As much as big organisations/corporates play their part in this world, I love championing small local enterprises who offer a personal touch and something different.
One such enterprise is Ormen House (located next to Woods Farm) in Shirley, Solihull. Although 2 separate businesses, Woods Farm (http://www.woodsfarm.co.uk/) is very well known in the Shirley/Solihull area as hundreds of people (from all around the region and beyond) descend there before Christmas to purchase their real Christmas trees, logs for wood burning fires and to meet the resident reindeer. Woods Farm have over the past couple of years donated trees and holly wreaths to both the Prime Minister's home at 10 Downing Street and also to the Chancellor's residence at 11 Downing Street! An honour I'm sure you'll agree!
Driving past there, there is a lovely sign outside Ormen House inviting you to buy free-range eggs, laid by their onsite hens - ½ dozen eggs for £1.00.
It must be emphasised that it’s located next to Woods Farm, but Ormen House is a separate business with its own range of goods. Although not an official farm shop, as well as eggs there is also the opportunity to buy locally made fresh bread plus fruit and vegetables which are from the family plot when in season and are otherwise from the wholesale market.
As well as all the delicious produce, Ormen House have live free-range chickens for sale for those wishing to partake in domestic chicken keeping. I've heard that having your own supply of golden yolked eggs is a fantastic and rewarding thing! The difference here is that Ormen House rescue hens that haven’t been treated accordingly, nurse them back to health and then they live a full free-range life either at Ormen House or with their new owners. Once healthy, the chickens return back to having plush feathers, bright red headcombs and wattles and are totally relaxed and contented. This factor I believe contributes to a better quality of eggs. The proceeds from egg sales go towards recuperation costs for the chickens, so as well as receiving gorgeous eggs, you're helping a great project too.
So next time you're driving down Bills Lane (B90 2PP), or wish to make a special de-tour, stop to buy your eggs and veggies and help a great cause.
PS: Ending on a lovely note, Ormen House tell me that Woods Farm's reindeer is due to have a baby reindeer calf any day now - awww!