Eggstravaganza! Sunday 4/30/17 12-5pm

There is a reason the Easter Bunny hides eggs…
Alright folks it has been a while since we have been flush with eggs. We started our layers on October 27th, 2016….yes, right before the winter to remember (or forget!). The chicks did well in the brooders, but it was out to pasture in late November. Surprisingly, all of our shelters lasted through the wind and snow. We were really buried out here- but the super-doops held up and the snow even created some insulation. The chicks did fine throughout the winter. Then came spring and they popped. As I write this I am so surprised how well things went. Anyway, the birds are now fully grown and for the most part done with the Rooster eggs. We were a little conservative starting in October- planning to be ready for the markets in June. Turns out, even with that winter, the birds came through well and are laying great.

So….how about a farm day before June?? Yep, if you would like eggs or sausage, bacon or any other pork product please come to our first Farm Day of 2017 this Sunday from noon to 5pm.

There is lots going on this time of year and some of you might be interested in walking around a bit. We put in a lot of berries this month and if you’re interested in seeing our irrigation system- come on out. If you would like to see the pigs that will be ready for June and July classes- come on out. If you are just looking for a Sunday drive – come on out!

Long term members might remember the Sunday Egg Drops at Drake Park- want to do those again? We are up for it, but we know it has been a while since we have had enough eggs to do this. Let us know if you’re interested in meeting us downtown again.

Happy Spring and we look forward to feeding you and your family again this year!

Pastured eggs have pasture under where they lay, sleep and forage.

What? A brochure!?

The long dormant marketing department of the Great American Egg rises!  With the aid of my lovely and talented sister- we now have a brochure/pricelist!  You know something physical that must be transported by hand and read by reflected rather than projected light!  That’s right an actual paper brochure!  Check it out (note- for me at least, the two pages are one on top the other- rather than side by side):

GreatAmericanEgg_RackCard

brochurebrochure2

Latest Newsletter!

