Meet Mud’s Local Egg Supplier
Eggs are essential to us here at Mud. They’re an integral part of our legendary pastry and they are also, of course, in our squiches. So Christian is very particular about where we get them from.
Hallgate Farm Eggs
Luckily for us, on our doorstep in nearby Petworth we have Hallgate Eggs, run by husband and wife team Helen and Nick Bamber, which more than meets our criteria for top quality, locally-sourced ingredients.
Their chickens are all free-range, grass-fed and are as healthy as any chickens could be. “They have a good life, nice clean water, everything they need,” says Helen. “Eggs taste better when the chickens are fed on grass and when they are happy - and these are happy chickens! We think it makes a difference.”
A chicken and egg situation
Helen and Nick started their farming career growing vegetables, “but it wasn’t quite the right thing,” says Helen, “one day we got a few chickens and suddenly everything fell into place, I knew instantly that was it. We sold our first egg about 12 years ago and haven’t looked back! We’ve got sheep now as well, which I look after along with the chickens and Nick handles sales and delivers to our customers. It works well.”
It's an eggs-ellent life
Helen has lived in this area of the South Downs all her life and is passionate about the outdoors. “I absolutely love my job” she says, “every single day. We work 365 days a year, I haven’t had a holiday in 12 years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Their chickens, which are of varying ages, produce different sized eggs, mostly medium and large. Some of the chickens lay double-yolkers, which they call Bamber’s Belters! Hallgate Eggs make daily deliveries to local restaurants, shops, hotels, pubs, schools and hospitals, as well as customers such as Mud, but local residents also often pop in to collect their eggs in person. “We have one particular old gentleman who comes in especially for the Bamber’s Belters – he loves them.”
We like a ha-pie ending!
The chickens stay at the farm throughout their best egg-laying period, but after that Helen has managed to make sure they still have a future. She has developed a relationship with a not-for-profit organisation called Fresh Start for Hens, run entirely by volunteers. They re-home chickens to private households, schools, allotments and residential homes, so they can live out the rest of their natural lives in a caring environment. So the chickens go on to have a lovely life and the new owners have daily fresh eggs - everyone’s a winner!