The good egg

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS - KAROLIN MACGRE­GOR

Fes­ti­val vis­i­tors wel­come

VIS­I­TORS get to see ex­actly where their food comes from at this week­end’s sec­ond an­nual Far­m­gate Fes­ti­val.

Fo­cused around the western Tamar Val­ley, the fes­ti­val runs to­mor­row and Sun­day. It in­cludes two feasts fea­tur­ing Tas­ma­nian food and wine, the first tonight at Strath­lynn Wine and one to­mor­row night at Tim­bre Kitchen.

Fif­teen farms, winer­ies and food busi­nesses open their gates to vis­i­tors and Mered­ith Tiller’s Tamar Val­ley Pas­tured Eggs is one of them.

Ms Tiller runs the farm with her daugh­ter Kath­leen Fer­rero and Dun­can Holt. The fam­ily moved to Tas­ma­nia from Queens­land last year and got their first hens in De­cem­ber.

“I’ve al­ways been con­cerned about the caged chick­ens for a long time and I’ve al­ways bought free range eggs and have been a bit ob­sessed with it,” Ms Tiller said. “We had the ideal place to start a busi­ness where we run the hens like you would at home, where they al­ways have ac­cess to fresh grass and can roam around as they like.”

Now they have 250 hens and started sell­ing eggs in March. The hens are run in an elec­tric-fenced area of about 0.5ha and are moved ev­ery cou­ple of days to en­sure fresh sup­ply of pas­ture.

“They don’t have their wings clipped so they can fly out if they want to. The fences are mainly there to pro­tect them from preda­tors.”

The fam­ily will op­er­ate tours of the farm to­mor­row and Sun­day from 10am to 3pm and will have eggs for sale. Go to www.far­m­gate­fes­ti­val.nut.au for de­tails.

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