Welcome to the Farm

Sunset 2
Farm sign

After many years away, we moved back to Vermont in 2007.  The farm has been a ‘work in progress’ since day 1.  We initially started with the barn renovation (unplanned, but rather enjoyable), added chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, Angora rabbits & goats and hay over the years.  Why is our farm named “3 Sheeps to the Wind LLC” if you don’t have any sheep?  Good question; we had sheep and a llama, but sold the flock after finding that there really wasn’t any profit in lamb.  We found hay to be more suited to our farm and switched to feeding other farmers livestock.  The investment in hay machinery is a SLOW process, but we are making progress.  Mind you that we really liked the sheep….except when they got out (nearly daily in summer) and ate the garden flat.  The main web site picture is of our ram Romeo and four of our original ewes (Natasha, Bianca, Nina, and Jill) sitting peacefully in the shade of a butternut tree with our daughter.  Not a planned picture. Was taken on an iPhone as I was mowing the field.  Sometimes the best things are a surprise, glad I had my phone on me.

The pride of the farm is the eggs from the ‘ladies’.  We have a random assortment of chicken layer breeds that we have purchased as day old chick via the mail, incubated ourselves, chicks bought on a whim in the feed store, and even given to us.  They are a motley group of colors, sizes and temperaments.  Some customers prefer the brown eggs, others the blue…..but everyone LOVES eggs.  We get notes in the farm stand commending us on the quality of the eggs – firm ‘school bus orange’ yolk that stands tall with a milky/vibrant egg white…..with a wonderful taste you can ONLY get from same day fresh eggs laid by free-range in our barnyard/pasture chickens.  The only egg I like better is our free-range duck eggs.

We hope you enjoy farm fresh produce in your neighborhood.  If not, stop by our farm for a visit.

Because today’s society has lost the “farm fresh” taste experience, we need to UNLEARN the factory farm produce and RELEARN what our grand parents just knew!

Why are peeling fresh hard boiled eggs shells so difficult?

“With eggs that are just a day or two old, the membrane beneath the shell sticks tightly to the shell making peeling the egg almost impossible. After a few days in the refrigerator the egg becomes easier to peel. Why is this? In fresh eggs the albumen sticks to the inner shell membrane more strongly than it sticks to itself because of the more acidic environment of the egg. The white of a freshly laid egg has a pH between 7.6 and 7.9 and an opalescent (cloudy) appearance due to the presence of carbon dioxide. After the protective coat is washed off the egg shell the egg becomes porous and begins to absorb air and loose some carbon dioxide contained in the albumen. This reduces the acidity of the egg which causes (after several days in the refrigerator) the pH to increase to around 9.2. At higher pH the inner membrane does not stick as much to the albumen so the shell peels off easier. In addition, as the egg gets older it will shrink and the air space between the egg shell and the membrane will get larger.

Research shows that the reduced acidity helps with peeling. The trade off, however, is that in older eggs the yolk tends to move further from being centered. This happens because the white gets thinner and is less able to hold the yolk in place. The best compromise is to use eggs that have been stored on their sides in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. “

http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/science_of_cooking/boiled_eggs.htm

Eggtoid note: …..if you want to boil our ladies eggs, store them in the frig for a week (place the carton upside down to know which eggs are to be boiled).   If you want the ‘store fresh’ egg experience, wash our eggs with water and Clorox, place on the counter for 30-45 days, then put in your frig for a week, then boil……

Mother Earth News:

“Unwashed, fertile homestead eggs seem to store much better than washed, unfertile agribiz eggs. Why? Probably for the simple reason that they’re unwashed … and not because they’re fertile. Hen fruit, as it comes from the chicken, is coated with a light layer of a natural sealing agent called “bloom”. And, while a good wash may make a batch of eggs look more attractive, it also removes this natural protective coating … leaving the eggs more subject to aging and attack by the air and bacteria in the air.”

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1977-11-01/Fresh-Eggs.aspx?page=3

Is the red spot in the farm fresh egg mean it is a fertile egg?

Not at all.  The red (sometime can be brown) spot that occasionally found in eggs is just a blood vessel from the hen that forms in infertile and fertile eggs.  Fertile eggs ‘have the potential to grow baby chicks inside them, but only under proper temperature and humidity conditions.  It takes several days to actually be able to see anything.  For more information, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PedajVADLGw – nice video.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Eggs

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/food-weight-loss/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-eggs

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Egg Yolks Help Brain Development. Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. Additionally, there’s evidence that dietary choline helps with fetal brain development when pregnant women eat it.  A diet rich in choline is also associated with, well, happiness. As Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist who specializes in diet told Healthy Living earlier this year, choline breaks down into bethane, which is used during the methylation cycle, which in turn helps produce “happiness” hormones (and neurotransmitters) like serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine.

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Eggs Are a Perfect Protein. Eggs are the “gold standard” when it comes to protein quality. That’s because all of the protein found in an egg can be absorbed and used by the body, Cynthia Sass, R.D., told Healthy Living in March.

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The Age of the Chicken Matters. When it comes to some measures of quality, the chicken comes before the egg. A study in Poultry Science (where else?) found that young chickens, age 28 weeks, and old chickens, 97 weeks, were more likely to produce eggs with low solids contents than were middle-aged chickens. “It may be more beneficial for egg producers and processors to use young and old birds for table egg production and birds of intermediate age for liquid egg production,” wrote the researchers.

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What Egg Yolk Color Really Means. The deep yellow or pale hue of your egg yolk doesn’t measure healthfulness directly, according to the American Egg Association. Instead, it’s indicative of a chicken’s feed. Chickens that are fed grains and grasses full of carotenoids (like lutein and zeaxanthin) have more vibrantly yellow yolks, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a more nutritious yolk. It could measure chicken health, however: As Dr. Hilary Shallo Thesmar of the Egg Nutrition Center told Chow, free range chickens have access to a greater diversity of foods, which in turn makes them more likely to have deeper yellow yolks.

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Cloudy vs. Clear Egg Yolk. What makes for a cloudy or clear egg white? It’s the age of the egg. Older eggs have clear whites, while fresh eggs can have a milky, opaque look.

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Brown vs. White Eggs: There’s No Difference. Shell color relates to the breed of chicken—it has nothing to do with the healthfulness of the egg or the health of the chicken who laid it.

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Eggs Are Good for Three Months. Eggs are typically packed within a week of laying, though USDA regulations allow them to be up to 30 days from the coop. The sell-by date has to be within a month of the pack date, making the total shelf-life of eggs about two months. But, according to the USDA, eggs may still be good from three to five weeks after the sell-by date passes, reports Yahoo.