Our snail farming journey started in 2012 while visiting France, where we sampled escargot for the first time. On returning to Ireland, we discovered that we could not source escargot locally (no surprise really!) so we decided to try breeding a sample batch in our one bedroom apartment in Kilkenny, just as a hobby. As time went on, we looked in to the breeding of escargot further.
Having completed extensive research on the escargot market, we realised there was a significant international shortage of the product, so we decided to make a business out of this.
And this is how snail farming in Ireland was born...
It wasn’t an easy task to start growing snails in Ireland; no one had done it successfully before.
In the beginning, we were sure that the recipe we followed was fool proof, but experience proved otherwise. It took us two years of testing to formulate and incorporate the best systems and techniques from around the world to suit the Irish climate.
As the Polish method works so well in a number of other countries, we tried to replicate it but found it unsuitable for Irish weather conditions. We then adopted Italian techniques followed by the French tricks of the trade, but they failed also.
This cost us tremendously in terms of time and finances but finally we formulated a unique system suitable to the Irish climate. This system ensures maximum results with breeding, incubation and fattening of snails. We keep continuing with our research and development so the future snail farmers of Ireland could learn on our mistakes.
Our snails are nurtured in an outdoor field which allows them to grow in a natural, free-range environment. Irish weather conditions with high rainfall and mild temperature is conducive to breeding snails in open pastures, producing a free-range product. The benefits of breeding snails in natural conditions far outweigh indoor production methods. The free-range breeding system allows production of healthy snails which offers a significant advantage over snails that are collected and bred in enclosure environments.
There are two ways to start farming snails in Ireland: by breeding (full cycle: Dec- Sept) or by fattening baby snails (half cycle: April- Sept).