Well, to say it's been a while would be an understatement. In short, I've been busy as hell. I quit my job in Colorado, we moved to Michigan and get this ... we bought a farm. Kate, as you may or may not know, is from Michigan which is what originally brought us back up here, but the farm was an unexpected bonus. We looked for a smaller plot of land (~10 acres ) but got lucky when we found a 1920's farm house on 30 beautiful acres. We feel incredibly fortunate to have ended up here and love every minute of it. The farm is called , Ham Sweet Farm, and we're currently raising a little bit of everything, but of course we're raising pigs. The pork above is from one of our old like Duroc that was finished in the woods on apples and black walnuts. The pork was absolutely fantastic and the fat is pretty magical. Not only is it the best pork we've ever had, but we've heard the same from well traveled and educated customers as well. We are over the moon excited about it. Later in the year we added 4 guinea hogs to the herd as well and they should be breeding soon and harvested later in 2014. We're pretty excited.
In the house we have a beautiful stone and cement basement that makes for a perfect curing room. It stays between 40 and 55 year round with humidity staying just below 60. With a little help from an Auber Instruments temp and humidity controller and a small humidifier, the room stays nice and steady at 76-77 percent humidity. It's new, so I can't speak to it's long term effect, but initial signs are positive. It gives me a much larger space to cure with room for larger and longer term projects like hams, speck and similar that wouldn't be practical in just a fridge chamber. For those curious, it's about 6 x 12 and a poured cement wall with a wood framed door and plastic to keep moisture in.
The shelving I used is a garment rack from Target that cost $60.00 and is proving to be a great set up for both large and small items. What you see in the photo below is:
- Prosciutto with sirloin attached
- Speck Spalla
- Noix de Jambon
- Lonzardo (1 year old)
All in all it's been a great year and going forward, you'll see far more regular posts about what we're making. We have some big plans for the upcoming meat and some really unique projects that I've been researching for over a year now. To give a hint, it'll be uniquely Michigan and universally loved. No, it's not bacon, though we will be making some of that as well. Stay tuned for what's next and if you'd like to purchase anything from the farm, be sure to shoot us an email and we'll do our best to give you what you're looking for. Happy New Year and look forward to 2014 for bigger and better things.