Local Roots Farm Eggs
Local Roots Farm eggs are available through our CSA, either together with our vegetable CSA, or on their own. To find out more about our CSA program, please visit our CSA page, or click here to view our 2013 flier.
Since when did Local Roots start offering eggs?
2013 is the first year that we will be offering eggs to CSA members. My name is Rawley Johnson, I am a second year employee at Local Roots, and the chickens are an independent side project of mine. Farm owners Jason and Siri have a goal of helping new farmers incubate their businesses, and they are leasing me 5 acres of pasture on the property to raise the birds. This is the first farm business incubator project they have sponsored and I thank them so much for the opportunity. By participating in the egg CSA, you are helping a new farmer start his business!
What types of birds are in your flock?
I purchased 500 day-old chicks back in October. They should start laying eggs in April. 200 are Red Stars, 200 are Barred Rocks, and 100 are Ameraucanas. The Red Stars are a modern commercial breed known for excellent brown egg production and a docile disposition, the Barred Rocks are a beautiful black and white spotted heritage breed from the colonial days that are excellent foragers and good layers of brown eggs, and the Ameraucanas are the ones that lay the blue eggs. You should get at least one or two blue eggs in every dozen!
What is the difference between "free range" and "pasture raised"?
For grocery store eggs to be labeled "free range," the birds are only required to have what is called "access to pasture." In commercial operations, this usually means a small patch of dirt outside a giant warehouse that the birds might never walk outside to see. Local Roots chickens are truly pasture raised. They live outside on grass and are moved to fresh pasture every week. A true pasture raised egg tastes better than anything you'll find at the store!
How do the birds move around the farm?
I have built 3 mobile chicken trailers to house the birds. They go inside these trailers to lay eggs during the day and to roost at night. I lock them in every evening to protect them from predators. Their pasture area is protected by a portable electric fence. To move the birds to a new spot, I get up really early in the morning, take down the electric fence, move it to new grass, then hitch the mobile coops to a tractor and drive them to the new spot. They get really excited about new grass to eat and worms to catch!
Are the eggs organic?
Because the farm has opted out of USDA organic certification, the eggs cannot be certified organic. But the pasture they forage on is surely organic. The wheat, oats, and barley that I hand sprout for them is certified organic and grown in Washington. The feed I give them is absolutely the best I could find and it's mostly organic, although not certified. It's Scratch and Peck feed, milled in Bellingham. They are an amazing local company: check them out at Scratch & Peck.
The sad truth is that almost all certified organic feed contains cooked soy products, and most of that soy is grown in China. I don't trust anything certified organic from China, and I don't think too much soy protein is healthy. Scratch and Peck feed is soy free and verified non-GMO.