Leigh Farm: free range pork
PUBLISHED: 11:07 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 20 March 2017
A 16th century farm on the edge of Dartmoor is rolling back the years and producing free range pork just as it was hundreds of years ago
Spencer Cooke and wife Sarah are producers of pedigree Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, a rare breed and one of the oldest English breeds. Also known as the plum pudding pig, the breed is happiest living a true free range life, enjoying the wet winters and dry summers alike in the 10 acres of pasture and woodland.
Leigh Farm is the home of the Old English Pig Company and has just been awarded the Good Pig Award by Compassion in World Farming in recognition of their high welfare and ethical standards.
Spencer says: “Everything we do here is as natural and traditional as we can make it. Nothing is produced with profit in mind. Welfare and tradition are at the heart of what we do, without compromise. What follows is a product that stands alone in the market.
“Our pigs live life as nature intended. They take twice as long to finish compared to a commercial factory pig, they truly get a chance to ‘live life & run free’ a motto we truly believe in.”
Spencer is clearly a passionate producer, involved in the entire production from farrowing (birth) to slaughter, and he even cures and smokes the bacon himself at the farm.
“We are so passionate about what we do, we don’t like to lose control so take 100% responsibility for the final product.”
The Old English Pig Company only produces small numbers and as such cannot be found in butchers, let alone supermarkets.
They promote nose-to-tail eating which is best demonstrated by chef Anton Piotrowski at the Michelin-starred Treby Arms, Sparkwell, who is committed to using the whole pig to produce a dish called “This little Piggie went to the Treby”.
Some say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and with Michelin star chefs in the list of customers it seems that the plum pudding pig speaks for itself. w