Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It doesn’t really matter at the farmers’ market–we have both! Chicken that are raised on small farms offer so much more than your average supermarket offerings, and their eggs are no eggception! At first glance, the beautiful natural colors of the egg shells will beguile you–greens, blues, tans, browns and speckled. Then, crack one open. The brilliance of the yellow-orange yolk will be an indication of what is to come; they taste rich and earthy, like nothing else. From a nutritional standpoint, the pasture-raised hens produce a far more nutrient-rich egg with considerably more beta-carotene, vitamin E and Vitamin D than factory eggs.
You may find that the high quality of our market eggs is reflected in the price (they average $5.00 – $6.00 per dozen), but don’t let that deter you. Our farmers necessarily factor in the costs for their pastures, housing with humane treatment of the animals and protection from predators, and the labor of hand gathering and sorting. If the price concerns you skeptics, I would recommend starting out with just a dozen. You’ll be back for more, and for good reason.
So here’s the scoop: you must get to the market early, because these eggcellent eggs go fast! There are times during the year that we have more eggs and times that we have less. Winter means shorter days and less sunlight. Less sunlight signals to the chickens to take a much needed rest; the chickens start molting or losing and renewing feathers and also stop laying eggs. As the days start get longer and the sun extends its stay, the hens finish molting and egg production starts once again. This is a great cycle, because after a much needed rest the chicken will increase its rate of egg production and produce higher quality eggs when it returns to lay.
So guess what–spring is in the air, which means more sunlight and more eggs, just in time for Easter…..eggcellent!