Lauren Scheuer writes about her backyard chickens in the popular blog, Scratch And Peck. She is a resident of Upton, Massachusetts. Her illustrated memoir, Once Upon a Flock: Life with my Soulful Chickens, was published by Atria Books, a division of sister company Simon & Schuster.
A fresh local egg.
It’s a healthy little treasure produced by a happy hen. The taste, color and texture are a surprising treat.
But it’s not only a treat for country folk. You CAN find fresh local eggs right here in the Boston area.
Food labeling has become a tricky business these days. While many of us would like to steer clear of factory-farm eggs, it’s not that easy to determine the origin of the eggs we buy. Supermarkets and co-ops will offer eggs labeled “organic” and “free range.” But this doesn’t always mean that the hens who produce these eggs are treated humanely, or even have access to sunlight.
Fresh, humanely produced eggs from happy hens raised locally can be found as nearby as Brookline and Cambridge. You can also find them in Lexington, Bedford, Watertown, Natick and Scituate.
City folk are discovering CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) like Sweet Georgia P’s, in Scituate, which delivers fresh eggs and produce to a convenient weekly pickup spot in Boston.
At Natick Community Organic Farm, eggs are a hot commodity, But if you arrive around 9:30 am or 4:30 pm, shortly after the morning and evening chores, you may score a dozen eggs laid that very day.
At Allandale Farm in Brookline, you can sign up to reserve a weekly supply. Allandale also offers fresh local honey and produce from neighboring farms.
Russo’s in Watertown and Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and Boston sell eggs produced at Bedford’s Chip-in Farm. Or you can drive out to Bedford and get these eggs straight from the source, and have a cuddle with a few farm critters at the Chip-in petting zoo.
Lexington’s Meadow Mist Farm offers beautiful eggs from its flock of pasture-raised laying hens.
And while family-owned Owen’s Poultry Farm in Needham does raise its hens in barns, the farm is a small scale and well-loved local treasure, selling fresh broilers, ducks and turkeys as well.
On the other hand, it’s possible that you need only peek over your neighbor’s fence to find your local source for fresh eggs. The backyard chicken movement is reaching many Boston suburbs…. and where there are backyard chickens, there is a fridge brimming with eggs to share.
At suburban farmers’ markets, which are often open through October, you are likely to discover fresh eggs sold by enthusiastic suburban chicken-keepers.
It is nice to know where your food is coming from, and the thrill of the hunt can make it that much more flavorful. So support your local farmers, enjoy the adventure, and reap the delicious rewards.
Lauren Scheuer’s illustrated memoir, Once Upon a Flock: Life with my Soulful Chickens, was published by Atria Books, a division of sister company Simon & Schuster.