Welcome to 2019, here’s wishing you a year of good healthy food with the Wickedfood Earth Cooking School team.
We have some great cooking classes, food workshops and events planned for the year as well as some exciting plans for the future of Wickedfood Earth farm.
Our first major event for the year. As Valentine falls on a Thursday, Wickedfood Earth Country Cooking School is offering a very special and different Valentines day experiences this year on Sunday 17 February. The day will include a hands-on cooking workshop where the cooking school team will teach you the elements of preparing a delicious 4-course meal and accompaniments, before sitting down to enjoy the meal. More…..
Wickedfood Earth Farm & Country Cooking School is a proud member of Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance. The Alliance is an international network of chefs who are committed to promoting small-scale, locally produced “good, clean and fair” foods, and safeguarding agricultural biodiversity. This new and exciting cooking class for small groups of up to 12 people is all about these principles – a tour of the gardens, a discussion about agricultural biodiversity, cooking a basket of the freshest seasonal produce and finishing off with a delicious 3-course menu you have prepared together. More…
Wickedfood Earth Farm & Country Cooking School has become synonymous with free-range pork and top quality charcuterie, including our range of sausage, coppa, pancetta, bacon and ham. This year, over the winter months, we will again be running a series of charcuterie workshops (dates still to be finalised, with the hot summers and working with fresh meat, we only run classes in the cooler months). Should you be interested please drop me a mail and I will add you to our charcuterie data mailing list and keep you updated of course dates. More…..
At Wickedfood Earth Farm we currently run a flock of Pedi sheep, a few Dexter cattle and are again starting up our pork programme. Our animals, including our pigs, live outdoors and are not confined in small cages or overcrowded barns. In addition to being able to forage in large camps. We do not use routine antibiotics and growth hormones or stimulants. Due to our natural farming practises, our animals take on average, twice as long to reach maturity as factory-farmed animals. This means that the muscles of the animals get to work, which ensures added flavour. Over the next few months we will again be selling our meat products. Drop me a mail if you want to be kept up-dated and be on our preferential meat mailing list. More….
- Pig programme – Over the last 8 years we have run a very successful veld raised pig breeding programme. The main challenge has always been that as the pigs get to move around freely, expending more energy than confined animals, they require substantially more feed and take longer to reach slaughter weight. It costs us in excess of R70/kg to produce. Fortunately many of you have realised the benefits and given us fantastic support over the years, for which we thank you. We are starting with a new batch of pigs. From February on we will have a few suckling pigs available and from May, fresh pork cuts.
- Lamb – currently we have a few lambs ready for slaughter. We need ±7 days from slaughter to packaging. Selling at R120/kg for the whole animal, slaughtered and R25/kg for butchering and packaging. They weigh in at around 12kg to 20kg slaughtered.
- Beef – We plan to slaughter an ox during the next week or two. We will then dry age for ±21 days before butchering. We plan to cut out all the prime cuts for steak and turn the rest into biltong, boerewors and mince. Should you require any other cuts please contact me so I can put them aside for you– available from end February.
Fruit and vegetables
At last we’ve had a little rain and the veld is green. With the lack of food around, insects are more of a problem than in the past and we are still getting our heads around organic ways of controlling them (Living Seeds is running a great pest and disease workshop on 2 February. They also have great ideas on what to plant now) What’s been harvested from the cooking school gardens at the moment:
- Potatoes – the first crop we have grown, they are delicious and we will be offering some for sale;
- Baby marrows – They have the most incredible flavour, sweet and slightly umami saltiness, nothing like those bitter, floppy ones from the supermarket. Both the fruit, sliced lengthways ±1cm thick and male flowers are delicious fried in a simple batter – ±1 cup self raising flour, 1T salt and enough ice cold soda water to create a thin cream consistency batter (don’t over mix, a few lumps are ok) shallow fry in oil till golden.
- Beetroot and cucumbers – we have bottled them in a sweet/sour brine, delicious with cold meats.
- Figs – delicious fresh of grilled, wrapped in pancetta. We’ll be making a limited amount of jam later this week.
- Garlic -The last of our trial garlic – Gaya’s Joy and Chesnok Red – has just been harvested, not very impressive, especially for the long growing season. We still have a limited supply of Wickedfood Earth Egyptian Pink, Wickedfood Earth White, Giant or Elephant, Eastern Porcelain and Tuscan for sale from the farm. Now is the time to also start thinking of purchasing garlic for growing over winter. We have found that the Wickedfood Earth Egyptian Pink is the fastest growing with the least amount of hassle. More….
Planning for the future
10 years ago we started with a piece of bare veld. Since then we have been developing our dream of building a training and research facility dedicated to all aspects of food and lifestyle sustainability that can one day be passed on to future generations. Our food gardens are now internationally recognized by, among others, Slow Food, whose key staff and students from around the world have been regular visitors. We could not have achieved what we have without the help of a wide range of sponsors and volunteers. This year we have some exciting new plans. They include:
- Building a show house – incorporating the latest developments in green building and energy usage. It will incorporate a state of the art teaching kitchen dedicated to sustainable food preparation for the future, we can host small groups for more personalised 1 to 5 day in-depth food and sustainability workshops. (The present 2 managers’ cottages, will be modified to accommodate participants.)
- Passing the baton on – we believe that the vision we started 10 years ago is now ripe to pass on to future generations, while we both still have the energy to share the immense knowledge we have gathered on this remarkable journey. Our long-term plan is to convert Wickedfood Earth to a public/private partnership, so that the work we have started can continue.
Should any company, or individual our there wish to become involved as a sponsor or with advice in these exciting new developments, please feel free to drop me a mail so we can further explore options.
Looking forward to welcoming you to one of our events during the course of the year.
Mike, Cilla and the Wickedfood Earth Country Cooking School Team.
Bookings – contact Cilla on 076 236-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Products – Mike, 060 761-0885, email@example.com