Get involved in the Galway Food Festival
Galway’s foodies getting ready for the big fest at the end of the month.
By Martina Nee
The public are being urged to visit the upcoming Galway Food Festival and truly get involved by talking and getting to know all the producers and exhibitors who will be showing off their products and skills during the Easter bank holiday weekend event.
The Galway Food Festival takes place from Thursday March 28 to Monday April 1 and promises to be jam-packed with fantastic food and free, family-friendly, events keeping foodies entertained and informed.
Ronan Byrne of Athenry-based The Friendly Farmer, who will be one of the exhibitors during the festival, spoke about how last year’s event was such a success that it really helped get the name of his business and others, out there as well as encouraging the public to learn more about the various produce and producers that are in Galway, a city and county whose reputation as a foodie destination is increasing.
“We were lucky last year to have been involved in the first festival because it was such a massive success for us. We shared a stall with Castlemine Farms in Roscommon and both of us sold our hot produce on the day - we had samples of free range pork sausages and bronzed turkey. The festival was very good for us.
“This year we want to encourage more producers to come in and avail of the increased attention and football, to keep on developing the local food culture in Galway. The food festival is a brilliant tool for doing that, providing local producers with more opportunities. I’d also like to encourage the people of Galway to get to know the food producers, to see them in action. The festival is a great opportunity for people to get to know the new, up and coming, food producers. The best traceability you can have is to have some contact, some knowledge, of the producer, the story of that person. The fewer links in the food chain the easier it is to trace it.”
The Friendly Farmer is a business that was set up six years ago and specialises in pasture reared poultry selling produce to a number of restaurants and butchers throughout the city and county as well as having a presence at the Galway Market every Saturday.
Mr Byrne concluded: “We started out with just 100 chickens, we now supply 200 per week so we’re well established now and are very lucky with the local customer base we have. This year the farm will hopefully produce 90,000 individual meal portions, based on one chicken feeding four to five people. Everything is outdoor reared, we have very high welfare standards. Our way of farming is the old way in that the birds go outside. We use the traditional slow growing breeds, so the meat is tastier and there is a lovely marbelling in the meat. Our ethos is: ‘The better you treat the animal the better the taste’.”