GREEN FARM VEG AND EGGS
JOLLY LITTLE CHICKENS that are truly free range!
Having decided to come up here and retire we realised that sheep are hard work (very hard work). Ordinarily they’re okay but it’s the feet thing. I don’t mind turning them over, it’s just that I need to lie down for a week afterwards for my back to recover. So, the sheep are out, vegetables and chickens in. I also find that I don't get so attached to the vegetables.
We have a flock of Black Rock chickens with some Black Rock X Light Sussex. In total twenty two. The flock sleep in the old cow shed at The Ruah.
There are no predators (foxes, weasels, mink, velociraptors) so the chickens are truly free range and they have about 150 acres to roam! The chickens at The Ruah can often be found on the seashore scratching at whatever chickens scratch at. The chickens are sometimes hundreds of metres from the buildings. The one thing they all have in common is they are all back in their houses before it gets dark.
We are a registered egg producer and a registered egg packer. We sell to Shearers on Orkney Mainland and local people onthe Island. The eggs are collected every day. They are then sorted, candled, weighed, stamped with the producer number, packed and labelled.
What with other stuff going on the new luxury chicken house took about a year to complete. It took a month to clear out the rubbish and then about five months to rebuild the walls, the rest of the time was taken up with the roof, windows and doors.
Our latest enterprise is to grow vegetables for sale on Eday and mainland Orkney. Although root vegetables do really well outdoors here, there are many more possibilities under cover, especially as there are lots of rabbits (and lots of wild weather!).
We built a new polytunnel in 2013 and are planning to specialise in oriental vegetables such as pak choi and mooli which are proving very popular.
We already have a large greenhouse in the south facing part of the shed – this also produces vegetables (mainly greens) but is gradually being taken over by flowers and shrubs. It’s a great place to sit and daydream with a glass of wine!
We make use of our produce by supplying sandwiches and packed lunches. If you are visiting Eday please phone 01857 622263 to book with any dietary requirments. We can deliver anywhere on Eday!