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$4000 per ham! yes, four thousand dollars

 
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I thought there must be a tradition of it in the southern states i have seen words like encina as the name of ranches and chaparal en films. and also the Southern states are  full of Spanish place names Las Angeles Cañaveral, the sSpanish influence was obviously big the klue klux klan wear the traditional spanish easter time gear which is also gear that was used for the burning of heretics by the inquisition  the "autos de fé" and the kkk are also burning the recently, relatively recently, converted to christianity who may have horrible traits of other religions still hanging around in their culture.

You would have thought the Spaniards had bought spanish encinas and cork oaks with them to the southern states.
       If you make a fence round a few encinas evergreen oaks, to hold animals, the trees die, i have seen this, i have seen a bit of encinar fenced off to hold horses and iall the trees inside the fence were  dead . I have also read about it in Cesar Fuentes Sanchez' book, El Encina en el Centro y sur oueste de españa. I say this in case it ever occures to you to try.
  I think it might be because if you bump a trree it causes embolias in its water carrying tubes which once empty don't refill, a few losses of working pipes is is all right but a lot is a disaster and animals banging on the trees may cause a lot of embolias.
Cesar Fuentes Sanchez thinks its because the pigs rub fat into the pores of the bark of the trees and this stops the bark  breathing.
On the other hand encinas are not meant to like soil that is too full of manure . Who knows mine and Cesar Fuentes ideas are conjectures. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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I ran through Juan Oria de la Rueda y Salguero book and keeping your mothers name is the norm in spain not a special way of trying to look posh., and this is what he says about pigs a hectrar or quantities of aconrs a hectare. Later i am going to look the same up in cesar fuentes sanchezs book an to report on.

   They often grow oaks on th eslopes an dkeep the plains fo rcereal crops usually it is one of the advantages of oaks they produce feed where it would be a bad thing to grow cerealsbecause ploughing would cause erosion.

   Remeber the Spaniards have been selecting their oaks for years, selecting the tees with the sweetest acorns. 
juan Orias comments on numbers of pigs hectar come in his bit on cork oaks quercus suber another type of evergreen oak, it is more delicate than the encina needing a bit higher rainfall an dnot liking frosts.
    these oaks farms are first of all cattle farms as well as having a herd of pigs. They used to be accompanied by swine herds i don't know abut swine herds now.
 
                    Quantities of acorns a hectare.
Juasn Oria says
the costume is to introduce herds of two year old pigs some 40 heads in size he says that each pig eats 500 to 800 klos of bellotsa in the fattening season which is called montanera which last from octuber to january and each hectar of wood can produce between four and eight tons of acorns , it must be a fairly dense wood.
  he continues sayign that cows of hte iberis¡c and moruchan race eat the pastures an dthe acorns and the twig an dleaf and that curiosly they eat the fallen leaves this evergreen loses its leaves in spring and summer tha tare the main part of thei rdiet in this sason.
  he also says sheep eating in the farm favour the presence of good pastures and majadales . Majadales re places wher eyou want more fertil ground and so take the sheep to sleep in these spots that maybe you then use for cereal crops so that the sheep fertilzes them with the manure they leave during the night. 
it is a complicated system maybe the variety of animals means that there are tonot too many acorns at any one time howeever i have often read about cows or sheep eating the acorns when they are not reserved for the pigs so maybe the cows ondt eat the acorns if htey are beign used to fatten pigs. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  the number of pigs trees and acorns a hectar according to César Fuentes Sánchez, whose book is only about encinas, the  evergreen oaks, in latin, quercus ilex, subspecies rotundifolia or bellota.

he says thepigs  fatten better on the hills were they can eat pastures and so get a more balanced diet than they would with only acorns . He lists as pasture, poppies, chicory, alfa alfa, clover, poa, cranesbills some other thing that might be foxglove, dactylo. and about two other things i don't know.

Fed to them in the stable corns are not so rentable because the acorns  fatten less spoils more and is expensive to collect. 

  He says that the time employed in fattening the pigs is 90 to 120 days, depending on frosts. this is in   Salamanca, which is the province he seems to know and a pretty montainouse province where it can frost. In Extremadura and Andalucia where they dont beat the trees to bring down the acorns , (they are less likely to be got by frosts) the fattening season  sometimes lasts more than 120 days.

