Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Farm

I've been buying farm-fresh brown eggs from pastured chickens for about two months now.  There is a small private farm just outside of the town where we live, run by an older couple (in their late 50s or early 60s, I'd say).  They have chickens, turkeys, and a few beef cows.  I also found out they have honey bees, too.

Each time I've gone to pick up our eggs, a dozen every week (for $2.50), I've had the dog with me in the van so I wasn't able to get down to the barnyard to meet the animals.  But finally, we went yesterday to get our eggs and the dog was still in daycare so it was just my 2 year old daughter and me.  The lady farmer graciously offered to take us down so we could not only stand and look at the animals, but we actually were able to go inside and greet the chickens and turkeys.

We took my daughter, D, inside the chicken run first, as we figured the turkeys would be a little scary - those things look weird!  The chickens were lovely - beautiful and friendly.  They were a lustrous reddish brown colour and very soft.  We were able to stroke one that the lady held for us.  She said they have over 30 chickens, and gets about 3 dozen eggs each day.  She doesn't wash the eggs unless they are very dirty, so as to protect the cuticle. Did you know that if you wash or soak the egg in anything, the cuticle becomes permeable?  Not good.

The chickens milled about our feet, scratching and pecking at the ground for bugs and worms.  They made their cooing sounds and sounded very happy.

We weren't able to greet the cows as they were in a far pasture and under some shade trees.  Maybe next time.  We hope to get some of the meat when it's time - I hope that we will have the money to fill our freezer.  Pastured beef?  Amazing.

The turkeys, 10 in all, were next door to the chicken house.  They made funny barking noises and looked very dumb.  I don't have much more to say about them.  Turkeys are dumb animals - but they sure do taste good!  We will be getting at least one of the turkeys when they are killed, in October.  We're looking forward to that!

 All in all, it was a good visit.  It's nice to know where your food comes from, and to see how the animals live.  Even more important, it's good for our children to know where exactly food comes from and that food doesn't just come from the grocery store.  I wonder how many kids from cities actually know what real chickens look like?  Or that eggs come from chickens?  Sad.

I'm looking forward to getting our own place some day that will allow us to get a few chickens, goats, or even a miniature cow.  To have fresh milk from our own cow would be amazing!

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