There’s a woman – I won’t name her – who lives at the bottom of my hill. She’s just a few minutes away from Roundwood in Co. Wicklow and has chickens roaming around her garden. There’s a small sign outside her driveway: “organic eggs for sale.” The chickens mingle freely with a gang of cats and everybody seems to get along very well.
She has been selling organic eggs long before the organic movement became popular and, in the past year, was awarded her organic certificate. They’re the best eggs you will ever taste and, at just €1.75 per half-dozen, they’re cheaper than 6 free range eggs in any supermarket I have found. And, of course, it’s great to directly support a small local producer – especially one who knows EVERYBODY who ever lived in Wicklow.
Keeping a few chickens is a great way of saving money. Dermot Byrne makes and distributes chicken coops throughout Ireland (www.irishchickencoops.com). These are small self contained chicken houses that people can put either in their back garden or in a field. They house up to eight birds, guaranteeing fresh daily eggs. The outlay is €480 but with a few hens and a rooster you could potentially have eggs for life.
Do you buy direct from any producer? Can you recommend a local egg or vegetable seller?