Being a small family run farm means we can engage with our peers in a ways that are meaningful to us. In these pandemic times we're looking around to see who needs a boost from a fellow farmer so when we got a call from Meg Shaughnessy asking if we could help distribute her eggs, we discussed and agreed that yes, this is exactly the kind of thing we love to do.
Here's what Meg has to say about her eggs:
Our hens arrive here on our farm as day-old chicks that we purchase from Jenks Hatchery, "America's Oldest Hatchery," right here in Tangent, Oregon. Jenks Hatchery opened in 1910, and has been run by the Jenks family the entire time. Our chicks are raised indoors, safe from predators, until they are feathered and can be moved to their outdoor coop when they are about 1 month old. Outside, they have their own area to scratch and peck in and gobble up grass and bugs. Chicks mature and begin laying when they're about 5 months old.
All our hens are pastured 100% of the time. We use electrified poultry netting that is portable to protect them and to move them onto new green pasture. In addition to all they eat in the pasture, our hens are fed locally milled commercial grain, locally grown grain, and spring water. Eggs are a variety of colors from beautiful shades of browns, creams, speckled, and blue/greens. Pastured eggs come in many sizes and shapes reflecting the breed and age of the hen as well as variation in each individual hen. Inside the eggs, the yolks are beautiful and dark. Eggs are collected daily and washed just before delivery so that they arrive "farm fresh" at your home!
Meg's Eggs is part of Purple Hills Family Farm LLC., a small family farm nestled in the hills of the Oregon Coast Range. Why Purple Hills? Is it because of the profusely growing blue elderberries and blackberries? It could be, but it's not! Purple Hills is named in tribute to Thornton W. Burgess, an early conservationist, who created and told wonderful stories to his young son early in the 20th century. Later, these stories were collected into books, many delightful books, the first being Old Mother West Wind, published in 1910. The book begins,
"Old Mother West Wind came down from the Purple Hills in the golden light of the early morning. Over her shoulders was slung a bag - a great big bag - and in the bag were all of Old Mother West Wind's children, the Merry Little Breezes."
"When she reached the Green Meadows, Old Mother West Wind opened her bag, turned it upside down and shook it. Out tumbled all the Merry Little Breezes and began to spin round and round for very joy, for you see they were to play in the Green Meadows all day long until Old Mother West Wind should come back at night and take them all to their home behind the Purple Hills."
Although Thornton Burgess lived on the East Coast of the U.S., my kids and I always liked to imagine that the Oregon Coast Range is actually the Purple Hills and that we live there with Old Mother West Wind, where she begins and ends her day with her Merry Little Breezes. Some afternoons, if you look at the Coast Range from the Valley, you, too, may see the Purple Hills of the Oregon Coast Range.
Lovely imagery, sustainable practices and happy hens...how lucky are we that Meg chose to call us to partner with her?
Some of you who pick-up at the farm have seen that we've had eggs from our friends at Windy Hill Farm in Philomath available for a few weeks now. We'll continue to offer those as well!