Sunday, August 17, 2008

Harvest Day!

We have an egg! And a green egg at that! This means that one of the new chickens is part Ameracauna! There isn't any nutritional difference between colored and white eggs, but I like the range of colors. It just screams non-conformist, big-ag egg production and pays homage to home breed poultry diversity.

Now, there is a huge nutritional difference between pasture and true free-range animals. The yolks are vibrant, almost neon yellow-orange. But the difference goes far beyond just looks. Pastured animals are healthier and their eggs show it; less cholesterol, higher omega-3's, overall greater nutritional value.

Think your store-purchased "free-range" labeled eggs are really free-range? Most commercially produced eggs which are labeled free-range in fact have very little outside time on pasture. The birds are kept in a large barn for their first six weeks. After that, a door is opened to the outside, but most birds never actually go outside. If they do, they usually find an empty dirt lot to roam... Not exactly a pastoral process.

What to do? Check farmer's markets to find a local egg source. 4-H kids often raise chickens and have either eggs or extra chickens available for sale. If you have a neighbor with chickens, you can see if they have extra eggs they would be willing to sell.

Besides our first egg, we harvested our fingerling potatoes and the first of our tomatoes. If you look closely, you'll see that the tomatoes have extra protusions on the bottom of the tomatoes. Not sure what it's all about, but very cool and unique. The long, green pepper looking thing is a San Marzano tomoto. It fell off when DH poked at it. Even though it's green it tasted pretty good - you can see where we dared each other to nibble on the bottom end.

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