  He says that a young encina on cultivated ground fumigated and properly pruned should produce 60 - 80 kilos of fat acorns a year. He is not completely organic or permaculturist he fumigates.

  He says when the acorn is sweet, (this depends on the tree), it is very apetizing for pigs and people.

     He says that when the ground product is very rentable, (they grow encinas in arable land as well as in pasture land, I have seen them in arable land near the Tablas of  Damian, a national park). When the ground crop is valuable, in the province of Salamanca, (the number of trees a hectare changes according to the province you are in), you only have 80 trees a hectare, with a production of 1,600 to 1,700 kilos of acorns a hectare, so food for two pigs a hectare.

The pig gains 80 kilos during the montanera which comes to 160 kilos live weight for hectar for year from which you should subtract expenses and add the amount that you recieve for the cearal crop or pastures,from  the twig cut to feed cattle and the fire wood cut from the encina.

  He says the acorns on the north side of the tree are smaller and ripen sooner than the ones on the south side.
He says the old  trees start to produce in the beging of october and the younger ones round about the eleventh of november.

The rraces of pigs used for this type of farming ar the iberic race of which their are several varieties . bstraight haired Extremenian black, bare black an dbare red. they have long haired red pigs in Extremeña i have seen them about thirty years ago. Extremena is next to portugal the climate there is Extreme and very hot and dry in summer.
also a cross which is iberic with twenty five to thirty percent duro yersey. I suppose yersey is Jersey in plain english.

His book is full of really usefull information and he always makes me feel confused after a paragraph or two.
  I have added a photo of a encina in a feild of wheat that the tree is pollarded means it does not caste to big a shadow. This is in the porfvince of Guadaljara in the village of Tamajon agri rose macaskie.

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Thanks for the added info rose!  We have a couple of live (evergreen) oak varieties here, but our major matured trees are black oaks, which have a lot of tannin but also supposedly have the most fat and protein of all the oak varieties around here. I know deer and wild turkeys eat them.....Humans can eat them after hulling and soaking in running water for 24-48 hours.  Acorn meal is kind of "hip" thing in southern oregon -- a permie friend up there told me it's common to go to a potluck and there are acorns snuck into all kinds of dishes. 
 
rose macaskie
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Gosh whats a pot luck. often it sound such fun in america like when you read about making straw houses and all getting together to do it on you tube.
  if humans eat those acorns maybe they aren't to bad and maybe traditional feedng methods like how many pigs a hectare there are and that htey are out eating everyday and all day as they just stay out on the hills stop them eating too many with the right number of pigs there wont be a big biuld up of acorns. As i haven not done it myself it is hard to expand on that. rose.
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Hehe, a pot luck is where a bunch of people get together to eat a meal, and everyone brings something so that there is a lot of food and everyone can try new things. 

Beautiful photos! 
 
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When I raised pigs (small scale), I used rotational grazing for them in the forest.  I fenced in a few acres (called a paddock) and let them graze for a week or so.  I then moved them to the next paddock.  After grazing all the paddocks, I would return them to the first paddock and start the cycle over again.  By the time they got back to the first paddock, the forest plants had all regrown and were young and fresh plants for the pigs.  The pigs loved the young forest plants and refused to eat the corn I put out for them.  The neighbors said it was the best tasting pork and it reminded them of the pork they ate at their grandparents house.
 
                    
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What type and where was that forest, Allan?
 
Allan. Sterbinsky
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Marinajade,

The farm is in west tennessee, a humid climate and the forest had been untouched for years.  The trees were mixed with some oaks (acorns), but lots of shrubs and plants (e.g., maypops).  The pigs enjoyed rooting around and digging up roots, eating berries, etc.  They rubbed agains the trees a lot, so moving the pigs weekly saved the trees from too much distress and didn't let the pigs dig up all the tubers.  The tubers left in the ground regrew and yielded fresh plants for the next cycle of grazing.  Iwas suprised how much grass the pigs ate in addition to digging for roots.  It was enjoyable to watch the pigs run and play in the woods.  I ran a gravity fed water supply to a large puddle.  They used to force the water to run from the drinker to create a watering hole (smart critters) where they played and splashed for hours.  I harvested the pigs during November, so the woods got some time to refresh itself before the next spring and new small piglets arrived.  It is important not to overstock the paddocks, otherwise the land cannot replenish itself.  Watching carefully (e.g., another excuse for spending a few hours watching the pigs play) is the key to making sure the stocking rate remains at a sustainable level.
 
pollinator
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Here in NoCal, expect Michael Pollan's books to have done a lot of the marketing outreach for you.

