Tuesday, April 22, 2008

#210 - An Eggcellent Idea

Buying Local Eggs

The 17th Street Farmer's Market finally opened last week and I got to head down and see what local, organic foods were to be had this early in the season. Short answer? Not much. It's early yet, and aside from various herbs, flowers, mustard greens and leeks, there wasn't much local produce (where the hell is the asparagus? Isn't that what is usually grown this time of year?). But there was one local farmer that had a few frozen pork products and fresh-laid eggs!

Goodbye organic eggs shipped to me in a refrigerated truck from a distribution warehouse in Ohio. Hello fresh-out-of-the-chute local eggs from free-range chickens in Keysville, VA, shipped to me in a Coleman cooler in the back of Mr. Farmer's truck. And in under 50 miles from my home (as the crow flies). So just like that I've shaved 430 food miles off my egg-salad sandwich. TADA!

As an added bonus, the farmer was happy to use the egg carton I brought from home and, in fact, told me to bring any other egg cartons I had laying around (I actually have five egg cartons that I'll be taking to him for reuse - don't ask).

So far I've only used these eggs in pancakes and friendship bread, but I'll be chefing up omelets this weekend. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be pecking away at my food miles! Hopefully, as the season rolls on, I'll be able to get that most difficult of Riot Food Categories (food) down to where it should be!


Savings:

Our family goes through a carton of eggs every 2-3 weeks. So, in the matter of a year, I'll be saving myself 20 egg cartons, plus (and more importantly) the 430 food miles for each carton. Nothing to bawk at!


Difficulty Level:

Despite all my big talk about nutting up, I never actually made it to the Farmers Market last year. I'm glad I went last week, rather than chickening out again. Turns out the Farmers Market is in a very safe, yup-scale part of downtown. Who knew?

So at long last, we have solved the riddle: The chicken came first and then bought her eggs.

13 comments:

organicneedle said...

Our CSA is courting an egg farmer from LI. We are trying to get him to come and set up a little stand on distribution day. (He used to give egg shares but couldn't keep up with the demand.) I would love it. Not only do my eggs come from far far away...they come in a non-NYC-recyclable plastic cage. Hmmmmmmmm.....what does it for an egg farmer? Any seduction tips?

Anonymous said...

We now buy most of our eggs from the local farmers' market. Our girls love the colored eggs (green, blue, white, brown, and brown speckled). Unfortunately in our state the farmers are not allowed to reuse egg cartons from the grocery store -- the cartons must be generic or with farmer's name on a label. At least the powers that be allow us to return the "generic" egg cartons to our local farmers.

--Ave

Wendy said...

Isn't it exciting to find a "local" source for your favorite foods? Food has been one of the easiest of the "Riot" categories for my family, but we've been honing our skill in this area for a couple of years. And, ironically, I've found that where I live, up here in the frozen northeast, has a HUGE local foodshed with such an incredible variety. I guess living two miles from the ocean and within a 12 mile radius of close to a dozen different farms doesn't hurt ;). Which makes the hardest of the Riot categories for us "driving" :).

Jenna said...

I just moved away from Richmond and loved the 17th Street Farmer's Market... it's a nice atmosphere and the coffee store on the south east corner (can't think of the name) has a really great atmosphere.

Carolina said...

Hi 'Burbanmom,

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and recently clued into the fact that you're near Richmond, as am I. I was at the 17th St. Farmers Market last week, too, eagerly anticipating what might be there. I was expecting, at the very least, asparagus, peas, and/or cole crops. Alas, disappointment. But I did pick up some yummy ham from that same farmer from whom you purchased eggs. It's a start.

Anyway, love your blog and just wanted to let you know that you're not the only Eco-Freak in RVa. :)

Green Bean said...

Love it! Do you notice the difference in the yolks and such? When we ate our first true local, free range eggs, I was surprised by how orange the yolk was and how firm. Delicious. Enjoy.

MamaBird said...

We get to bring cartons back to the egg farmers at Dupont in DC. And you have me itching to hard boil some eggs! Perfect kid (and mama) fare. And ohhhh deviled eggss... Punny burbanmom chick.

maria said...

at our farmers' market in MD, the eggs are almost always the first items to sell out. we sleep in on weekends so we usually miss them. lame! our compromise has been to buy eggs from new morning farm at our local co-op instead. they travel 125 miles. sigh.

what would be REALLY great is if our city let us keep our own flock of laying hens. i don't see that happening soon, though.

ali said...

wait until you make scrambled eggs! Or omelettes! They're so much fluffier than with store bought eggs!

vera said...

Nice! I still haven't made it out to check it out...though I want to! I think Petersburg has one too, but not sure if it is still in existence.

Melissa said...

wow, I was so glad to read this post. I was laughing (with, not at, you :) because I'm a huge chicken too! I finally took a ride on the local public transport today, after finding a million scary reasons for the past year why I shouldn't do it...I'm going to blog about it tomorrow, but (spoiler alert) it was actually kind of nice :)

Heather said...

I'm really lucky to live where I do. In Central Texas, I can get local eggs year round (our farmers market in the winter had 2 egg vendors and 1 veggie vendor). I managed to make it all winter on farmers market fare, though it was rough going there for awhile. Let's just say I ate a lot of cabbage soup this winter.

It's amazing how much better farmers market eggs are. That gorgeous orange yolk that sits up so high and proud in the pan. Mmmmmmm......

gregra&gar said...

Amen to free range eggs! I never liked eggs all that much until tasting some scrambled from the chickens here on the Dawg Ranch. The difference is not to be believed 'til experienced.