The thing I love about living where I do in South Carolina, is the access to local farms and great produce.
Recently I took a trip out to Thames Farm, a delightful farm in Chester county for their monthly ‘farm day’, welcoming visitors to experience the sights, sounds and flavors of real food. A great day out for young and old, all the wonderful fares of Thames Farm are on offer, as well as produce and artisan products from local growers and vendors.
Check them out on Facebook for the next special Farm Day honoring Mother’s Day.
Dedicated to raising animals in humane ‘free range’ conditions, the story book green rolling hills of the farm are dotted with a variety of livestock. Happy, well fed Berkshire pigs stroll around the lush green pastures with fluffy lambs prancing by. Jersey cows produce rich, creamy milk fueled by plentiful grass, sunshine and clean air.
All the livestock is raised without antibiotics, steroids and hormones, and on a diet of rich lush grass, producing meat naturally higher in omega 3 and lower in potentially inflammatory omega 6.
Don’t forget about the produce! Farmer Amy also grows a variety of produce without the aid of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; I know I want to be on her farm box list!
The clucking symphony of chickens greets me from down the hill, shades of brown, grey, black and white, the laying hens are a variety of breeds including Blue Wyandotte, Ameracauna, CoCo Marans, and Speckled Sussex.
These happy chickens spend their days foraging in the pastures for juicy grubs and insects, with only a little supplemental non-gmo feed.
A genius method of allowing the chickens to enjoy the pasture while being safe from predators is employed, with a unique mobile chicken coop. The coop is simply lifted and moved in the pasture several times a day, allowing the chickens to enjoy fresh pasture and forage for insects and grubs, while fertilizing the soil.
As Farmer Amy says “chickens are not vegetarians”, I couldn’t agree more, and the proof is in the product! The laying chickens get to roam around the yard, all with ‘Junior’, the guard dog standing by.
The reward is truly ‘eggscellent’ eggs boasting deep yellow yolks with a rich flavor, a chef’s dream! I do love meringue, and I had great fun whipping up a Saffron Pavlova with Exotic Fruits and Orange Crème Pâtissière as contributing blog post, head over to Delicious Obsessions for this fabulous recipe and technique run down.
Before you begin whipping up your masterpiece, how do you know if your eggs are fresh? Newly laid eggs will have a very small air pocket usually at the flattened end of the egg. As the egg ages, moisture and carbon dioxide escape, and air enters, so the air pockets expands.
A really simple test to check the freshness of your eggs, is to place them in a glass of cold water, the fresher the egg, the heavier it will be, as the air space grows, the egg will float more. Check out this handy quick reference chart to help you decide.
If you’ve been wondering about the difference between all the different types of eggs available in the supermarket, here’s a quick summary, with a great info graphic (click to expand). More great information on all things eggs can be found here at the ‘Eggcyclopedia’.
If the regular factory farmed eggs have been your usual choice, treat yourself to some pasture raised eggs, most likely the store bought eggs are already weeks old, and devoid in nutrients.
The factory farmed eggs will ‘pale’ in comparison to the pasture raised eggs, literally!
Graphic courtesy of the Holistic Entrepreneur Association
In Health and Wellness,
Excellent article! Thames Farm and Amy are one of my favorites too, I shop her farm all the time, or more recently, see her at the Kershaw County Farmers Market!
Thank you so much Mary! I think your website is great too, I’d love to meet you!
Love this article with your helpful egg freshness chart! I never can quite remember the “sink or float” rules. I’ve printed out this page and have it on my fridge now for future use. 🙂