The chickens at Salt of the Earth farm have started laying! We bought an egg share in the winter and I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on some real pastored eggs.
If you are one of those ones who buys ‘free range’ eggs from the grocery store, prepared to have your bubble burst.
Industry standards means that in order to qualify as ‘free ranged’ there must be a small door on the side of the large barn with a tiny patch of grass on the other side. The sad truth is that few chickens bother venturing out. The inside of the barn is all they really know. The door doesn’t even have to be open all of the time.
So you are not getting what you are paying for.
Those chickens are almost as unlikely to have seen a blade of grass as the conventionally raised ones- but at least they aren’t in battery cages.
Bubble burst yet?
Eggs from the Salt of the Earth farm here in Kingston come from hens who spend their days happily clucking around in the grass. I’ve seen them, they do like to cluck.
Charles Summers, the farmer behind the farm, has built a mobile chicken coop which reminds me a lot of the one used by Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms which I first learnt about in Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Author, Michael Polan’s quest for the most perfectly sourced meal lead to a week long stay at the farm where he watched sustainable agriculture in action. An intricate rotation method keeps the farm healthy and fertile. The mobile chicken coop is one of the most important components.
To see a farm pop up in Kingston which follows a similar approach made my dream of stocking my fridge with pastored eggs a reality. At the same time Rick from Wendy’s Mobile Market informed me that they also offer pastored eggs…. so maybe I’m just a little slow on the uptake.
With a two dozen a week share I’m already inundated with eggs (isn’t that a fun word?). I’m also a time strapped (aka lazy) cook. I love quiche but I don’t have the time or inclination to make the crust right now. So Baked Omelette it is!
Last Saturday while picking up our egg share Luke was handed a lovely bundle of asparagus. I have a love hate thing with asparagus. I’m not really into the flavour, but it means spring and the growing season is here, so I give it credit for that at least.
I decided to roast the asparagus and give it some friends in the form of roasted tomatoes, sauteed onions and bacon. The roasted tomatoes are strong enough to compete with the asparagus. I added bacon…because bacon.
A little old cheddar sprinkled on top and this worked out nicely. They even reheated well the next day. Now to think of something to do with my other dozen before this Saturday.
* If you weren’t lucky enough to grab an egg share right now Salt of the Earth farm is selling extra eggs at $6/dozen or $10/ 2 dozen Saturday’s 9-noon and Tuesdays 3-6pm. They are on Hwy 2 East across from 1049.*
Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Baked Omelette
- 1 Bunch Asparagus
- 2 Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 Onion- Diced and Sauteed
- 1 Cup Old Cheddar Cheese- Shredded
- 6-8 Slices of Bacon- Diced
- 8 Eggs
- 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Roast the Asparagus: Preheat oven to 350f. Trim off any woody ends, peel thicker stalks. Place on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in oven about 20 minutes. Chop when cooled.
Roast Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 350f. Slice tomatoes in half, remove stem. Place in a baking dish large enough so that they are not crowded. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried basil. Roast in oven for about 2 hours. Chop when cooled.
Preheat oven to 350f. Crack eggs, whip with sour cream. Season with Salt and Pepper
Place bacon, asparagus, tomatoes, and onions in the bottom of a baking dish. I used individual sized ones, one large casserole dish works as well. Pour the eggs over the ingredients, sprinkle cheese on top.
Place in oven and bake 15-30 minutes. Time will vary depending on the size of dish used. When you shake the pan and it is no longer jiggly in the middle they are done.