Marie Woulfe (Collins) was born in Ardagh and brought up on a farm whilst her husband Denis is from Abbeyfeale. They live close to their 51-acre farm in Ardagh, Co. Limerick with their 2 children Daniel and Eileen.
Marie has been involved in raising chickens since 1990 after she finished College in Athenry Poultry College and has been supplying Manor Farm with free range chickens since 2008. She continues the family tradition as her parents were also involved in the poultry industry before her which they started in 1974. As well as running the farm and looking after her children Marie also works part-time for her husband's Civil Engineering business.
Marie describes her typical day "I get up around 7.00 am and go and check the chickens in the poultry site. I then get the children up and give them something to eat usually cereals or porridge. I prepare the lunches and drop the children to Gaelscoil O Doghair for 8.45 am. I then return to the poultry houses and carry out my routine in the poultry depending on the age of the birds. I would usually open all the pop holes to allow the chickens to go out into the field. I then have breakfast and after that, depending on what day it is I work for a few hours in the office which is just behind our house, my father usually helps out and checks the chickens while I am not there. After lunch, I return to the poultry house and carry out my checks and repairs etc. I then leave to collect the children at 5.30pm and we do homework with the children before we then return to the poultry house at 6.30 pm for about an hour. We then return home and have our dinner. We all have dinner usually together and discuss the day's events. The children usually go to bed at 8.30pm and I return to the poultry house for my last checks of the day and also to shut the pop-holes again for the night. I return home at 9.30 pm and we might watch some tv or a good film and am in bed at 11.30 pm."
Outside of farming, Marie tells us "I play basketball with the local ladies team (St Josephs Blazers). I play Badminton with the Newcastlewest local club. My favourite pastime is Shopping in Newcastlewest which has some great clothes shops. My husband is a keen vegetable gardener and grows free range eggs and free range turkeys for our own kitchen and he has involved the children after school in this. I am a keen flower gardener and the children love to help out after school. I like spending time with my children and husband and we love to eat out and to travel within Ireland and abroad."
Marie as with all our chicken Farmers also loves to eat chicken and describes her favourite chicken dishes:
- Roast chicken stuffed with Garlic cloves with roast potatoes and Carrot and parsnip mashed with butter
- Chicken strips marinated in salt and Cayenne pepper with rice and Red peppers, onions and tomatoes with Tabasco sauce
- Chicken portions marinated in Barbeque sauce and done on the barbeque with fresh salad and homemade chips
- Chicken portioned and browned and put in a casserole with potatoes or rice and vegetables from the garden whatever is available
- Chicken marinated in a spicy chicken marinade and cooked in the oven (paprika, ginger, honey olive oil, sesame oil, spring onions, garlic, salt and black pepper) with potatoes mashed with cabbage and butter and fresh salad from the garden
Always use Fresh Irish chicken (Manor Farm preferable) and free range if at all possible as this will always give the best results and guaranteed flavour.
Vegetables should also always be fresh, always Irish and home-grown if possible to give the best possible flavour.
Always encourage family and friends about the fantastic Irish home grown products that are on the market and tell them how to ensure that the products they buy are Irish produced.
Always support Irish products which are grown to the highest standards in the world and never forget the health benefits of Irish produced chicken for yourself and your family especially your children.