Are some of you wondering why Farmers To You has so many delicious egg options this time of year? It is because even eggs have a season. That’s right – egg production is sun-sensitive! No wonder that the yolks are like mini suns and they radiate orange-gold on your plate.
The best and healthiest eggs are from hens who are outside in natural light. Despite the labels and farm field photos on egg cartons, most hens don’t have access to the outdoors. Even the organic egg label doesn’t mean that the laying hens are pasture raised with full access to the sun. It’s like having a beautiful patio out your kitchen window but the door is nailed shut!
The eggs we sell at Farmers To You are from our partner farmers that let their gals roam in the fields under the sun. These happy hens are very productive in spring and summer and decrease their production once shorter days arrive. That is why farmers are short on eggs in the winter and sometimes as late as March. They have the same number of hens but fewer hours of natural sunshine.
The demand for eggs in the winter means that large producers confine the birds and provide artificial light and heat to fool them into laying all winter long. Grocery store shelves are filled but these hens never get a rest. Healthy and happy hens lay the most about six months each year and are naturally productive for five or six years.
Like many of the foods we sell at Farmers To You, it works best for the farmers if you plan to eat lots of eggs while they are in season. It also follows that if you want eggs in March from these farmers, support them in July and August so they can have more healthy hens throughout the winter. They will appreciate your demand and invest in enough hens to make sure they have eggs for most of the year.
There is certainly not a shortage of egg-delicious dishes for this time of year. You can make a frittata with tomatoes, zucchini, and basil. How about an egg sandwich for lunch or some deviled eggs for your next family picnic? Eggs are some of the least expensive and healthy proteins available.
As we time our eating with nature, we are eating healthfully as we strengthen our regional food system. Just like tree or vine ripened vegetables and fruits, eggs have a season too. This summer season you can have super fresh, sun-enlivened eggs from happy hens! Now that’s hard to beat!
So, now that you know the good stuff about eggs – get crackin’!
With warm wishes, hope and sunshine from Farmers To You,