 or email@example.com
For bookings contact: Cilla on 079 435-9298 or firstname.lastname@example.org