The story of our Charcuterie
Close Leece Farm is the result of a life-long interest in rare breed animals and sustainable farming. Tracey Ridgway, our founder, has ensured her core values – protection of rare breeds, the highest possible animal welfare standards and minimising our impact on the environment – are at the centre of everything we do.
The Farm is situated on the Isle of Man, the “Jewel in the Irish Sea”. It sits in the west of the island, nestled amongst the hills of the verdant Manx countryside and sheltered from the bluster of the Irish Sea. The land is steeped in history, particularly from the Vikings who left their mark. However – most prominent at the farm is the backdrop of Slieu Whallian, "Witches Hill", rich with legend and stories of ghosts, easily imagined as the clouds and fog swirl around its flanks.
We specialize in producing artisan award-winning charcuterie, handmade on the farm from our herd of nearly 300 Rare Breed Pedigree Tamworth pigs. We chose this breed not just for their good looks and wonderful meat, but also the quality and quantity of their fat (which allows us to avoid fat imports, as routinely used by other producers).
Our pigs are born and raised in family groups on open pasture and we are proud to be helping the survival of this wonderful Rare Breed, in conjunction with the Rare Breed Trust.
2019 was an exciting year for us, not least because we have started producing charcuterie with Rare Breed native Manx Loaghtan sheep. This ancient primitive sheep was brought to the Island by the Vikings and is prized for its wool and the taste of its meat. We collaborate with our neighbouring farms when demand outstrips our own supply. We are proud to be farming Loaghtans and helping to preserve this breed, of which there were fewer than 50 specimens in the 1950s.