why I don't sell eggs this year
I raise free roaming Ameraucana chickens on our farm. Their unusual coloring of eggs, a light blue to a steely slate blue, makes these chickens and their eggs a hot commodity to folks who have only had grocery store white eggs. Paired with a diet that consists mainly of organic grains, grasses, bugs and other foraged greens, their yolks are the brightest orange most have ever seen. Because of this, last year, I had a wait list for folks who wanted our farm fresh eggs.
On egg delivery day, I would count, collect, wash and pack these beautiful blue eggs. They were like gold to me. If I was short, I would scour the eaves of the barn for fresh eggs, look in the pockets of the marsh and check the last known places where my chickens had been. I'd lecture the chickens on egg production, and give them time outs when they wouldn't listen (see here: http://www.blueeggfarmstore.com/#!farm-fresh-eggs/cxlt/55a8f2b80cf286eab02531d7). I was the drill sergeant all of the chickens hated. They would see me coming and waddle the other direction. They even started to spend more time at the neighbors house than here.
At the same time, I had children who loved eggs. My 15 year old could eat four in one sitting, my 12 year old baked consistently with our eggs and my 7 year old ate them hard boiled dipped in Braggs. Me? I couldn't get enough of eggs benedict. We could easily go through two dozen eggs a day. That's right...two dozen. Easily.
I also had a neighbor who would come over and ask to borrow a dozen eggs for a cake she might be making later that day. I would see her coming across the country pasture. I would then, immediately start panicking and counting eggs, trying my best to find an extra three or four I could send home with her.
But the last straw...my own grandmother asked if she could borrow two of our unusual eggs to show her friends. And I had to say no.
I said no to my 90 year old grandmother... sigh.
Something had to change. And quick. This is what I came up with...
Instead of selling these lovely eggs, I would start giving them away...freely. That's right. I would just give them away. For free.
There would be no pressure to hoard eggs until delivery day. Ever. We would eat as many eggs throughout the day as we wanted. I would have an extra dozen or two on the counter for when our neighbor stops by. Always. And I would offer said eggs to grandma. Whenever she wanted them.
And you know what? This feels better to me. To gift my eggs to people that stop by our farm. To sit down with friends for a cup of coffee and have them leave with a dozen of our beautiful eggs. To visit a friend in the cities and come bearing gifts from the farm. This is what makes me feel good. To share what I do without the expectation of anything in return. Because we all need a little more of this in our lives. I know I do.
And for my children? It is a good lesson in giving without reservation. To share what we have...just because....
So, if you are ever in the neighborhood, and need some...eh...eggs, you know where to find us.
(and thanks Jackie S for the amazing picture of our eggs...and your shoes)