Eggs and ChickensJuly 24, 2009
I have no pressing eco-issues in my life today – so once again we visit 1001 little ways to save the planet. Today we look at number 694 (because that was the page the book opened up to) Choose free-range.
Even though we live in a farming community it took awhile before finding a source for free-range chickens and eggs. We have now found our go-to year-round farmer’s market – Heritage Farmer’s Market (no website but here’s some information). It took them a few years and 3 locations to finally find a good spot to light. We have bought our Thanksgiving turkeys through them for the last few years, and each year the family says “this is the best turkey we’ve ever had.” We aren’t big meat eaters, but what we do eat we try to buy from them or from friends. In fact, thawing in the refrigerator right now are about a dozen chicken wings from the farmer’s market to barbecue tonight – we’re going to pull out all the various barbecue sauces we’ve accumulated and pretend we live in Buffalo.
The farmer’s market is a good source of organic eggs, but we now have two other sources also. By far the most convenient (the farmer’s market is about 14 miles away) is a small farm right in town. But our most commonly used source is my husband’s co-worker. The eggs he brings home are beautiful – pale pinks and blues and greens and yellows. The yolks are an incredibly dark yellow and the eggs cook up thick. That look incredible (alas, I can’t eat eggs, so I enjoy them visually).
Our property actually has two henhouses – one became a playhouse for the kids (well, one kid now) and the other is our garden shed. I’ve mentally toyed with raising chickens. I would enjoy finding the eggs – but it isn’t worth raising chickens because one person in the family eats eggs. We could raise fryers or broilers or other eating chickens; one of my favorite blogs, Squash Blossom Farm, makes it sound easy. But if I raised chickens I’m afraid I’d name each one and then I couldn’t eat them. So I don’t think being a chicken farmer is in my cards. I think my job is to support those chicken farmers that do it right.