Have you ever attempted to raise chickens yourself? Bread, beer, fruits and vegetables all taste noticeably better when fresh. Well eggs do too! For Patrick and Holly, they were already true believers from first-hand experience in the value of having fresh eggs. This time they wanted to raise more chickens, not just for themselves, but also to sell to others. Through serendipity and the community coming together, they were able to pull together a team of 14 people to take care of 30 chickens to form their own Community Egg Co-op CSA, Eastside Egg Co-op.
There are so many benefits to raising chickens. They are a great addition to any garden, they clear out whatever area of land defines their boundary, and they also leave their nitrogen rich manure for the next round of plantings. The eggs from these naturally raised chickens are higher in the good omega-3 fatty acids than eggs produced from factory farms, not to mention being fresher. Typically, eggs from the supermarket are at least 2 weeks old before they even reach the shelf.
The taste and nutrient rich content in eggs comes from how the chickens are raised, and particularly whether they have access to bugs, and other natural food sources. One farmer we know plants two gardens of fresh kale, one for their own eating, the other to feed their chickens. Having tasted their eggs, they are noticiably richer in color and taste. Surprisingly, the breed of chicken (for eggs) is not really a factor.
If this is something you think you’d like to try, find out first if chickens are allowed where you live. If yes, like Patrick says, make it happen!
If you have some tips to share, I’m all ears! This is something I’m considering doing myself.