Do you like chocolate? It’s what Easter seems to have become synonymous with, yet there is a healthier option. The trouble is chocolate tastes so good – it’s a chicken and egg situation.
One company has come up with a neat alternative to all that sugar in chocolate, for those that live close to the Green Corridor in the Netherlands. It’s called ‘Adopt a Chicken’ giving people access to a year round supply of fresh, free range eggs from their Green Forest egg business, Het Groene Woud-ei. All of which sounds like a viable, healthy alternative to chocolate and assists in letting the hens live in their natural environment as well.
The Het Groene Woud-ei initiative
It all started with Peter and Esther van Agt (of the Fladderfarm in Oirschot) and a design for a mobile hen house.
Additionally Erik van den Oord from Ivanhoe Management, who specialises in new business models, along with Carlos Faes of the Philips Fruit Garden in Eindhoven have also been involved from the start of the project. In fact Carlos will make his orchard available in the summer months as one of the locations for the Het Groene Woud-ei mobile hen coop.
The unit is moved every two to four weeks to a different location in the Green Corridor – a sort of chickens go on holiday scenario – ensuring a variety of locations where people can buy the eggs.
Moving around the Green Corridor meant being able to be as self sufficient as possible. Peter and Esther van Agt achieved this with the assistance of Victron Energy distributor Top Systems and Victron installers Elektro van Heerdt.
Het Groene Woud-ei mobile hen home has solar panels on the roof and uses a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 250/100 and Orion DC/DC converters (see blog headline image) to keep 240 hens and 9 cocks in the manner they have become accustomed to.
Not only is electricity provided by solar for lighting, but there is also a water collection system (via the guttering) to collect and purify rainwater.
Peter and Esther van Agt of Het Groene Woud-ei have clearly come up with a winning formula, having received the ZLTO Initiative Prize Audience Award 2017, for their vision. Their award is based on – “members who work on innovative, original or sustainable initiatives to improve the market or the social position of entrepreneurs in the green space.”
However, maybe one should invest in chocolate this Easter as well – it comes but once a year after all. 😉
Blog headline image: Serge Duursma
All other images: Marc van den Hout