Thursday, March 2, 2017

Know Your Farmer

Free Range Chicken Eggs

Organic Eggs
  Brown, Cream, Blue-green!

I don't fool with chickens anymore, though I did when I had a farm. I do miss their entertainment value, and a fresh egg still warm from under soft breast feathers of a muttering hen. I'd be doing dawn chores, and hear a gleeful cackle from the hen house, and knew an egg had just happened!

Here's a sound effect: Bwok...bok bok bok bok...

Not having a camera, gloogle is not allowing free pix from the Net anymore; apologies. And drat, not even from my own book site; the link is up there, top of the page.

My Blue Ridge family farm had acreage enough to produce all the chicken-grain and hay for livestock which was needed each year. That's not the norm for small scale anymore.

With so much good generational farmland gobbled up by AgBiz monstrosities, or sold to developers for more suburbia, few of the small family farms can afford enough land to grow their own feed.

Around here in the Rocky Mountains, small farms, many stewarded by young couples, are run organically. Just folks wanting a more wholesome life style. And good eating.

They're so small scale, an acre or two, that they can't afford Organic Certification either. But you get to know them at the summer/fall farmers market, and you can go visit their homesteads.

As to bureaucrats stepping in to make things uniform and legitimate with expensive certification... uh huh: 

AgBiz lobbyists came scurrying in soon after, insisting for example that sewage-sludge ought to be certified as a soil amendment!... (PCB's, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, industrial effluent...)

That was one ploy money did not buy, but a commercial neighbor may use the toxic stuff, as cheap and "natural." Caveat emptor:

So, get to know your farmer. They tend to be a salt of the earth, and common-sense-grounded demographic.

Had an interesting experience at the winter farmers market last month. An organic egg producer had been my go-to guy all summer/fall season. He bought local organically grown grain, harvested at lower elevation on the rich bottom land of the Rio Grande River canyon.

I bought a carton of his eggs in snowy February and felt nauseated-unwell from an omelette. I wondered why; it was not okay.

Revisiting him at the next Saturday market, I asked what grain he was feeding out, beside the veggies and alfalfa?

Now, I was ready to stand there till he told me what had happened. He realized that, and looked shame-faced... saying he'd run out of the local organic feed. He had started buying "scratch" from the feed store.

Moi: That's Monstrosanto.

Guy: No, it's not.

Moi: You bet it is. Anything not organic is M'santo and their ilk. The gov has been protecting corporate-Ag. 

Those Ag-perps produce carcinogenic, infertility feed and have been getting away with it! Not only that, they spray the heck out of their GMO's for more carcinogens. 

Watch for change there. You small producers are cutting edge.

Guy: I'll order in the organic feed from down the canyon.

Take Note: 

I know my farmer, and I talk to him. When he saw me come in, he jumped up and gave me a hug. It's a family feeling at the growers' market.

He didn't realize shifting for awhile to that little bit of commercial chicken feed could mess up his flock. Or make his customers nauseated, just for starters.

He turned on a dime, to set it right.


  1. OMG - now it makes sense! Eggs are a food source that I'd (shamefully) taken for granted...until.
    First came a neighbor pointing out how much better locally sourced eggs were and it was true. Then came my first, local, truly rotten egg. Never had one before and it was god-awful!!!

    It was not cause to switch back to factory farms, runny egg whites and tasteless breakfasts. It was cause to watch more carefully what I buy and what I prepare to eat.

    The factory will never care about my health, but my neighbors just might.

    Thanks for the wisdom of this post!

  2. Not to mention the quality of life for the chickens. No such noble bird was meant to be crammed into impossibly small cages in the perpetual dark. We must never support such suffering.

  3. Anon, thank you for mentioning the gross-out of finding a rotten country egg. Not likely with a conscientious egg gatherer, but we've come to imagine that all food must be plastic-perfect... a "perfect" red delicious apple, tasteless but sugary, and preferable to an imperfect unsprayed one just off the tree.

    Mmamallama, right on: huge, reeking chicken tenements, the birds kept laying with hormones/antibiotics, are a corporate derangement. Small family farms don't do that.

  4. PS, as to sewage sludge as "fertilizer" that effort lacked a certain attractiveness. Toxic gunk is being re-marketed as bio-solids!


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