Hello Again,
What a difference a passing season can make.  We are starting the 2013 season with renewed confidence after a rough 2012.  We believe in our charter of providing factory-free staples at a price that excludes as few people as possible- but we really had to think about how to do that without going under.  I think we have come up with some great ideas for this year that we are excited to tell you about.
The Hens
Our hens look fantastic!  The girls are producing eggs at the best lay rates that we have ever had!  We are very happy with the rations, the new nest designs, the year-round rotations- but mainly, the condition of the hens.  We are also happy with the shell quality (which had dipped) and the flavor of the eggs themselves.  There is so much to consider when cooking up a ration for these birds and we are really grateful for the patience and dedication from the folks up in Culver for working with us.  Today, I can’t imagine buying feed from a store.  The guys at Round Butte, now Helena, like what we’re trying to do and tolerate my constant tweaking of the recipes.  They could have easily said, “No,  we are a seed company not a feed company,” but they didn’t.  Instead they said,”Neat, let’s give it a try.” And the rest is an unequivocal, closed-loop, local victory for sustainable food.  We are also working on getting this mix into a retail product- a ways off- but maybe someday our layer feed might be available in a retail package.
The Broilers
We plan to butcher twice a week from June 8-9 until Halloween this year.  Expect many more farm days this year.  The feedback last year when I asked if folks like getting their chickens this way was overwhelming.  One person said that coming out to the farm to get chickens was the  highlight of their summer!  We really enjoy these farm days both personally and financially.  Last year it was difficult to know how many birds we’d be processing each week as the growth rates were so random.  To address this,  we ran a new ration late last year that showed some promise, but it was so late in the season we were not confident that we had it right.  So far this year, it looks like we are close as the chickens are vigorous and relatively consistent in weights.  The second change was with our hatchery.  For three years we were getting our birds overnight out of Santa Cruz, however, last year it started taking two, sometimes three, days to get the birds.  This year we have been getting the birds from the valley and we are receiving the birds sometimes within 12 hours of hatching.  Both of these changes seem to be working and we are hopeful for a good 2013 season.
If this ration continues to hold up we will have a truly closed-loop food system with all our offerings.  From seed, to farm, to harvest, to elevator, to mixing, to bagging, to feed, to chicks, to broilers, to butcher, to market and ultimately to table- all under our oversight- all without GMOs – all without corn and soy- all with neighbors paying neighbors.  How cool is that?!!  Give yourself a pat; none of this would be possible without your patronage and support!
Hogs and Butcher Classes
This is really exciting news.  Like I said earlier, we attempt to alienate as few people as possible with our pricing.  One of the best ways to do that is find ways to allow you to do some of the value added work.  This is like buying whole chickens and breaking them down yourself- a little extra work but the savings are worth it.  Well…what about pork?  Light-bulb moment here.  What if we could get the hog slaughtered and delivered to you to cut up.  Perfect; except not everyone knows how to butcher a pig.  What if we were to sell a class along with the pig?  This is where we are at today.  Taryn went off to butcher school, we started compiling gear, and we all started practicing.  Earlier this week we held our first class in downtown Bend.  And. . . It worked!  The process looks like this:
  • We sell you a live pig, or share of pig (a half or a quarter).
  • We arrange for the slaughter and chill.
  • As part of that pig/share you will receive basic butchery instructions.
  • You will process you own animal at a central location with our tools and guidance.
  • Each cut will be wrapped and labeled.
  • You will pack your pork home to your freezer that night.
This process went well. We took over a coffee shop at 5pm one night…brought in stainless steel tables, knives, paper, saws and a couple of halves and went to work. The class took a bit over 3 hours and everyone went home happy! Taryn is a fantastic instructor: calm, understanding, encouraging, and knowledgeable. We hope to set up a page on our website with a few more details but would first like to offer up classes to this group to see if anyone is interested. One quarter will be $200, a half $400. You’ll have at least 100 lbs of meat to work with and take home. We are thrilled with this price! And the class is a lot of fun too! Anita and I joke around that this is the perfect ‘date night’ for foodies.
Sooo, onto the next class. We will have two pigs ready to butcher into tasty packages for your freezer. So if you are interested in taking a class,  let us know We are taking reservations for the week of June 17 OR June 24th. Drop us a line telling which week works better for you.
Remember the pricing: $400 for a half a hog, $200 for a quarter, and $100 to watch and learn. We’ll even give those of you who come to learn a discount if you take a class again and buy the hog/ meat .
The Markets and Where you can find our products
You will still find Anita at the Saturday Salem Market every week and there will be someone at the Salem Public Market (located on 12th and Rural) throughout the year. In addition, the Wednesday Bend Farmers market is now open. Drop in and see Taryn there and ask about butcher classes!
And a quick shout out to Rockin’ Dave’s, 900 Wall, Jackson’s Corner, Devore’s Good Food Store, 10 Below, Agricultural Connections, and Celebrate the Season (Off Reed Market and on America Way).  They carry our products  for resale or turn them into yummy edible creations! Be sure to support those who support your local farm!
I have more to say….but don’t want to have to make a chapter book so I will save some for next time.  We hope you are all well and looking forward to a great season.
Thanks much,
Justice, Anita, Taryn and the Girls

Market Season

Well, the market season has officially begun!  We will be at the Salem Saturday Market, the Bend Wednesday Market and all year round at the Salem Public Market.  The Bend Market starts the first Wednesday in June and the Salem markets are already going…thankfully- as we have had lots of eggs this spring.

 

Hope to see you there.

End of the Winter Egg Drops

Good news/bad news….

Sunday was the last egg drop for the winter season in Drake Park. The good news is we begin butchering chickens again this week!

Thanks much for the support over the winter. Eggs may have been scarce, but the feed bill wasn’t…these drops certainly helped!

Winter happenings on the farm

Hello Everyone,

We thought it was about time to let you know how your animals are doing…..here are some updates from the Egg.

Farrowing
Our sows Sugar (Shoog for short) and Piper are doing their job to bring beautiful little piggies into the world. Piper gave us a small litter of four gilts (girls) three weeks ago. All are healthy and solidly built and exploring their surroundings and pasture when the sun shines. Sugar is due this week and looks really ready to pop. She waddles the length of the pasture though her teats almost drag over the grass. She gets some extra brushing which results in some contented grunts and sighs to take her mind off the wiggling masses that are preparing to make their appearance!

