There have been a lot of new things going on at Podere Erica since I wrote my last blog. Besides all the happy sippers at our wine tastings, we now have happy pigs and chickens!
One of the things that contributes to a true biodynamic farm is to have farm animals. When we were contemplating which animals to add, I was watching one of my favorite television shows – Chopped. One of the mystery ingredients was Mangalitsa Pork. Amanda Freitag, one of the judges commented that this was the most delicious and healthiest of meats. Even the fat does not have any cholesterol. I was impressed and asked Massimo (my resident expert on all things Italian and pork products) if he knew anything about this pork. He had never heard of this type of pig, so we did some investigating.
Turns out, it is a furry heritage pig from Hungary, which enjoys foraging in the forest. We journeyed to the nearby region of Lazio, Italy to visit a farm that had these pigs, but they were not interested in selling us any. Our great friend, Fabio, from whom we bought all the furniture for the Podere as well as the villa in Florence, often travels to Hungary to buy antiques. Through him we were able to locate the pigs in Hungary. After much red tape, including me becoming a “breeder” in Italy, we were able to get Dante and Beatrice. Beatrice soon became pregnant and now we have 6 pigs!
While we were investigating the purchase of the pigs, we did buy some chickens – thought they would be good for beginners. Now our renters can enjoy truly fresh eggs! Even if you don’t have fresh from the farm eggs, you can enjoy an Italian Frittata. Here is a link to our favorite recipe.
Next, we will be getting a pair of Amiatino donkeys – a special breed of donkey native to Tuscany and known for its sweet demeanor.