People wanting to re-enact part of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" might even be willing to pay for guided hunting expeditions on land with a managed, semi-feral population.
 
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So, this proves the old adage; "even a blind pig finds an acorn every now and then." At least where the acorns get piled 3 inches deep.
 
                    
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People wanting to re-enact part of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" might even be willing to pay for guided hunting expeditions on land with a managed, semi-feral population.



That is so not at all a bad idea for income.  Oh man.  Charging someone to kill and dress the thing themselves = brilliant. 

I haven't heard that one, jeremiah.  I like it!
 
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I am on board with this.

We have feral pigs if anyone wants to pay to hunt one, or buy one shot for them, or even trapped for them...what would it be worth?

The pigs are on the plantation, Loxley Alabama.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I think you could charge the right sort of northern CA city person a lot for the following package:


  • [li]two day vacation, all-inclusive

    guest hunts alongside property owner

    property owner teaches butchering & meat curing

    half the meat goes to the guest: fresh meat immediately, the rest when it has mostly finished curing[/li]
    [li][/li]


  • It's a huge investment of time for the property owner, but you each get half a hog.
     
    Jennifer Smith
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    Property owner, no.  Plantation manager, maybe...hired guide most likely.  We do not want half a hog, we have freezers full of hog.  There is no season nor limit on pig.

    Mr. Grant (the owner) does hold deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, and dove, hunts for his friends(did I forget anything?).  He has had a couple of hog hunts.  He has great fishing too.  As well as deep sea fishing from his boat, docked at his beach house on One island.

    We had a high school kid helping around.  He was trapping and selling pregnant sows for $20 each, and hauling them out by the trailer load.  He no longer works there. 

    There is deluxe accommodations on the farm, both a hunting cabin and a loft apartment over the stable... both with big flat screen sat TV, modern kitchens, comfy beds, etc...

    The plantation is 30 min from the beach, close to Mobile Alabama as well as Pensacola Florida.

    My husband is a wildlife biologist on a neighboring plantation.  He and I helped set Mr Grant's place up for horses and wildlife.  It is a supernice place believe me.
     
    rose macaskie
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      To give a different hunting model, in case it gives usefull ideas,
    Here they rent out the hunting rights and the hunts are in the morning and people drive out from Madrid for them and there are professionals with van loads of dogs who also come out from madrid so th edogs can flush out the pigs. I suppose the proffesionals need some organising to put the dogs in at the right end of the land and lead them through,aA freind of my husbands does it and he does not get much boar so maybe you find a market for the boar and get money of it for yourself.  If you leave madrid early in the morning on sunday you see vans full of dogs being driven out to hunting grounds.
          I think those who want to shoot, band together and the head of the group or as a group they organise Everythign th ehiring of the use of the dogs  who are organised by professionals and renting the shooting rights.. The local bars profit from those who want to eat and drink before or after the day or when it is foggy and they are  stranded in the village without beign able to hunt.  The land owners don't have to do much.
    What about organising a camera photo  hunting and wild life whatching park.
    If there where no hunting the animals would not be shy and everyone else couldl enjoy them.  I suppose you would hav to get in wolves to cull off the pigs if you were doing it yourselves .  rose.
     
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    @ Rose
    the pigs of parma are trsditionally fed the whey left when the regions parmesan is produced they have a distinctie flaour, Parma ham
     
    rose macaskie
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    yes Parma ham is good i have probably never had the best though maybe all the pigs are fed from whey if all the parmesan in the world is still made in Italy there must be enough whey for a lot of Parma ham.
     There are woods in the Tuscany used for pigs i can' t remember whether oak or chestnut so maybe the best parma ham is also acorn fed.

     What interests me most about the acorn fed pigs is that it means the land is wooded be it lightly wooded, it interests me because some trees are better than no trees, it also interests me that traditionally the woods were light because fire is a problems in countries with a dry climate so lightly wooding them and combining the exploitation of fire wood and pasture because just producing fire wood is not economically viable if the land is lightly wooded is an answer to the fire problem and there are big fires in california as well as the mediteranean so big as to make it logical to think anyone would be interested in different ways of reducing the fire risk.

     paul cerringho talks of using questions as a way of arguing with people, of convincing them of the topic you put forward. i was subjected to this method of arguing as I often am but this time a few days ago on this topic, which is to say the topic of these wooded farms.
        The questioning technique  as I have experienced it, used in Spain iscomplicated, it means knowing the ideas of the person you are talking to so you can lead them with questions to speak of that part of their knowledge that you know what will back up your own argument. It also means knowing how to cut their conversation short, hijack the conversation if they move on to some argument that is not to your liking.
          In this case i was lead to explain that in this farming system the oak woods are thinned out and the trees in them heavily pruned though not as heavily as olives or fruit trees are pruned and so the trees potential as an ecological force that increases the humidity of the air and cools it and that takes up carbon dioxide is reduced or the provides a thick carpet of leaves. There would be a lot more head to the trees if their growth were natural rather than subjected to the system of which acorn fed pigs is a part.  Pruning them provides browse for the live stock, helps increase the amount of acorns produced and reduces the shade to the pastures, which if too heavily shaded would effect the grass. A higher tree produces longer shade.
      The man questioning me got me to talk of how the woods were thinned and the trees pruned and raised his eyebrows slightly about it  and changed the subject, he did not say, "dont you think this is not ecological which would have allowed me to say, were the farmers are not allowed to make use of the trees they would get cut down and i have photographic evidence of this, of bits of land with trees on which have now become wheat fields and the tendency is growing, there are less and less wooded slopes once wheatr was only grown on flat land an dthe slopes were wooded and more and more slopes used for grain which is bad farming practice and this is why i think it is better if a farmers have a use for the trees, then they protect them or even plant them so the system where they are used is better than systems in which the tree aren't useful to farmers and the woods turn into wheat fields. It is lillegal to cut hem still little by little they manage to kill them.
        Here the ecologists are doing their nut about new housing estates which my observation leads me to believe get heavly planted up with trees and so are more ecological than not, while they don’t seem to notice wooded areas falling under the plough.

         It seems to me the questioning method is a mean trick if it is used the way it is used on me, I have even had people changing  subject a lot so as to get me making the points they wanted and looking impatient so I hurried to much to keep my head entirely so  I never got to the end of any topic I began and then asking me if I had Alzheimer’s as I had forgotten many of the points I wanted to make. Very mean arguers.
       The arguing method is hard to use I can’t think how to do it myself though I know no one who allows me to interview them at all, in any way so it would be hard for me to imagine using it. Spanish pride makes them refuse to be questioned by a woman unless it is a more powerful one than me. That is a good way to do for someone confidence hedge in the ir conversation so they don’t cover subjects well and avoid all temptation to answer the victim so they learn to lose all hope of beign informed themselves of reciprocal behavior so you get ehm informing you but never give them information.  
        Though the questioning method seems difficult to me it I sobviouse tha if you get good at it it is easy to use to make other people argue in such a way as to prove your point and  not their own. You need to have the cheek to stop them moving into the part of their arguments that would disprove the point your want them to make. It is highly manipulative, it leaves me chattering with fury when I go over the conversation in my head and realize that they have got me to argue without covering all the points, and  in such a way as to stop me defending what I know to be  true. I chatter with fury internally when I realize that I have allowed them to hedge in the conversation so as to stop all the truth from being given due consideration. You have to be tough and good at talking over people so they can’t hedge you in if you are faced with this type of arguing.
        It is as paul cereghino says, a good way of arguing though it seems to me lordly and at the same time caddish.  it is normally used by people who think they know best and think the other persons opinions are best smothered, they have no concept of the other person maybe having something valuable to say. I disapprove of lordliness I think it leads to ignorance, if you are not having open conversations less gets said and all parties end up more ignorant so that the level of education in a country where people are more lordly will be lower than in a country where they are less so which effects food levels and economy and everything.
    It is very humiliating and belittling for the person it is directed against, also it make you fell used and feel that there is no love and real friendship aloofness is aloofness it makes the person subjected to it feel a enormous lack of brotherhood a  great distance from human love, however many tricks its users play of smiling and looking pleased to see you while they manipulate the conversation.
       It also make me stop listening to others, stop treating them as as if they have something interesting to say, I just wonder what trick they are pulling on me now and it   keeps me on the hop making sure I cover all the points and making sure that I don’t get tricked, and that means not letting others talk, it stops all human kindness from all but human kindness is not much appreciated here where the only goal is kindness in you heavenly fathers arms so you can mess around with others as much as you want they should not be liking to you for kindness an dlove only to god.
     They say it makes you think, could not they say, would not it be better if a tree grew full size in a crowded situation and I could answer yes, if I thought that was the alternative it would be better but the alternative is no trees, the farmers do for them when they are no longer useful and I can prove it. The questioning and cutting you short system and hurrying up the conversation so that it is pressurized and you know you don’t have much time to cover everything, usually leaves me working out what the game was a while after the conversation so then it is wait till I see the person again to give them my feedback slow and the whole unfriendly, the not straight is unfriendly. It is a great system for getting, an aggressive defender of their arguments, one who slowly learns to handle tricks of others and it is normal for others to try and stop the mouth of competitors so it is as well to learn how to stop them stopping your mouth.  agri rose macaskie.
     
