Spotlight on: Free Range Eggs!
If chocolate eggs are not your thing, then check out the cracking range of fresher than fresh eggs that we have at the market, including duck, goose, turkey and quail…
Turkey eggs from Phoenix Free Range Speciality Eggs
For something ‘eggstraordinary’ this Easter, it’s got to be the fantastic range of speciality eggs by Sarah Hawkeswood at Phoenix. At this stall you can find eggs from quails, geese, Indian runner ducks, rare breed hens and ex battery hens but it’s probably the turkey eggs which Phoenix is most renowned for. Sarah now owns a flock of 120 Bronze turkeys, all dedicated to egg laying. Turkey eggs not only look fantastic, with their pointed ends and brown speckled shells, but they are also gorgeous on the inside – deep orange yolks that are rich in omegas 3,6,9 and other nutrients. The egg-laying season is end of March to mid-October and Sarah typically brings around 50 boxes of 12 to a market – snap them up quickly before they all go!
Woodland eggs from Naite Farm
When it comes to eggs, the fresher the better and Naite Farm’s eggs are mostly laid the day before the market from a flock of 12,000 Lohmann Brown hens. The eggs are classified as ‘Woodland Eggs’, a label that is given to eggs laid by hens that have natural woodland shade to roam under – a state which encourages them to venture out of the hen house more frequently. The Lohmann Brown hen is ideally suited to this environment as it can be trained to lay eggs in the nest box, and not leave them scattered about in the open! On a typical market day, Naite Farm can bring 150 boxes of 12 for sale.
Geese are not prolific egg layers so their eggs are worth their weight in gold – almost! Geese only lay one egg a week for nine weeks of the year, traditionally beginning on Valentine’s Day and finishing on Easter Sunday, and with a flock of just 30 geese at Hinton Marsh Farm, it’s a case of get them while you can. The eggs can replace three hen eggs in most recipes and with a rich, yellow yolk, taste gorgeous in cakes. Rebecca from Hinton Marsh says that her customers enjoy them boiled with asparagus to dip into the yolk and she often fried one egg to slice into pizza slices for her children! With a particularly hard shell, they make great eggs for blowing and decorating for Easter…
Laid on the morning of the market, you can’t really get any fresher than these organic eggs. This freshness naturally contributes to their amazing flavour, but it’s also thanks to the organic feed that these eggs house a fabulous rich, yellow yoke that prompts customers to claim that they wouldn’t get their eggs from anywhere else! The eggs come from a flock of 4,600 red hens who all enjoy more space to roam than your typical free range hen (six hens per square metre compared to nine).
If you haven’t tried duck eggs, then you’re in for a treat! Larger than hen eggs, they have tastier, clearer whites and richer yolks too, making them particularly good for cake-baking. Frocester Fayre has a flock of 25 Aylesbury ducks – your typical white-feathered duck with orange beak and feet – which have started laying this month. They only produce a couple of trays each week so get cracking and visit the stall early to get your fill.