Buffies
Our Buff Orpingtons are starting to come into lay now as we find tiny little ‘wind eggs’ (nothing but shell and whites) and slightly bigger ‘rooster eggs’ (the whole package only very small) each day. We’ll have rooster eggs for sale later in the spring  (all smalls) for $2.50/doz. but don’t be fooled by the name. The old wive’s tale on ‘rooster eggs’ is that the girls are rather embarrassed to be producing such small eggs so they blame them on the roosters.
Egg drop until April
We’ll continue the egg drop at Drake Park on Sundays between 3 and 4pm through April, and if egg production is looking massive (see the note above about the Buffies) we will start deliveries then as well. In the mean time, we have lots of sausage (Breakfast, Maple, and Sweet Italian), bacon (Maple, Jowl, Cottage/Shoulder, Peppered and British/Loin in a few weeks), as well as boneless and bone-in chops that we bring each Sunday.
Spring is around the corner
Chicken again in May!  The abattoir has been cleaned and closed for the winter but as the weather changes, chicks will arrive and we’ll start processing chickens again in just a couple of months. Like last year, we’ll have fresh and frozen chicken at the farmers markets this summer! Yum!  Don’t forget to plan for farm days this summer….these are definitely our favorite days of the season.
Turkeys in July and November
Thanks to all who emailed or called with Thanksgiving turkey reports. We really appreciate the feedback and are so pleased by the responses. This year we finally got the size right as most were a good fit for the dinner table. We’ll have turkeys again this year with some available this summer (think about BBQ-ing some drumsticks or plan a truly awesome summer wing party) and for Thanksgiving 2012. Last years birds were great on the farm and the table so we are sticking with the formula for 2012. They are social birds that forage well- so the summer birds are really going to enjoy the pastures!  The fact that these turkeys herd so well really make them fun….nothing worse than chasing a rouge birds off the neighbors field!
Bend News
Where will the market be this year?  Not sure, but the rumor mill has us back in the alley between Oregon and Minnesota….hope we hear soon!
Salem news
You will find the Great American Egg products at the Salem Public Market (www.salempublicmarket.com), Oregon’s oldest farmers market, on Saturdays from 8:30 to 2pm along with Ling Farm Beef (www.lingfarm.com) and Henny Farm Lamb (www.hennyfarm.homestead.com). This is a great market with great traditions and has been a good fit for us. Your patronage has really helped the farm this winter.  We’ll be back at the Saturday Salem Market when it opens in April as well. We hope to have a fixed booth along Marion Street this year which means no more playing Marco Polo as you try to find us by the port-a-potties. . .  or behind the band. . . or next to the zero-waste stations!
Chicks and turkey poults and ducklings have been ordered so spring must be near! See you soon!!!!

 

Updates

Hope this message finds you well and warm! I think we are reaching everyone now with this new email program! Not that we can ask the folks that are not receiving these emails to send us a note….but we are getting less questions about when we are going to send out notices!

Fourth of July

Open farm and butcher on Monday the Fourth of July. We plan on processing birds early in the morning and will be ready for pick up between 3-6pm Monday. Please let us know if you would like some birds reserved for you so we can make sure and process the correct number of broilers! As always, the chicken is just $3/lb on the farm.

Stability on the Farm

Sometimes it seems like we are in a constant state of chaos on the farm. This spring has been much smoother. Tayrn has helped out a ton, the broiler operation is stable and running like clockwork, pigs have been a bit nuts logistically but stable as far as pasturing. The weakest point- which should be our strongest point, has been our egg production. We really attempted to ramp up this year, however, we got a bad shipment of chicks in September where most of the chickens were DOA. We couldn’t get replacements until much later in the fall. The good news is that we have a couple of hundred birds that are starting to lay- so hopefully our egg shortages will be short lived. Fingers crossed!

First Cutting of Hay

The South field has been cut and baled! I cannot tell you how good it feels to get hay put up without a single drop of rain touching it! Our old gear survived the cutting and is making some really nice bales now that we have tweaked everything to work with our grass.

Stay Connected

We are using Twitter quite a bit (#greataegg). This is a great service for finding out where and when to find us, quick notes on product availability and some fun stuff as well. We also post our booth number when we find out where it is in Salem. We are playing around a little bit with a Store Front on Facebook. This might be handy during the winter drops and with our delivery route. We will see..

We also repeat everything we write through these services. So if we make a blog posting on the blog it will be reposted on Twitter and Facebook and visa-versa. We also repost these emails. Regardless, sign up and stay connected!

