Rose Cottage Fruit Farm, Co. Laois

Strawberries, Blueberries & Raspberries ready to go! It seems to me that the majority of soft fruit sold in large supermarkets is grown & imported from Europe & often times, further afield. Luckily here in Laois between Abbeyleix & Mountrath, there is a family fruit farm growing the most delicious soft fruit, giving us customers the choice of choosing locally grown seasonal produce, which is why to me, the Phelan family are very definitely Food (more…)

Granstown Free-Range Eggs, Co. Laois

Every summer on the way to our local agricultural show we pass a field dotted with red hens. These have not just escaped their garden run but are the providers for Matt & Avril Bergin’s Granstown Free-Range Eggs, just outside Ballacolla in Co. Laois. Matt & Avril supply a great quality & healthy product to the shops, cafés, restaurants & hotels around Laois, Kilkenny Tipperary & Offaly. So how does a free-range egg make it’s (more…)

Free-Range Pork Collar with Sherry & Bay

Having spent a morning with Trish Butler and her happy little piggies in Kilkenny, I was eager to taste the result of their free-range upbringing. This cut is from the neck of the pig and as you can see it is quite darker in colour than the conventionally produced pork you see on butchers counters and supermarket shelves. This is because the animals have been reared with the freedom to roam outdoors in fields, their natural (more…)

Abbeyleix Saturday Market, Co. Laois

L-R; Tony (Hartley’s seafood), Paddy Lalor (Eggs), Billy Gorman (Plants), John Malone (Firewood/Timber). The past two Saturday’s have been great days for ducks. Grey, overcast skies have been sprinkling intermittently gentle mists and heavier showers of rain which kept people hibernating indoors, or if pushed, running from one shop to another as quick as they could.The ground stayed wet all day with plenty of puddles forming and while I wouldn’t classify the temperature as being (more…)

Butler’s Family Farm, Co. Kilkenny

At the West Waterford Festival of Food last year, I met a lady selling free-range pork and chicken from Kilkenny. She left an impression on me to learn more about our local “food heroes” and to create this series. It must have been a combination of her willingness to explain the story of her product, her gentle nature, and knowing the hard work and obstacles she faces as a small producer that intrigued me and (more…)

Roast Chicken with Wild Garlic & Pearl Barley

Remember years ago the distinctive smell of roast chicken weaving from the kitchen on a Sunday? And how that lingered through to Monday when you brought roast chicken sandwiches to school made with the brown & greasy scraps of leftover meat? About 30 minutes from my home, Ring’s Free-Range Poultry farmers in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny are helping us bring back that unmistakeable rich, delicious aroma with their free-range chickens now available in selected butchers and (more…)