Today, I don’t have to go out with clients which I think is only the 4th day this month. Just this last week or so I have run two tours to Jerez, one to Sanlúcar, two to Ronda, two to the Sierra of Aracena, as well as a half-day olive oil tour and a tapas tour. Tomorrow, I’ll be off th Jerez again. All of this work means less time for blog entries.
Last Sunday (27th October) I ran a tour to the Sierra of Aracena with a great group of people from the UK who I spent 3 days with in total. On the Sunday we visited a ham curing facility and then went on to an organic Iberian pig farm which I have talked about in one or two previous blog entries. As it had rained a lot on the previous Friday you could see the grass starting to appear; in a few weeks’ time the countryside will be green again. We spent several hours looking around the farm and one of our hosts Armando took a long pole with him to shake the holm oak trees so that plenty of acorns fell to the ground for the pigs (see photo below). This is quite normal practice for the first few weeks when the pigs start eating acorns. As time progresses more and more acorns fall to the ground and no helping hand is needed.
On the farm we visited, the pigs eat a lot of pumpkin for 2-3 months before the acorn season starts. This helps get them used to eating larger amounts of food in preparation for the acorns. Also, eating pumpkins leads to almost no weight gain. In the photo below you can see the last of the pumpkins which are still to be picked.
Before sitting down to eat, a few of my clients had a short lesson on how to cut ham and were very good at it!