Each month we will conduct a short interview with one of our regular or guest stall holders to give an insight into how the goods on offer at Oakwood farmers’ Market actually get to market.
This month our Q&A is with Steve Shearman of Church View Farm Eggs.
Church View Farm Eggs
Oakwood Farmers’ Market Q&A
How long have you been keeping Chickens?
Since I was five years old. My father was a poultry farmer and I very quickly developed an interest in the chickens, ducks and geese that has never left me. In fact I feel an affinity to all animals.
What is your earliest memory?
I’m not sure which was first, a chicken or an egg
How many chickens do you have at the farm?
At the moment we have 1200 chickens. We also have approximately 50 ducks and 18 geese.
Are all your chickens free range?
If they are all free range how do your round them up at night and get them inside their poultry house?
We don’t round them up. They go back in to roost when it gets dark. That is why it is very difficult to have a social life in the summer because we do not finish work until all the chickens are safely inside.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
We do not have holidays because we have to look after the chickens.
Which actor do you wish could play you in a film about your life?
How many eggs do your chickens lay each day?
We get more or less 1000 eggs per day
Do you have any time for other interests?
I keep rare breed chickens which I take great pride in and at the moment I am President of the North East Region of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.
How long have you been racing pigeons? And have you been successful?
It seems like I have been racing pigeons all my life, and not wishing to brag I have probably won every local race that has been organised at some time or another. I get a lot of pleasure from the sport.
Have you ever told a bird that you love her and not meant it?
Do you think that the birds have characters?
Definitely they do. We adopted a goose when a friend passed away, and as he was called John Clarke the goose became known as Clarky. He was a bit grumpy and wanted to let everyone know he was the boss, but he soon became part of the fixtures and fittings of the farm. We adopted him 35 years ago and sadly Clarky passed away only three weeks ago. He had had a good life though and he was a real character.
What is your favourite song?
Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan
Do you have a mission statement or motto that sums up your attitude to your business?
Yes we have two, “Quality not quantity”, and “We believe that we do not have customers we have friends that buy our eggs”.
What would your super power be?
Flying. In fact I have got to fly now, see you later.
Thank you Steve.