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July 29, 2011

Zen Yolk

Happy Hens

A box without hinges, key or lid

yet golden treasure inside is hid


What can be enjoyed equally for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  All meals are the perfect venue for the incredible, edible egg.  It can be poached, fried, hard boiled and soft boiled.  It can stand up to scrambling and souffle-ing all while keeping it’s sunny side up.  Eggs provide the magic alchemy in our favorite baked goods.  Poached eggs were a key component in the Summer Supper Club entree.  What else is so essential to such a wide variety of foods?  From mayonnaise to ice cream and brownies to breakfast cooking would be much less exciting without the humble little egg.  We dye them, throw them and sometimes juggle them.  We hide them and then hunt them.  Some of us even wash our hair with them.  Perhaps best of all, we eat them.

Plenty of our neighbors have chickens.  In our community we enjoy the benefit of truly local eggs.  At the Tucson CSA we sell surplus eggs from our member’s backyard chickens as well as eggs from “Josh’s Foraging Fowls”.  Every time we crack one of these beauties open we marvel at its golden, perfect yolk.  It is like an iconic smiley facing staring up at us – we always smile back.  We recently took a field trip to visit Josh and check in on our favorite egg producing ladies.  Josh has been in charge of his own chicken venture for seven years, using part of his family farm to start his business.  Josh explained to us that he was drawn to the Joel Salatin model of farming.  As a young man trying to compete in a large agricultural industry it was a way to set himself apart.  The chickens roam free on a pasture that Josh has planted with a variety of grasses and other plants.  It’s a lush environment filled with the yummy bugs that the hens love, a salad bar the envy of chickens everywhere.  Before the plot is overgrazed, the birds are moved to the next plot leaving behind plenty of nutrients that will help reestablish the plant life.  Both the laying hens and the meat birds enjoy the fruits of Josh’s farm practices.  In turn these are happy  birds who provide us with the tastiest eggs in town.  Thanks to Josh and his foraging fowls.

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