Approximately 2.6 m x 2.1 m.
Please call 02 9818 2717 or email us if you'd like to view the hides.
Apart from the fact that they are gorgeous and last forever, these hides are also unique - there's nothing else out there quite like them.
Why these hides are special.
- Nose to tail. These hides are a bid to celebrate the beauty of the animals and pay due respect to the life given up by using as much of the animal as possible. They come from the grand, three-four year old, certified organic, Ashrose Belted Galloway cattle carcasses we sell as beef through Feather and Bone.
- Unusually thick hides. Because the animals are older, their skins are thick and strong and make perfect floor rugs. Most cattle these days are sold as yearlings (14-18 months) and their hides are relatively thin. The tannery tells us that they rarely see thick, good quality hides like these ones any more. You can feel the floor through most commercially available hides and they curl up at the edges because they're so thin - not so with the Ashrose hides.
- Traditional, gentle curing process. Most hides are cured in a few days using a highly concentrated combination of chemicals - fast but very toxic. These hides are cured at Greenhalgh Tannery in Victoria using a minimum-chemical process that starts with salting the hides and then slowly curing them over about four weeks.
- Restricted numbers. The curing only works with the thick, winter coats and, even then, we generally only get a handful that are good enough quality to sell each year.
Greenhalgh Tannery, near Ballarat in Victoria, was established by the Greenhalgh family in 1865 and it's one of the last tanneries using traditional vegetable curing methods. The current owners, Ross and Bruce Greenhalgh, are in their late 50s and have spent their entire working lives in the tannery. They're the fifth, consecutive generation to run the tannery but, sadly, they will probably be the last. The industry is shrinking - most curing is now done in Asia or South America - and the brothers' kids aren't interested in continuing the business. So within about five years the Greenhalgh tannery will probably close forever and the craft and knowledge honed over 150 years will be lost.
Ashrose Belted Galloways
Ashrose Farm, outside Orange in NSW, is John and Kate Blackwood’s beautiful, chemical-free, certified organic farm populated by one of the largest herd of Belted Galloway cattle in NSW. In pursuit of optimum pasture welfare through rotational grazing, they’ve built an impressive system of lanes that run between paddocks along which cattle are moved when they’re rotated onto new pastures. It’s a canny way of turning cattle moving into a one-person job while minimising cattle stress. We've been working with the Blackwoods and selling their beef and hides since July 2012.
Belted Galloways originated in Galloway in Scotland and are big, shaggy cattle noted for longevity, hardiness, adaptability, high fertility, easy calving, feed conversion efficiency, docility and excellent beef qualities.