    pollinator
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    Well with all the baby nut trees I've been planting and my oak trees i have..maybe one day I'll be getting me a fre range pig..of course what is to keep it from eating everything else on my property..guess best to cofine it to my woods and throw in the excess nuts eh?

    Always did wonder what I would do if I ended up with too much fruit and nuts from all the trees I've been planting, but figured the deer would take care of them.

     
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    I recently heard something new.  Older hogs are supposed to have better flavor and texture of meat.  Does anyone know about this?  I met a fellow who runs Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe in Louisville KY.  He raises hogs 2 years old and uses them in his own restaurant. 

    Conventionally hogs are slaughtered around 250 lbs (1/2 a year old roughly) because of the economy of gains, after they get larger than that it takes more pounds of feed for every pound of gain.  However if you are not paying money for feed (and you are not pushing your land to its limits), then raising hogs up to 400 lbs or more makes sense. 
     
    Joel Hollingsworth
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    I've read that a larger hog is also needed for some traditional curing processes: at 250 lb, the ham (for example) has too much surface and not enough depth for the process to work properly.
     
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    Those are beautiful stone walls in the photos. Thank you for posting those. I love stone work.

    We are in the process of adding more nut trees to our farm. We have butternut, beachnut and hazelnut mostly right now. We have been thinning to free up the forage trees. Acorns are one that we are planting although it will be a long time before they bear fruit. Gotta start sometime.

    We are also planting thousands of apple trees and other fruit trees and bushes to complement what we have. The goal is to not to have orchards to sell nuts and fruit - we can't compete with the current low wholesale prices. Rather we want to augment our livestock feed. We raise primarily pigs on our pastures using managed intensive rotational grazing techniques like with our sheep. The pastured pork is what brings home the bacon on our farm, so to speak.

    In addition to pasture/hay we also feed dairy which makes up around 7% of their diet and then apples, pumpkins, beets, turnips, left over boiled barley (local brew pub) and such which makes up the remaining 3% or so of the pigs' diet. The meat tastes fabulous - slightly sweet. However, we don't get $4,000(!) per ham - more like $100 to $200 retail.

    One thing to realize on those hams, the expensive ones, is that they take a year or more to cure and shrink considerably. Even our hams take a month to a month and a half to cure and smoke plus ten months to produce the pig (conception to finished). A fresh ham loses a lot of water during the dry curing and during any smoking process. Thus to make 10 lbs of smoked ham might take 12 lbs of fresh ham which really takes 15 lbs with trimming which really takes a pig since the rest of the pig must be sold too, not just the high priced parts like the ham, bacon and loin.

    Cheers

    -Walter Jeffries
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
    in the mountains of Vermont
    Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
     
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    paul wheaton wrote:
    From sep 2009 AcresUSA pp 35:

    No Iberico ham can be sold before 22 months of careful aging has transpired.  One leg from the top-quality Iberico black-toed pigs can sell for - hold on to your hat - $4000 per leg!"



    While I agree that $4000 for a leg of a pig is an outrageous sum of money, there are two factors that I haven't seen addressed in this thread.

    1. We are talking about something that can not be replicated anywhere else in the world.  Someone might be able to reproduce every variable of one of these operations and maybe even make a superior product, but it would not be able to be sold as Iberico ham.  Whether that influences a customer's decision on what to pay is that individual's privilege.  There has been some very strong marketing and branding by using Spain's Denominación de Origen classification.  Italy and France have similar protected designation of origin systems, which I think is a great idea.  The concept started a few centuries ago to promote and protect regional products in an ever expanding world market.  Used mostly for wines the classification also includes many foods.  The system at its best rewards farmers and producers that are limited to a specific region and favor quality over other concerns.  At its worst it promotes elitism and caters to a small fraction of wealthy customers.  I think that is one consideration that a farmer can take into account, quality over quantity.  I think in the USA the prevailing focus is quantity, just look at any average grocery store or fast food restaurant or how many of either there are around.  The best use of a designation of origin type system that I am aware of in the US is Oregon's wine producers.  The state realized that they could not compete with California on quantity so they went for quality.  By having stricter regulations on such factors as what a wine can be called (no burgundy or chablis, both of which are regions in France), what percentage of grapes need to be grown in a region to claim that region, and what percentage of a grape variety needs to be present before the wine is sold under that varietal name.

    2.  It ages for 22 months according to this thread, and I've read sometimes up to 36 months.  That is three years of storing, monitoring and protecting a ham.  That adds some value, but again $4000, not for my money (assuming I had that kind of money). 

    Whether or not that extreme example would translate to a permaculture farm or even if promoting and shipping a regional item far outside of that region is sustainable, brings up many questions.  I am also not promoting governmental regulation of farms and farm products.  Its just interesting to me what effect that perceived quality has on what some customers are willing to pay.  What I think is valuable from this example is having a higher quality sold at a proportionally higher price.  This is dependent on personal boundaries, market, and product.  And creating value added options when possible.  They are not selling the raw meat for that much, although I'm sure that if they sell any uncured pork it is at an inflated price.  Its the same as making cheese or yogurt from milk and the price difference associated with that.

     
    Walter Jeffries
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    misfit wrote:We are talking about something that can not be replicated anywhere else in the world.



    Only because it is a trademark issue. Other people can duplicate the product. They just can't call it this same thing. To say it "can't not be replicated" is deceiving.

    Example: Gucci products sell for their inflated price because they have the name brand. Other manufacturers make the exact same product but if they call it Gucci then it is a forgery. Same thing here with the ham.

    What this is really all about is supply-demand, marketing, branding and people with too much money on their hands. I am ever so glad that they exist because they spend money and some of it flows my way. This is a good thing.

    Support your local economy: pay obscenely high prices. Hmm... a catchy new slogan? I like it.
     
    master steward
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    I think if they are selling hams for $4000 each, and they are sold out, surely it should be possible for somebody to sell hams for $10,000 each.

     
    pollinator
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    Supply and demand doesn't always work like that but if they can do it then good luck to them !

    We keep our pigs for about a year, sometimes two but we did kill a pig at four years old once and it was the best meat we've ever had.  We finished the ham almost three years after the pig was killed and it was in perfect condition to the last slice.



    This ham weighed 30 kilos before it was air dried for over a year. This sort of meat sells for about 120 dollars a kilo presented in very fine slices as a luxury product (Which it is!). 

    Having a couple of pigs fits in really well with a permaculture lifestyle. You always have good meat and small amounts of bacon, crackling, and fat to add to almost any vegetable or cereal base to make a nourishing and filling meal. After a few days preparation, we store enough food from a one year old pig for well over a year without the need for a freezer. The pigs are easy to contain with electricity and can be used for all sorts of clearing and pond projects and they eat an awful lot of food that's too good to go on the compost.

    Our pigs are out in the woods and eat acorns, apples, hazelnuts and sweet chestnuts as well as anything else they can find. We also give them loads of vegetables from the garden, stale bread and anything the dogs and chickens don't get first.

