Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Laying hens are getting with the program!

Our small flock of laying hens are finally producing regularly, and giving regular eggs, not pullet eggs. If you'd like to stop by to pick some up, give us a call or send an email to make sure we have eggs at that moment and that someone will be here to help you. We're selling them at $2.50/dozen. And, we're accepting clean egg cartons - let's keep the waste down!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting non-GMO/GE foods is getting tougher!

Some of our meat customers have asked if we raise our animals on non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) grain . . . the answer is, no, because getting such grain is virtually impossible, and if we got it, it would be so expensive no one would be able to buy our meat!

One ongoing struggle for organic farmers has been GE crops and cross-pollination (read "contamination), by which a farmer using GE seeds can cross-pollinate a neighboring farmer's crop, even though that farmer is trying to raise organic, non-modified grain crops. Farmer A doesn't set out to cross-pollinate Farmer B's crop, nature just makes it happen, with wind, birds and insects - all the usual methods by which plants are pollinated.

Here's a blog post from Whole Foods from late January this year, as they came under fire for supposedly supporting GMO foods. They are discussing a specific recent USDA decision about GE alfalfa here, but some statistics they cite for other GE crops are staggering: ". . .93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton and 93% of canola seed planted were genetically engineered in the U.S. in 2010." Not sure where we'd find that 14% of non-GE corn to use for feed.

Within this Whole Foods blog are links to some other sources of info as well, concerning impacts of GE foods in the system, etc. One of the cautionary tales to take away from some of this research is that just because it's labeled "organic" doesn't necessarily mean what you think that label should mean.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Layer flock is beginning to lay eggs!

Our young flock of laying hens (gotten last fall as the cutest, fuzziest little chicks you could want to see!), have finally started laying eggs. They are not all laying yet, and the eggs are the smaller "pullet egg" size, but it won't be long and they will be up to full production. We have a mixed flock of Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Silver-laced Wyandottes (beautiful birds!), and Black Australorps - all brown egg layers. It has been many years since we have had a laying flock, and we have really missed having those eggs! The color of the yolks is an amazing deep color and the shells are very hard, as we give the birds calcium supplement. A very far cry from the thin-shelled, watery-yolked eggs we've been buying in the store in the intervening years! I've posted a couple of photos that show these birds as they grew from cute little chicks to mature birds.
those cute, fuzzy chicks!

Young layers growing up
Mature layer flock
Yummy brown eggs!