Monday, January 5, 2015

Farm fresh

My ex is a back yard farmer in Los Angeles, only a couple of miles from Beverly Hills. She has twelve hens and would love to get four more, even though her current flock is all healthy and producing, and their pecking order has worked itself out. The hens are a variety of breeds, so she gets different colors of eggs, from white to brown to greenish. (Yes, you could have green eggs and ham.)

Eggs come naturally with a coating that protects them from going bad. If you resist the urge to wash off the hen house schmutz, you can keep the eggs for a month or more without refrigeration. Grocery store eggs have all been washed to make them pretty, and so you'll buy them more often.

Best of all, her eggs are much more flavorful. In addition to some chicken feed, the hens get kitchen scraps from a neighbor and a nearby restaurant. Fruit, vegetables, even fish and cheese. "They're crazy about feta and salmon. Chickens are omnivores," says my ex. They also get earthworms, mealworms and black soldier fly larvae. (Mature black soldier flies have no mouths, so they can't eat. They live just long enough to mate.) She also has a foraging garden and one for plants with medicinal qualities the chickens eat as needed. Sunshine and room to roam and scratch are essential as well.

Even if we weren't dear friends who share a lot of interests (and history), it would be worth the trip just to have some of her fresh, delicious eggs.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping her eggs have magical powers to clear up the chest congestion I've been struggling with the past week. :) The honey her bees produce might help, too. If not, at least it's good tasting.