The warm weather brings on a different sort of work on the farm . . . fixing fence. And it is evident as every day we find cows wandering through the yard or pigs further in the pasture than they should be. Yep, it is a neverending chore. Just this morning, while Brian was milking, I had to run out in the yard in my robe and have a talk with Ebony, one of our black Angus heifers. I was thinking I won as she turned around and walked back to her friends, but not half hour later, her and her calf Onyx were again wandering. Sometimes I think they just like to be mischievous and are just laughing at us humans (well me in my robe anyway).
We have pulled the mobile chicken tractor up to the barn and plan to get the laying hens out on pasture this week. This is my favorite time of year as they get out of the barn . . . and out of my flower beds. They really enjoy roaming and they reward us with eggs that have a nice orange/deep yellow.
Pastured egg facts from Mother Earth News
The results are coming in from MOTHER EARTH NEWS' latest round of pastured egg nutrient tests. Once again, pastured egg producers are kicking the commercial industry’s butt — yippee, go free range eggs! Our previous tests found that eggs from hens raised on pasture — as compared to the official USDA data for factory-farm eggs — contain:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
- Three times more vitamin E
- Seven times more beta carotene
Now we’re looking at vitamin D, of which many people don’t get enough. New research is showing that this common vitamin deficiency may be related to much more than just weak bones — from diabetes and cancer to heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
Our bodies can get vitamin D in two ways: when sunlight strikes our skin, or from our diet. Eggs are one of a small list of foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D. The USDA says supermarket eggs contain an average of 34 International Units per 100 grams. Our tests of eggs from four pastured farms in Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania found that their eggs contained three to six times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs. This means two scrambled eggs from pastured hens may give you 63 to 126 percent of the recommended daily intake of 200 IU of vitamin D.
It is also time to start our seeds. We are a few weeks late but should still be OK. We have many variety of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Company and start by meticulously planting each seed. The trays sit on shelves by windows that face south. Hopefully we will soon start to see sprouts breaking ground. The philosophy at Baker Creek is to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply and to work against gene-altered food. We appreciate the care they take and we want the best food possible in our own diet so that means we can share our bounty with you as well. Remember, know your farmer, know your food.