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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

T. H. Green's Ham & Bacon Curing Establishment

T. H. Green's Ham & Bacon Curing Establishment.

Considering the reputation which Canterbury hams and bacon have gained, not only throughout New Zealand, but also in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland, a description of these factories will doubtless be interesting to the visitor to Christchurch.

Mr. T. H. Green, who has now been established in his business twenty-four years, has three establishments—one for curing, at Ashburton; one for slaughtering and curing, at Leeston; and his main curing establishment in Manchester-street, Christchurch. The one at Ashburton is a brick building used for curing; the Leeston one is a farm, on which are situated the slaughtering works, and also a building for curing. The slaughtering works are on a large scale, being sufficient to put through 1000 pigs at a time. But it is to the main curing works in Christchurch that we propose to introduce our reader.

The building is a most substantial three-storey one, of brick, the lowest floor being concreted. It is fitted with lifts, and every convenience for carrying on. a large business, which will readily be understood when we say that during the curing season, which lasts only three mouths, between 7000 and 8000 pigs are here usually salted, cut up, dried, cured, smoked, done up in cloth, packed in cases, and sent away to the various markets.

Passing through the office the visitor enters the lower room. Here he may probably see, at the large double doors at the side entrance, large double waggons discharging their loads of pigs, looking beautifully clean and tempting, just arrived from Leeston. They are weighed in (each pig being weighed separately) by busy men as rapidly as they can be lifted from the waggons, and hung up ready to be laid on the broad, long page 202counters, which are to be seen all round and about the room, cut up into sides and hams, and salted. On the upstair floors are two drying and two smoking rooms, besides rooms for rolling and tying up the sides sold as "rolled bacon," and packing rooms where sides and hams are neatly packed in oatmeal husks and sown up in cloth. Great care is taken at every step to ensure the turning out of nothing but first-class articles, and particularly to the smoking and packing, by which the tempting finish is given to the bacon and hams.

Attached to this building is the "fat-house," fitted up with steam boiler, two steam vats, coolers, and other appliances requisite for "rendering" pigs' fat into lard—a work which forms a considerable item of Mr. Green's business. Between thirty and forty tons of lard are annually turned out from here, some being done up in bladders, and some packed in kegs. For this there is a large demand throughout the colony, besides considerable quantities being shipped to the Home Country.