The SOLAS Eco Garden Shop & Farmers’ Market in Portarlington is to be featured on Newstalk’s ‘Down to Business with Bobby Kerr’ which will air between 10am and 12pm this Saturday August 14.
David Maher, co-owner of SOLAS, explained how the pre-recorded visit to the popular shop went,
He said: “We were so delighted when we were contacted by Newstalk to let us know Bobby would be visiting SOLAS and sure enough he arrived on Wednesday afternoon.
“The whole visit was very informal and fun with my business partner John Carey and myself giving Bobby the tour.
“We started by enjoying a SOLAS coffee from local coffee roaster ‘Seccoto Coffee’ in our ‘Chill’ Food zone as we explained the industrial history of Portarlington and the why we made the decision to build SOLAS – Ireland’s first Eco Garden Shop.”
Maher continued: “The rest of the visit continued much as expected as we guided Bobby through our range of Plants, Pots and retractable roof greenhouse.
“But just as we were about to head towards our 22,000 sq. ft indoor garden shop, we showed Bobby our luxury hen house and from that point it was ‘Chickens all the way’ and we never quite managed to get to the garden shop.
“Bobby Kerr without a moment’s hesitation climbed a ladder on to the top of one our containers and proceed to interview both John and myself along with the chickens – it was really quite surreal.”
On site facilities for the chickens include a 40ft container completed with perches, laying boxes and a straw bed relaxation area.
They have access to an outdoor area that includes a climbing frame, swing, mini lake with a solar powered fountain and a range of tasty herbs.
The chickens dine on mainly leftover bread and cakes from the SOLAS café – a true circular economy.
By Department of Agriculture rules, the 500 sq. ft chicken coop would be allowed house up to 600 chickens and still quality as being ‘free range’ – while the SOLAS hens have plenty of room– hosting only 20 chickens at any one time.
The trip end with photo of Bobby, John and David at the magnificent SOLAS sign.
David said: “It was only afterwards we realised that Bobby Kerr was still holding onto his SOLAS Coffee cup, which is a great PR coup for us given his proud history as the Godfather of Irish Coffee through his ‘Insomnia’ Brand.”
This week’s market is to feature several new exhibitors including:
- Leopards kitchen amazing range of Salsas & Couscous
- Houli-HENS free range eggs and healthy Omelettes
- Free Range Meats with bring an array of fresh beef and cooked products on the day
- Crean’s Place artisan fresh sour dough and pastries