    We only keep a few for us - I'd never sell the meat - it's too good to swop for money !
     
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    "...a pig that good you don't eat all at once!"
     
                                          
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    Too good....! What breed was it?
     
    Irene Kightley
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    She was a Black Gascon Woodlander, a beautiful pig.



    They're claimed to be the most ancient breed of pig known in France and ideal for making air cured hams and other dried meat like Copa and saussison. We finished the last jar of excellent paté from her yesterday after three year's storage.

    The Gascon Black Pig has been revived as a species in the French Pyrenees after their numbers dropped to just a few hundred in the late 1970s.

     
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    Maby 4k peseta, not dollars. I was in Madrid 15 years ago, and although I can't remember the exchange rate they were around $200-$400 US equivalent.
     
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    Carlos Romero wrote:Maby 4k peseta, not dollars. I was in Madrid 15 years ago, and although I can't remember the exchange rate they were around $200-$400 US equivalent.



    I was just about to type that! Though I have seen some at $1200-$1600 online.
    Heres one
     
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    A leading Spanish farmer Mr Quekay scuse my spelling, visited here 10years ago
    He was getting 60 euro / kg ,but it is cured for 2 years( Dry cured in salt) i have a home made one in the fridge
    they are or were subsidized by the gvt to lock up areas of the Dehesa Acorns are planted directly
    He was amazed how fast oaks can grow here, (Doctor Anna Ridley sugests if we had been colonized by the Spanish or Portugese things may have been differant)
    The jelly like fat is wierd but orgazmic in flavour
    As a byproduct his men harvest cork and make charcoal
    The ancestors of my superfine merinos came from the Escorial area of spain (it is an interesting story how we came buy them)
     
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    I have a friend who tried some recently. She admitted to spitting it out. The kids wouldn't eat it either. An acorn only diet made the meat really greasy. To each their own.

     
    Rion Mather
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    Gwen Lynn wrote:I have never been able to fathom the cost of any expensive gourmet foods. Organically grown or not. I don't have a very discriminating palate, I guess. You eat it & poop out the waste just like any other food. Whatever! 



    There is always a quality issue with products and in most cases it does make a difference. People constantly cut corners to save money and time. A lower quality item is the sign of an individual that really doesn't understand the product and what they are trying to copy. I see this all the time with my sales.

    "Wow, that's good!" I want to say in response, "Yes, because you have been eating crap all this time and didn't know it."
     
    andrew curr
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    Animals tend to lay down intra muscular fat (glycogen ) as they get a little more mature
    this intramuscular fat is where the flavour is at hence the cattle feedlot sector if evry cowboy had a couple of oaks etc per acre you could certainly do away with feedlots
    I cant understand why this isnt done ,the proof is in the pudding
     
    pollinator
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    This thread has been around a while. Has anybody here sold a pig for more than $10 per pound ?
     
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    Dale Hodgins wrote:This thread has been around a while. Has anybody here sold a pig for more than $10 per pound ?



    I've sold smoked hams for about that much. Lately, it has cost me about $.80/lb to raise pigs on pasture with a bit of supplemented grain.
     
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    Abe,

    Were you able to sell the smoked ham as a "cottage industry" product, I.e. caveat emptor with little regulation? I wonder if the same could be performed for cold cured meat products. My girlfriend sells her homemade cookies alongside her ceramic art, and if I recall correctly she said as long as it bears a label with the ingredients stating: "not produced in a US blah blah inspected facility", and she collects no more than 25k net profit, she's right as rain.

    Thanks,

    JasonB
     
    Abe Connally
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    Jason Bagnall wrote:Abe,

    Were you able to sell the smoked ham as a "cottage industry" product, I.e. caveat emptor with little regulation? I wonder if the same could be performed for cold cured meat products. My girlfriend sells her homemade cookies alongside her ceramic art, and if I recall correctly she said as long as it bears a label with the ingredients stating: "not produced in a US blah blah inspected facility", and she collects no more than 25k net profit, she's right as rain.

    Thanks,

    JasonB


    Yes, it was not sold in the US, and sold without any regulation.
     
    Jason Bagnall
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    Abe, thanks for the reply,

    gotcha
     
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