Markets this Year

Wednesdays -- Bend, Drake Park -- 3-7pm

Fridays -- Redmond, Redmond Greenhouse -- 3-7pm

Fridays -- Bend, St. Charles -- 2-6pm

Saturdays -- Salem, Downtown -- 9am to 3pm

Saturdays -- Silverton, between the Oregon Gardens and Downtown -- 9am to 1pm

Restaurants serving our Products

3456 -- Bend, Airport -- Chicken and Duck Eggs

10 Below -- Bend, Oxford Hotel -- Chicken and Eggs

Lone Pine Coffee -- Bend, Tin Pan Alley -- Ham Sandwiches

Jackson's Corner -- Bend, Delaware Avenue -- Chicken Wings

Devore's Good Food -- Bend, Newport Ave -- Eggs all week long

900 Wall -- Bend, Wall Street -- Eggs

Hola! -- Sunriver, Marina -- Eggs and Jowl Bacon

--NEW!--The Honey Pot -- Downtown on Franklin, Bend -- Pork Sausage and Chicken

--NEW!--Primal Cuts -- Galveston, Bend -- Chicken, whole and cut up

Newsletter – Spring 2011

The 2011 Season is finally here! What a long, long winter…..but not too bad overall. We are trying out another format for emails – we really hope these reach everyone. Lots of things to talk about today as we have been a bit quiet lately- so here it is the latest and greatest from the Great American Egg.

The End of the Winter Egg Drop!

Thanks so much for supporting us through the winter! Even though the hens produce much less in the winter, they eat much more until the bugs arrive in the spring. This is an expensive time of year and without your support eggs would be a really tough enterprise. Thanks again!

First Butcher Day of 2011 – This Coming Monday!

Lots of things going on at the farm this time of year. The grass is getting ready for haying in about a month, three different sets of pigs are rooting up the fringe areas, and feathers are flying in the butcher shop.
We would like to invite you out to the farm on Memorial Day for fresh chicken straight from the chill tank. This is our first open day of the year and we plan on processing about 80 birds- so let us know if you would like one. We will have plenty of cut-up and frozen wholes as well. We are keeping the same deal as last year, where chicken is .50 cents/lb cheaper when picked up fresh on the farm! Pick up time is after 3pm.

New Products for 2011!

I am sure many of you remember the days before we found a smokehouse that didn’t use nitrites in thier cures. It has been a fun winter trying to discover recipes, and methods that work well with our pork. In addition to belly, cottage and jowl bacon; we are adding British bacon this year for you folks fond of lean bacon (that sounds like an oxymoron!). We have also tweaked the breakfast sausage a bit; however, it is still a classic mild sage flavor. Also, on the tenderloins we are offering medallions for the light meat eaters. We also now have USDA Rendered Lard! Lard is on of those items you never knew you couldn’t live without it! One customer even makes her mayonaise with it! Also, new this year is Lingucia – this is definitly our hottest suasage, heavily spiced with paprika.

A New Face! Meet Tayrn- our summer intern

Taryn will be working with us for the 2011 Season. She will be helping will all aspects of the farm as well as starting some sort of enterprise on her own (sheep, cattle, fish, we are still working out ideas). Taryn comes from the OSU geography department, worked many seasons on the family tuna operation in Astoria and just finished up baking for the winter up at Mt. Bachelor. Please welcome her- you can imagine the learning curve ahead for her.

Markets this Year


Wednesdays -- Bend, Drake Park -- 3-7pm
Fridays -- Redmond, Redmond Greenhouse -- 3-7pm
Fridays -- Bend, St. Charles -- 2-6pm
Saturdays -- Salem, Downtown -- 9am to 3pm

Resturants serving our Products


3456 -- Bend, Airport -- Chicken and Duck Eggs
10 Below -- Bend, Oxford Hotel -- Chicken and Eggs
Lone Pine Coffee -- Bend, Tin Pan Alley -- Ham Trifecta Sandwiches
Jackon's Corner -- Bend, Delaware Avenue -- Eggs, Bacon, occasional Crown Roast
Devore's Good Food -- Bend, Newport Ave -- Eggs all week long
900 Wall -- Bend, Wall Street -- Eggs
Hola! -- Sunriver, Marina -- Eggs and Jowl Bacon