Did you know that Elmwood Stock Farm is home to several hundred laying hens that live free range on pasture year round?
They’re some of our more popular farm residents and visitors and Instagram fans alike enjoy watching their antics. We also continually sell out of our eggs, oftentimes requiring us to reserve them months ahead for our CSA members.
With eggs being in the headlines these days, we thought we’d share a bit more about our hens and what we think makes our eggs so special.
Visiting the farm, it’s hard not to enjoy watching the chickens peck, scurry, fluff their feathers and just enjoy being chickens!
That’s because, like the rest of our livestock, all of our chickens are pasture-raised (including the broiler chickens that we raise for meat) and are rotated to fresh pasture every few days. Their diet is made up of clover, grass seeds and any insects they might find and we supplement their feed with organic, non-GMO grains for a well rounded ration. Weeds and thistles in their pastures are chopped down by hand, rather than sprayed, to prevent chemical contamination.
When they’re not roaming around the pasture during the day, they are roosting in their hen houses in the evenings. These are elevated and enclosed shelters where they can come and go as they please and lay their eggs. We call the hen houses the “egg mobiles” since we move them along with the chickens and temporary, portable electric-net fencing to prevent predators.
We hand-gather any eggs we find daily from each nest, and the eggs are then cleaned, inspected, cooled and packaged for sale that week. And they’re a hot commodity!
It’s not uncommon for us to hear customers say that our eggs are more flavorful than other organic eggs they find at the grocery store.
We say it often, but “you are what you eat” comes into play here yet again. Those green grasses and clovers our hens eat impart that farm fresh flavor – as well as pack a punch in the nutrition department, which you can see in the orange yolk.
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy eggs but here’s Mac’s favorite breakfast staple for you to try:
2 slices of your favorite bread
2 teaspoons butter
2 farm fresh eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut an approximately 3-in hole in the middle of the slices of bread. Save the rounds you cut out!
Add all bread pieces to the skillet, then crack the eggs into the holes. Cook for about two minutes until the bread is lightly browned, then flip and cook on the other side until the yolks are almost set. Take the bread slices out of the skillet and finish with salt and pepper as desired. Use the cut out bread rounds and dip it into the eggs for an extra treat.
Mac’s tip: I love to top my bullseyes with microgreens and avocado for an added note of freshness. Use what’s in season and feel free to get creative!