Half a dozen free range eggs. Sold by a local farm from a vending machine! Game changer.

April 2nd, 2014, 7pm

I was really tempted to snap a photograph of the setup, but felt a bit exposed in the farmer’s driveway…

So I’ve recently been exploring two things: local produce, and the history of local areas, including farms. Serendipitously, the latter led me to the former.

I’ll explain.

I live in an area of Milton Keynes called Two Mile Ash, and it’s bordered by the ancient Watling Street - an ancient trackway, and later a paved Roman road, which runs in a roughly straight line from the South East coast, through London, along to the Welsh border.

My estate is quite modern, and really rather boring, like most of Milton Keynes, but I am surrounded by areas steeped in much older history.

Nearby Two Mile Ash farm was itself part of the larger Manor Farm, Calverton, in previous centuries, all just to the west of Watling Street, as you can see from this map. (Two Mile Ash farm is number 1.)

Farms of Calverton in the 19th & early 20th Century.

You can read more about the farms of Calverton in the 19th & early 20th Century on this helpful page.

In Googling the history of Two Mile Ash farm (and finding the previous link), I also found their own website, which unfortunately says nothing of the farm’s history, but does contain this tantalising information:

Eggs, Honey and Apple Juice are available from the vending machine from 7am-9pm daily

Fresh eggs from a farm nearby, and from a vending machine? I had to pay them a visit.

And so, a couple of minutes’ bike ride away from my front door is Two Mile Ash farm - I just have to cross the occasionally busy Watling Street/A5 to get to their driveway. And, lo and behold, just on the left hand side - a vending machine in a weatherproof cabinet!

Just pop your money in - £1.40 for half a dozen eggs - rotate the displayed shelves, and then you slide open the panel in front of the product of your choice.

Incredibly exciting, to me at least. And delicious, large, fresh, free range eggs - I had one this morning. I’ll try to take a photo of the chickens next time - they were happily wandering about in their enclosure just beyond the vending machine.

A fantastic service, and I’ll definitely be picking up their honey and apple juice next time, too.

Lorraine, Adrian, Conor, Vivien and 7 others said thanks.

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Paul Capewell

I read lots of stuff about old stuff and new stuff. I love diaries. I take photographs sometimes, and I like to ride my bicycle.

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