Farmers Market, Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Schlafly Farmers Market
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, MO

It has been a very long morning for me! From vendor emails and texts to computer updates as I was getting ready to sit down and write the blog early, early this morning. But the wonderful emails, texts, stories and pictures that I received (on the Smart Phone) while waiting for the computer to update was such an extraordinary lesson and education on EGGS!

Last season I thought I did an extensive amount of research on eggs. WOW! So much more to learn. I hope that I never, ever stop learning. The farmers and producers I know have so much knowledge and many of them are more than happy to share it with me (and with you).

The egg questions usually come from customers and other consumers and people in my life. This week I had the egg inquisition from my mom. I think I get these questions from her every market season, but I don’t mind repeating the information and adding new information as I learn it myself.

My mom, like many others that like farm fresh eggs and make the attempt to buy at a farmers market or local farms think the freshest, best, tastiest eggs are the eggs with orange yolks. When my mom doesn’t get the eggs with orange yolks, she thinks the eggs don’t taste as good and are perhaps inferior to the one with the darker yellow or just plain ole yellow yolks.

I have told my mom that I am positive that I am buying eggs that are many times less than 1 day old, from the farm and sometimes no more than 1 week old. I am sure the eggs that I buy are from chickens that are feasting on pasture and are getting grass, bugs, produce compost (food scraps) and only specially prepared, organic rations and supplements. I don’t get orange yolked eggs often. In the fall when chickens are getting pumpkin and squash they are quite orange. But most often the eggs that I get have the yolks that are quite yellow, darker, thick, rich yolks and whites with the shells are usually quite hard. The eggs are not watery, there are no air pockets and the viscosity and richness are very noticeable.

After doing some research on the internet and “asking Google” I emailed the market vendors and asked them for their input. This was my email.

I am trying to explain to customers about the yolk color and consistency (thickness, richness) of egg as well as the hardness of the shell.
Can you help please?
In my experience not all super fresh, pastured eggs are dark orange. Sometimes. Not always. They are richer and thicker in consistency and have harder shells.
I attribute the orange to what the chickens are eating. Bugs, grass, veggie scraps etc. Maybe a special feed supplement.
Please share with me your thoughts and experience.
Also, what do your chickens graze on and eat? Supplement feed?”
Thank you.

The responses I received were so amazing. I don’t like calling them “my vendors”, but I have such a close relationship with many of these folks, I can call them my friends and vendors at the markets that I am so fortunate to manage.
At this point in time as it is so much later than usual to get the market blog out, I will continue the educational, informational egg details in the next week. For now, be assured that the eggs that you are buying at the markets that I manage are from very happy, healthy chickens.

Rosalie of Grand Army Farm sent me a fun picture of all of the yolks of all of the eggs that she produces. That is posted as the featured image today.

Vendors at the Market Today May Include the Following
Baetje Artisan Goat Cheese
Cham Bakery
Trail Lodge Tea
Red Guitar Bread
Farrar Out Farm
Eckenfels Family
Stuckmeyer Plants and Produce
Grandma’s Nuts
Green Door Farm
The Tamale Man
Alpacas of Troy
Larder and Cupboard
Biver Farm
Three Rivers Community Farm
Buila Family Farm
Ivan’s Fig Farm
Ozark Forest Mushrooms
The Nutty Bites
El Chico Bakery
Rosy Buck Farm
Flower Hill Farm
Two Men and a Garden
Maplewood Richmond Heights School
Eddington Farm
The Earring Lady


Produce today will include lacinato kale, curly kale, hakurei turnips, a variety of radishes (including watermelon radishes), salad mix, arugula, carrots, a variety of squash, tomatoes, a variety of lettuces, spinach, red and golden beets, spring onions, cucumbers, broccoli, Swiss chard and more!

In addition to farm fresh, local, seasonal produce will have house made culinary goodies from Larder and Cupboard, Artisan sourdough bread from Red Guitar, artisan award winning Baetje Cheese, Two Men and a Garden Salsa and Pickles, Nuts and Baked Goods from the Nutty Bites, Nut and Seed Blends from Grandma’s Nuts, a unique variety of tea blends as well as iced teas from Trail Lodge Tea, cow and sheep’s milk yogurt from Ivan, pastured eggs, pork, chicken, beef and lamb from Eckenfels and Farrar Out, Farm, a variety of cultivated mushrooms from Ozark Forest, traditional Mexican pastries from El Chico, fun, unique handmade earrings from The Earring Lady and MORE.

Come to the market today. Enjoy live music by Charlie Pfeffer and get a complimentary Schlalfy beer sample at the market tent.


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