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Mo's Diary
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 32893


Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I think I remember being told that dandylion roots were used during the war to make a coffee like substitute.
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bodger wrote:
I think I remember being told that dandylion roots were used during the war to make a coffee like substitute.


Some people still drink it! Bleugh!
I gave it a go for 'scientific reasons' - bleugh!
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 32893


Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit like Crocodile Dundee you mean?" It tastes like sh*t but you can live on it"
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favourite quotes  
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air Dried Ham

On 9th October 2011 we popped two Large Black legs into cure to make air dried ham.
One was put into a simple cure but we added cracked black pepper, crushed juniper berries and bay leaves to the second cure.

We applied half of the cure to each, wrapped them in cling film and left them in the fridge for 14 days. We have a large fridge.
After 14 days we brushed off the old cure, wiped the hams down and applied the rest of the cure. They went back into the fridge for another 14 days.

Before hanging the cure was brushed off, the hams were wiped with vinegar and wrapped in muslin. We also decided to take the added precaution of smearing lard on the cut edges of the legs before we wrapped them in muslin.

We have eaten the first of the hams and I did not take any photo's.
I have just been cubing what is left of it to freeze for using in Minestrone's this autumn.


The second ham has been hanging all this time and, after 10 months we have finally broken into it.




Both have been delicious, but this second one is definitely the better of the two simply, we think, because it was hung for longer.


The hams we air dried last year were both on the bone.
This year we are going to try tunnel boning the legs before we cure them. If nothing else it should mean that we can get finer slices of ham because we won't have to negotiate bones.
We also intend to be a little braver with our seasonings in the cures that we use.

This year's pigs are doing fine. They are just over 20 weeks old now and we have some photo's to share, but that's for another post!

(On our Blog, I did give credit to Debbie on my original post, and this is linked to this post on our Blog - Cheers Debbie!)
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pig Tags

"Pigging pig tags" are my thoughts at the moment.

When we first started rearing pigs we decided to use metal tags when we took them to slaughter. Facing minimum orders of 50 tags online, we were happy to find a local retailer who could order them for us, in single pairs if we so desired.

We ordered 10 pairs of tags along with an applicator for a total of about £36.

At the time, we thought we'd be having a couple of pigs a year and that these would last us five years, assuming no mishaps with the tags.

So far, we have sent six pigs to slaughter and we have four more just about ready to go.

No problem, you will be thinking, you have four pairs of tags left. Hah! We should have but last year someone put some tags into the applicator the wrong way round. We only have two pairs left.

Still no problem, order some more. And I did.

Ritchey's, in their wisdom, no longer have the brass tags, but they do have metal tags.
"We'll have some of them then."
"You'll need a new applicator as well."
"Bugger!"

I've sneaked a peek at the metal tags on Ritchey's website. They are made of treated steel and they are everso slightly narrower, and a little longer that the brass tags. Of course they would be, who would want them to fit into existing applicators?

So, we have one applicator for brass tags that are no longer available. It has been used about 16 times and originally cost us about £20.
I didn't ask how much the new one will cost, we have to have it anyway but I am not a happy bunny.
Quite apart from my deep Yorkshire pockets, that £20 would have been better spent on pig food!
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debbie
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Joined: 17 Feb 2007
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Location: exmoor

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

had this problem Mo when our brass tags ran out.  first thing is tho you don't need pairs of tags for the pigs - just one tag each is fine.  second is they only have to have your herd number on no individual numbers and third is that the existing taggers DO work with a bit of fidling..we know this because we ordered the new taggers too.  Got ours from Mole valley - have a look at their prices as they do do smaller numbers. Although the tags a a little more expensive the taggers are/were cheaper.
_________________
www.hiddenvalleypigs.co.uk
breeders of rare breed freerange berkshire pigs
Butchery, pig processing, smallholding and pig keeping courses just for you. †nose to tail eating is our thing.
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chicken feed



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 1767


Location: cambs

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we always use daltons first order with them for tags you get the free tagger when they changed tag sizes they sent out a bit to put in the taggers so you could still use the same applicator.

they offer a excellant service worth a look at their site.
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

debbie wrote:
had this problem Mo when our brass tags ran out. †first thing is tho you don't need pairs of tags for the pigs - just one tag each is fine. †second is they only have to have your herd number on no individual numbers and third is that the existing taggers DO work with a bit of fidling..we know this because we ordered the new taggers too. †Got ours from Mole valley - have a look at their prices as they do do smaller numbers. Although the tags a a little more expensive the taggers are/were cheaper.


Thanks Debbie. Realise that we on;y started using two to confirm ID of our pigs when they came back - nervous newcomers to the 'trade'. Didn't realise they didn't need individual numbers, our brass tags we have left are two of 009 and 010.
Out order is in now, but thanks for the point to Mole Valley.
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chicken feed wrote:
we always use daltons first order with them for tags you get the free tagger when they changed tag sizes they sent out a bit to put in the taggers so you could still use the same applicator.

they offer a excellant service worth a look at their site.


Our order is in but will peek at their website, thanks.
Do they accept small orders?
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chicken feed



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 1767


Location: cambs

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

25 min order
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desperatedan



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
Posts: 450


Location: Derbyshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

have you thought about  a slap mark  ,a lot easier  and cheaper in the long run.
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
Posts: 32893


Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've used them in the past and they're good.
Ear tags can get lost and quite often you don't want or get heads back. With slap marks, you know that you're getting the right pig back from the slaughter house.
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chicken feed



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 1767


Location: cambs

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we slap any pigs going to slaughter with the breeders we tattoo & tag a pain but ruels is rules  
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Mo



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 3273


Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want me 'eads back! †

We just decided to go with tags. Pop them in just before we take them.
The only problem we've had is some numpty putting them in the applicator the wrong way (you can tell it wasn't me, can't you )

With only a few pigs each year, tagging isn't much of a problem for us, until they change stuff.

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