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the farmers market, portmarnock

On Sunday[17th May ’09] I took a trip out to my folks home town. I had heard about this new one… but I was unsure. I have this image in my head that there’s a lady who goes out on a Friday, takes a few turnips from the garden, pops ’em into a tweed satchel and pedals from Galway to sell her wares….I jest! But you get the image.. and as a result I’ve been disappointed sometimes for what actually was being sold. It was a market. But not a farmers market entirely. The case in Portmarnock was a lot more to my liking. It’s sill only 6 weeks old – but I liked it. People were happy! The rain was pouring on this particular day, but I really enjoyed it….

What do you do if you wanna give it a go….?
I met André Jenkinson. I had met him before. He runs the one in Portmarnock. He tells me it costs each stall holder €50 per day. He supplies the gazebo. You supply your tables and the rest… One thing to note is a one off insurance that must be held before you start. He says it costs about €250 for the year… but once again a chat with the man is probably best first.

What was Portmarnock like?
I was really impressed. It was lashing out of the heavens [on and off] but it was good. There are some people I must say hello to that I met and who I liked for varying reasons… but mainly their ethos, their products and well, for being nice people.

So hello to Margaret Murphy who had a great selection of plants ; hi to Dan McEvoy who had the flower and herb stall  – these were all grown by his family and also to Jenny  and ‘the man’ who trades as MY CHI – I love your crépes and I love that there is not one additive in your *real* homemade foods. It was delicious by the way.

There is also a guy there who does really *real* coffee. An absolute must. The cakes were adorable, the bread magnificient and the list goes on…. what can you do… pop on down, take a gander, say hello, let me know what you think…. thinking about doing your own – pop on down and have a natter – you’ll love it.

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the ultimate guide to chick-hens

big smile...

big smile...

Since I last wrote about ‘The Supremes’, things have really settled down. In the last ‘snappy’ post, the day they arrived, the set-up wasn’t exactly complete.

the complete hen runhomemade chicken hen perchchicken hen feature old tree stump

  • The chicken wire I got wasn’t 6 foot tall [more 3′ approximately] and I only had enough to go once around. I completed the upper level with that green tennis court kind of mesh… [see pics above].
  • I made a little perch for them using the pole off a broken sweeping brush. And I threw in an old lump of a tree stump as a sort of feature. They use both to sit upon.

I know that the hens food can be expensive; [depending on what you buy] AND as a result of that…. I now realise the amount of S*** one can be sold and how the products and prices are figured out is almost beyond me. In some cases, disgraceful to be very honest. It almost makes me a little angry. Bad bandwagon jumping where nurturing and encouragement should be given….

To that…. I’ve seen such varient & useless paraphernalia; most of which I can only describe as ‘dog kennels on stilts’ and all sorts of fancy bags of ‘super dooper hen feed’ and honestly, 99% of it is all crap. FACT. Something I’d hope the likes of Richard Corrigan will point out on his show…. ? Whats worse is a lot of these bandwagon jumping guys are getting in touch with me…. ? A lot of them don’t even have chickens!! Some have even taken the notes from my blog…. hmmmm 😯

It’s a ‘family’ way. It’s a way of living. It has F*** all to do with this word as the media constantly suggests it does [and as does The RTE/ Corrigan show]. Not when a shed costs €360. A good ‘buy right & buy one once’ shed by the way. In my honest experience – anyone who has hens, fowl, chickens…. etc… [and to all of the press out there….] It is cheaper to buy a tray of eggs, for the first few years at least. If you do write anything else – you’ve never lived the good life and know nothing about it.

feed for hens barleyhen water feederhen feeder

  • Back to the nice business… the big bag of barley 40kg costs about €10 in a good old style honest farm supplies shop. This and the kitchen green waste will feed them. They absolutely love potatoes and the peels…. but not so much carrots it seems 🙂 I might change this to a bag of wheat when that runs out.
  • The water container [white kind of upside down bucket – see pics above with a red bottom trim] is only for baby chicks so they don’t fall in. Any bucket that will hold water will do. Even I can be sold ‘stuff’ that is unnecessary…..
  • The steel feeder is necessary if you have a daily job… but keep it inside so as to keep the food dry – otherwise it turns to slop.
  • The four hens cost me €12 each. That will give you a good guide on how much to pay.
hen-eggs-just-layed

...all this for an egg

And after all of that… and just 11 days after arrival…… I got my first egg 🙂

There was a bit more of a hullabulooo in the run today [see pics below]. I stepped in to see the ‘nest’ being prepared. Poor thing didn’t know what was happening…. but all is good. The other guys were faffing around like…. like, well headless chickens I suppose… 😉

I can now walk in and pet them. The dogs have grown accustomed to them. It has however been a learning curve and a journey of sorts; yet,  one I am glad to have taken part in and I do love dearly, still. I always have

Most of my materials came for free… or I had them already. Maybe in a year or 2 it will pay for itself…. but not this year. But then, I am happy. I am 99.9% of the time a very happy chappy and that’s something no amount of money can buy 😆

the other hens want to see whats going onhens perparing to layhen making the nest

Was it worth the money? every penny! Would I recommend it? 110% Whatever you do and however you choose to do it…. have fun, smile and above all enjoy…. I promise you, for the first egg alone, it’s worth it!!

this video is courtesy of my friend Blaithín.

All my weblog articles of hens [so far] are here: