Eggs have been an interesting journey this year. In 2013, we realized we had contracted a respiratory infection on our farm, and the only way to clear it was to eliminate all our birds and start over. I spent the winter between 2013-2014 bird-free. Spring of 2014, I started bringing in a new flock. We went the entire calendar year with no eggs.
In that time, we recognized the demand from the community for organic eggs. We had a large restaurant customer that we thought was interested, too, based on the demands of their customer base. It really started to feel like the shift was taking place at the consumer level and we were ready, and had a clean break to switch to organic feed for our birds.
So we did it. we switched all our egg layers to organic feed. We got ready for our individual customers and our restaurant customer, as well as another farm that is selling CSA shares with our eggs included. YAY!
We were so excited. Then, 6 months later, the girls started to lay. We did the math, and put our pricing on them. I posted on that not too long ago. Everyone was so excited for eggs. Until we posted the price.
Now, there are folks that are really interested, and understand that farming isn't cheap or easy. It's what they want, and they are willing to pay for it. Lots of folks are not willing or able. That's everyone's choice. Our restaurant turned out to be one of them. We are getting about 85 eggs a day out of our girls, and probably selling about 40-50 eggs per WEEK.
You do the math. So, our fridges were full of eggs, and these eggs need a home.
Thankfully, at work, we volunteer with Community Food Shares in Boulder. They love eggs. They NEED eggs. It's a great protein source, and the food banks often struggle to provide protein for families in need. I took 6 crates of eggs (how many I can safely fit in the backend of our Volkswagen) and delivered them to the food bank. The FDA won't let grocery stores donate cartons with cracked eggs in them anymore, which means they get NO eggs. Mine weren't cracked, mine just didn't have a home.
6 cartons, 15 dozen per carton, that's 1080 eggs. We donated them. Every other Friday I am going to do the same thing until or unless we start selling eggs (when the farmer's market kicks in during June, or when the CSA starts selling them in May, we'll see) The food bank is appreciative. I hope the families are too.
It's actually making me consider that maybe, just maybe, our farm should be a non-profit that grows food for the food bank. What we sell, like turkeys, would go to fund the operation, so that we can continue to provide eggs for the food bank. Just a thought. Giving back is rewarding, and knowing a family has good food to eat is a great way to end my week.