Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pasture eggs vs farm factory eggs

Wayne's chickens are finally producing daily and we are super excited!! Tonight we will have our first frittata from them, it's in the oven now. I'm going to share some of the physical differences with you in this entry, but let me say first of all the difference in flavor is phenomenal. Tony says that the main difference is that the pasture produced eggs actually have a flavor.

While I was prepping the frittata, I thought I'd take the time to photograph some of the differences in the eggs we gather and the ones from the store. First of all, not all farm raised eggs are the same. Our chickens have a nice safe "home" to be at night where no predators can get to them. But during the day they are totally free to roam through the fields...and they do! This roaming totally changes their nutritional intake, thereby changing the nutritional value of the eggs they produce. If you chose to purchase from a local farmer talk to them about the habitat and routines of their animals.

According to research done by Mother Earth News, chickens raised on pasture produce eggs that have 1⁄3 less cholesterol• 1⁄4 less saturated fat• 2⁄3 more vitamin A• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids• 3 times more vitamin E• 7 times more beta carotene. That's more of the good and less of the bad, plus all the protein.

Here's some egg photos that show the difference in our eggs and the factory farm eggs.

This picture is of the two eggs side by side before I put them into the frittata mixture. Notice the richer color of the farm egg on the right. Right now they are two different sizes because our hens are still smaller and are new layers. As time moves on the eggs will increase in size.

I boiled two eggs just so you could see the difference in the color after cooking.

All in all I'm thankful for "store" eggs when there is not an alternative, however most of us can find an alternative source if we try. In most communities there will be a farmer or two providing some locally raised eggs. They may be a little more expensive, but it's worth it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Left over gardening!

This has been the mildest winter and we have taken full advantage of it by continuing to enjoy some "leftover" crops from our fall garden.  It's March 1st and here's what I just brought in for supper!

Here's what the spinach looks like can tell we haven't cleaned out the rows in awhile, but it keeps growing anyway!!

Here's our row of turnips.

And here's the thing that amazes me the most!  Leftover broccoli from our fall crop.  A tip we learned years ago is that you can leave the broccoli growing after you've harvested the main "head" and it will continue putting out these shoots that are just as tasty.  
This one plant has been producing for seven months now.