Eggstravagant or worth it? Whats your price point?

April 13, 2008 in Local Food

eggs - test shot

(Homegrown eggs)

This is a question I honestly want your opinion on and I thank you all ahead of time for your time and answers.

Considering the rising costs of all foods and transportation, issues with food safety and such, what is a dozen of free-range brown eggs worth to you?

Click Here to take a short survey I made just for this post. Thanks for you help!

First, let me know where you are writing from (eggs will cost different amounts across the world), what sort of store you buy your eggs in, how much they cost you last time you bought (were they brown? White? Here in New England stores charge MORE for brown eggs even tho there is no difference between them). I have seen estimates of 28% to 45% INCREASE in egg prices overt the past few months to a year.

Do you usually buy factory farmed eggs or the organic or cage free “upscale” ones? What is the differential in your store from today’s prices and those a year ago?

I can’t tell you what eggs go for here in central Massachusetts because its been so long since I bought them. I can tell you that milk is simply astronomical (closing in on more than $4.50/gallon I think). This milk price coupled with the massive gas prices and having a baby who is tolerating cow’s milk now has pushed us to buying the milk at our convenience store where it is sold as a “loss leader” at just under $3.00/gallon. The gas is something like $3.40/gallon.

Soon we will be getting our milking doe and so we will be unhooking from the factory teat.

Kids, I have to tell you one last thing. Do you remember that car accident I had and all seemed well? Not so fast. My lovely car is moribund and not safe to drive on my commute. So now I am faced with getting another car. I am working this week to reach out to local restaurants to see if I can get their non-hydrogenated frying oil.. and then I think I am going to convert a diesel (VW?) to a grease car for my commute. In any event, I am going to have to find the money to get another car, this seems like an opportune time to take this plunge.

Do not forget to drop me a comment or email about your egg price point for local sourced farm fresh free range eggs.

Chicken CSA Mentor wanted: Eggcellent Opportunity

April 3, 2008 in Humble Garden, Local Food

Chickenalia: chickens out for sun and food

This is a call out to those of you out there who have some experience with setting up your own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) activity.

I need your guidance and mentorship so any and all input is welcome and appreciated.

We are currently seriously contemplating setting up a trial run chicken CSA where the chickens will be raised naturally (the word “organic” is woefully deprecated and co-opted by money-grabbing certification types – I cant afford organic certification status right now, not if I want to actually get started that is).

We will raise slow-growth long bodied breeds of chickens like you see the French growing in their “Label Rouge” program. Our chickens will be forest dwellers like those in the Label Rouge program. There is no official “Label Rouge” program in the US but that’s ok because the First Principles of Label Rouge are attractive and to be emulated. We will be more like the organic Label Rouge where we will not use any sorts of chemicals or antibiotics, not because I think it’s the “in” thing but because I follow the golden rule in my cultivation and animal husbandry:

Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Corollary: Treat your animals with the greatest respect possible – they are beings too

Life is absolutely too short to start something like this and not do it MY way. This is not to say that what the neighbor down the street is doing is wrong, its just that I need to do this my way.

I compromise on so much else; don’t we all!

What do I need?

I need to know how to find a local butcher and how that all works (in terms of costs and their capacity) – I have zero clue here. I need to know how best to find people who will want to buy these CSA shares – I fear raising a load of chickens which then are not pre-sold. These questions MUST be asked by any producer when they first start, I know, but I do sound sorta goofy not knowing the answers.

We are also going to be doing CSA egg shares (we just love them girl chickens so much!).

I hope that you all, with clues on this, will come out of the woodwork and drop me a note. When you leave a comment the system gets your email (confidentially I think) and then I can reply to you off-blog to have a longer convo on this.