As you know, at Fin and Farm, we are committed to only selling the best produce. We’ve been asked about certified organic eggs (although all our eggs are absolutely free range and not fed with grain that has added growth hormones or other undesirable chemicals).
When we were researching eggs, the reality of what constitutes free range, in some cases, is pretty thin and welfare statements about access to fresh air, light and space can be manipulated. This is why we carefully choose our farms and although organic eggs are subjected to tighter regulation, we wanted to see for ourselves before introducing them on our list.
So we visited Springles Farm in Barcombe this week and had the chance to meet Andy, the owner of the farm. He gave us a tour, where we saw the chicken-roosts and the large fields available for the hens to roam.
Andy and his team believe that their hens deserve a happy and healthy life, providing them with an environment that meets their needs. Hens –for example- have easy access to the outdoors (as you can see in the picture above). They must live in a place that gives them fresh air, light, space to exercise, clean food, water and plenty of bedding.
And as taking care of his hens is the most important thing for him, Andy feeds them with high-quality organic feed. The chickens are fed with Humphrey Feeds, which is produced by a family run local company which has 80 years experience of highest quality feed.
Lots of eggs are misshapen…which you’ll never see in the supermarkets… so we asked Andy about it, and he told us that funny shaped eggs are pretty common. It take approximately 25 hours for a hen to produce an egg and all kinds of things can affect the shape of the egg… maybe a result of something simple, like being bothered by another hen who’s trying to steal her roosting spot or the food she has been eating. It happens all the time, but these eggs are often rejected by large supermarkets, so we are used to seeing only the perfectly regular specimens – sadly.
There are lots of schools of thought about storing eggs. It is thought that if you do keep them in the fridge, then it’s best not to store in the door. The constant change in temperature can cause them to degenerate quicker.
Eggs in the supermarket aren’t kept in the fridge, but they are at a pretty constant temperature and it does seem that the rule of thumb is that keeping them chilled gives them the same consistent temperature to keep them as fresh as possible.
Bring eggs up to room temperature before cooking to stop the yolks from breaking too easily.
Can you freeze eggs?
Apparently, yes – this blog from Home Farmer gives you lots of tips on freezing eggs. However, it seems that the best use is for cakes as eating a gelatinous egg white doesn’t fill us with glee with our morning scrambled egg.