Saturday, March 20, 2010

Local Agriculture

While reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan I came to realize how inexpensive our food really is and how underpaid farmers are. I’m sure no one ever wants to spend more or spend unreasonably for the food they get because the Walmart culture has lowered the bar and raised the expectation of consumers that it all should be nearly free. Too bad the Walmart mind-set hasn’t swept through the insurance industry.

Pollan spent some time on a farm that was an omni-culture farm that has several lines of agriculture going on at once as opposed to a mono-culture farm that just raises or grows one product. When Pollan saw the expense and work that was involved in the egg producing portion of the farm he proclaimed that the price of $1.00 and egg sounded reasonable to him.

I am in the egg business, but I’m not big enough to do it as more than a hobby. I’ve had people sample the eggs we produce and one would like to buy 15 dozen a week and another could use 50 dozen. Right now We are getting 10 to 11 dozen a week. The problem with going commercial rather than hobby is that we would need to get many more chickens, build a larger facility and become licensed, which has even more complications and expenses. We would have to weigh, candle and rate each egg. We would need a processing facility with hot and cold running water; not the kitchen. We would need a building that can be maintained at 45F degrees . The added expense would probably never see a break even point in my life time.

Right now we are selling eggs for around 33 cents each and at this point we are breaking even on the feed, but we have a long way to go to pay for the Super Max. Our customers know the quality. It is very obvious when one sees the color of the yolks and how firmly the eggs stand in the pan. Sure you can get those white eggs from the supermarket for about 10 cents each, but this is truly a case where you get what you pay for. Please support local agriculture.


Blogger Auntie said...

Guy, you can't even compare your delicious eggs with those white oval shaped things you buy at the store.

They are not even remotely related to each other, it seems.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

You've made me hungry for some fresh eggs.

6:20 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Dang. I can feel my cholesterol rising from just reading this. If you could add some locally grown pigs and potatoes to your repertoire, I'll be there as soon as breakfast is ready.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Guy, I am having some of your eggs this morning, in fact.

Revvie, would have to wrestle me to the DEATH to get in the front of the line if Guy raised and sold pigs. PORK RULES!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Tango said...

Yummy. I'd also like to come over for lunch, when you have chicken.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Tango said...

...and Rasberries. Oh some Zucchini bread would be good.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Bpaul said...

Here here sir. We sell ours for a little less but I'm thinking it's time to up it a bit. Folks LOVE them.

Darev005, farm fresh eggs have a sulfide compound (I need to find the study) that keeps the cholesterol in the "healthy" category. Thus, very limited "bad" cholesterol if the eggs are fresh enough, and the chickens healthy enough.

I really need to find that study so I can get the exact figures.


6:23 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, it's interesting what freedom does for an egg. They eat everything and that makes them better.

Donna, I bet you miss your hens.

Darev and Auntie, I have considered pigs, but even in the best circumstances they are too stinky for me.

Tango, We put in a raspberry patch earlier this year and they are coming to life. Oddly we still have a lot of zucchini bread in the freezer, which means I've successfully avoided going places.

BPaul, I'd love to see that report.
How many hens work for you?

5:56 AM  
Blogger Bpaul said...

Well, we have a normal city lot, so we can't do too many. I have about 12, with 6 chicks nearing the 'small ugly pullet' stage.

I'm rotating the flock on 2 1/2 year cycles and also using them for meat. This is a new decision, and we'll see how it goes.


7:47 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Slaughter is never fun. Use a cone.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

those eggs look like precious gems and I can't remember the last farm egg I ate...maybe this summer I will go the the growers market more

4:12 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yes, Teri, and sometimes out in the country you'll see a road-side stand. Look at the eggs before buying them. If they are covered with crap. walk away. I can't stand people that try to sell eggs that haven't been cleaned.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Thanks to you, I am able to enjoy eggs guilt-free because I know where they are from.

1:01 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

There will be a lecture on chickens tonight at the scorcher, 3/28.

6:54 AM  

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