Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Duck Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs

We've had a lot of questions lately about duck eggs versus chicken eggs. Are they different? Do they taste different? What's the deal?

Well, here are some answers for you. I'll let you read it from the experts yourselves, but the short answer is:
They have a slightly higher fat content, they have more albumen in the whites (this is why it's great for baking, it makes things fluffier!), their shells are thicker so they can store longer, and of course, some folks have an allergy to chicken eggs, and can eat duck eggs instead.

You can get more details at the New Agrarian

As well as full, nutritional break down of duck eggs versus chicken eggs, at duckeggs.com.

So yes, we do sell duck eggs. Ours are from Khaki Campbell and Welsh Harlequin ducks. The eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs. We are raising more, as we don't have many eggs now, but can sell a dozen or two a week. Let us know if you want to try them, and we'll sell you a half dozen to compare. If you like them, especially if you whip up a lot of egg whites, come back for more! In the meantime, our ducks are also beneficial in eating mosquito larvae off our pond, which is a nice benefit for us - no mosquito bites! Now, if someone would just start eating those horse flies...

Friday, June 22, 2012

The reality of a drought summer

So, Long Shadow Farm does not own a share of water (yeah, we're researching it...) so growing things is going to be tough this year. We've been relying on our retention pond (which is where our ducks live) and we used some on the pasture to try and grow grass for the sheep. Right now, we are using most of it to make sure our young orchard doesn't perish this summer. That means, we are using less water to grow a garden. I have some tomatoes, some basil, some squash in the greenhouse - the super benefit there is that the water evaporates into the air, then condenses on the plastic at night when it's cool. When it warms in the morning, that water "rains" back onto the plants. So water loss is minimized. Unlike our external gardens - where water that evaporates is gone to us. So we are trying to use our water for plants that grow year to year - like our orchard and raspberry patch. It's also important to grow pasture for the animals.

What am I trying to say? We're likely not going to be selling fruits and veggies this year. Who knows, I might be overrun with cucumbers in the green house and will sell them, but otherwise, what little we may reap will likely end up in our tummies (or our daughter's!) and the rest of our resources are going to point towards the animals. It's going to be a long, hot, dry summer. This is one of those situations that farmer's dread!