"I suppose it sounds bizarre as it’s not every day you wake up and say to your husband, ‘Let’s be snail farmers’,"

Most dedicated gardeners wince at the sight of a snail in their midst, but not Sonya Begg.

When she saw there was a food source literally at her feet in her backyard, she quit hairdressing to farm the free-range molluscs.

"And the thought of free-range snails conjures up all sorts of images, but they are just your average garden variety of snail."

Her snails graze only on the best produce before fetching more than $2 each in trendy Sydney restaurants.

Mrs Begg has designed netted pens, similar to those on Italian farms, where they feed on hybrid turnips, silver beet and clover.

Last year, she bred 25,000 snails which where sold to restaurants in Sydney and Orange and to distributors in Brisbane and Canberra.

The snails fetched $9.50 per dozen and Mrs Begg hopes to step up production next year and hit the 100,000 mark.