Now that the pig slaughtering time is approaching in Guijuelo, it is also time to evaluate the free-ranging period that our Ibérico pigs have been enjoying this year in the meadowlands of the southern and central part of our country.
The scarce rainfall of this past spring and the insistent draught that has persisted in practically the two thirds of the southern part of our country this summer, have not only given rise to a sad landscape due to the lack of green in the meadowlands, but it has also led us to forecast one of the worst acorn seasons of the last few years.
However, with September the rains also came to the meadowlands. And they have continued, in a perfect measure, throughout the entire first part of autumn. The result has been immediate. The most visible part (just have a look at the image that is attached to this post) looks just like a second spring, with the meadowlands overflowing in an intense green colour, with the leaves of the Holm Oak and Cork Oak washed clean of the accumulated summer dust and new life sprouting in the pasturelands that surround them.
Perhaps less obvious, but of great importance for our drove, is the production of acorns, which towards the end of August seemed to be very poor indeed, and yet it has completely recuperated. When our droves of pigs have gone out to free-range they have found quite an amount of good-sized, quality acorns, hence we can forecast a good year in as far as acorn-fed Ibérico products is concerned.
Also, in like manner to the fact that “man does not only live off bread”; the pig does not only live off acorns. Now, despite being fully immersed in the free-range period and feasting on the acorns, the pasturelands are also overflowing with grass and wild vegetation that even includes truffles, all of which contribute to the diet of our pigs and helps them reach the perfect weight during this key period of their development.
Hence if the proverb “May rains, bread for the whole year” exists, we should also start thinking up one for the month of September after a very, very dry summer…something like “wet September following a dry summer, healthy and savoury Acorn-Fed Ham”.
(Indeed it can be improved! We accept suggestions)