Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Good Egg Is Hard To Buy

With our hens in low production over the winters, we regularly resort to buying in some eggs. The quality always disappoints me. Even local, pastured eggs at $6 and $7 a dozen literally pale in comparison to those of our hens! Maybe this is one of those things money can't buy--at least not in commercial quantity?

The picture shows our hen egg at left, and one each of the $6 and $7/dozen eggs at right.  (Plus other standard ingredients of my scrambles: cooking greens, acorn halves, cherry kernels, and skirret root.  Fennel seed is in there but too small to see.  Garlic to be added at the end.)

5 comments:

Kate said...

Followed over here from the permies.com video posted on their youtube channel. I love what you're doing on your lot - crunching the numbers of what you actually produce.

I had one suggestion for improving your stats sustainably, using only a tiny bit of space. This is something I'm going to be trying myself this year: vermiculture for feeding chickens. Obviously vermiculture/compost has other benefits as well. I'm hoping to set up a shipping pallet composting bin just for the worms, and feeding them horse manure or some other locally sourced free stuff if that doesn't work for various reasons. I think very moderate scale vermiculture could offset a large portion of purchased feed for the hens.

Nice work here, looking forward to diving a little deeper.

Dorien Ruben said...

Amazing.. such a big difference! It must be partly in what the chickens get fed, don't you think? I'm not sure..

Norris said...

Dorien,

Yes, the quality of the eggs & yolk color depends directly on how much real food the chickens get to eat - grass & vegetation, worms & bugs.

Kate,

Thanks for the suggestion. We just tossed all the compostables directly to the chickens in the back yard; whatever they didn't eat directly created more earthworms, whom the chickens would eventually scratch up and eat. It'd be interesting to compare that approach to the slightly more intensive managed vermiculture bin!

Norris

Frank Cetera said...

Acorn halves? How do you prepare those for cooking in a dish like this?

Norris said...

Hi Frank,

We've used cold leaching with acorns, but they require further grinding to increase the surface area since cold water doesn't pull the tannins out as easily. When using hot water (a byproduct of running our wood stove to heat the house) we just poured hot to boiling water into a container with a bunch of acorn halves, let it sit for 12-24 hours, then poured off the water and refilled again. It took about 3-4 days to remove the bitterness.