The Glory of Freshly Laid Eggs

I visited the Moore Square Farmers Market a week ago Wednesday (yes, it’s been a busy week for me) before meeting a friend for lunch, and I stopped by the Coon Rock Farm booth. I like Coon Rock Farm, because they’re local, they’re organic and they do things the right way. Many of their vegetables are heirloom varieties, and they raise and sell pasture raised pork. But one of the things I like most about Coon Rock is their freshly laid eggs — from hens who roam freely around the farm. We’re not talking about “free range” chicken eggs, where the chickens have access to the pasture — these chickens spend their days walking about, foraging for food in addition to what Coon Rock feeds them. I think it’s that extra foraged food that makes the difference.

This isn’t a watery, mass-produced egg. The yolks are a deep, rich orange, filled with flavor — they look much more like the eggs you see in France or Italy. The whites firm up quickly and tightly. As a shameless lover of poached eggs, this made my Wednesday night pasta dish so much more unctuous and tasty. Even my daughter, who does not really like egg yolks at all asked me if I can make that dish for her sometime soon.

I’m not a Slow Food zealot. I do most of my shopping at the Harris Teeter, buying industrial-style meat and produce. But my food budget is slowly shifting to the local producers. The artisans. The ones who know how much better sustainable practices are for our environment while truly recognizing that these practices result in tastier food. If it didn’t taste good, I wouldn’t eat it. But these eggs, even at twice the price of the supermarket version, are so worth it. We’re all trying to keep our costs down as the price of gas and food and everything else keeps climbing. But I’m not going to sacrifice on those things that taste good, particularly when that food has been brought to the table humanely.

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5 Responses to The Glory of Freshly Laid Eggs

  1. daranee says:

    Goodness, what on earth do the chickens forage for?

    I started making my own cheese and butter. Unfortunately, I’m not saving any money but the good thing is the taste is far superior to what you can buy. I use farm fresh milk instead of pasteurized which comes at a premium price.

    Now, I’ve always thought it would be cool to raise a couple of chickens. I wonder if the cost of feed balances out the price you save on eggs. Plus, I imagine a coup would need to be constructed so raccoons didn’t get the chickens at night.

  2. Ali says:

    Found this site while poking about the net. Aren’t free range eggs amazing! In answer to the above comment, free ranging chickens forage for bugs, worms, tender young grass and weeds, etc. My chickens are loving the arrival of spring, and now that there is more to forage for as spring advances, their eggs’ yolks are gaining that wonderful bright orange color.

    As for raising your own chickens, I cannot recommend it enough. I thought my husband was crazy when he suggested it, but after 2 years of my own eggs, I can’t imagine life without backyard hens. Yes, you need a warm, dry, secure coop for the nights, and possibly a fenced in yard if you are in an urban area or have nearby neighbors, but it is worth it. You can read more about our chicken adventures at my blog, henbogle.

    Ali

  3. mothersall says:

    Grew up with chickens and fresh eggs. I always forget how wonderful fresh eggs are until I get back home. Every breakfast and recipe calling for eggs is so much better with fresh eggs. http://www.mothers-everything.com

  4. Charlene says:

    I belong to the Coon Rock Farm CSA and we’ve been buying eggs from them for a couple of months now as well. I was in the grocery the other day and priced checked- not too bad because a dozen organic factory farmed ‘free range’ eggs were priced at $4.19. And after having visited Coon Rock Farm on the Piedmont Farm tour- I know that these are truly free range- not just chickens w/ a 8 inch by 8 inch patch of grass. They roam all over- through compost pile and around the garden fences. Bugs and weeds beware- you’ll be ‘foraged’ right up for dinner.

  5. S&L Farm says:

    We also raise real free range chickens and it is refreshing to read posts that show people are aware of the difference between eggs like ours and the USDA “Organic” eggs in the natural stores. Now if only more folks would try small farm pastured poultry where the birds are on real pastures designed for chicken forage and allowed space to move about. Whole foods style “pastured poultry” are basically chicken house broilers raised outside instead of indoors- 100 birds in a 10X12 pen! Cant be much clean pasture available to them and “organic” chicken feed is not the same as whole grains which are what chickens are designed to eat.

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