Friday, December 29, 2006

Farmers' Markets and Free Range Eggs

We're in the middle of the silly season now with many thousands of holidaymakers on Phillip Island. Our regular monthly Farmers' Market on Churchill Island is now being held weekly which puts a heap of pressure on our production. To cope with the extra demand we have a new flock of 450 hens which are just beginning to lay and should be in full production in a week or two.
As well as our regular home deliveries and deliveries to health food stores, restaurants and other outlets, we have six markets over the next four weeks - so we needed to up our production from around 400 dozen a week to at least 600 dozen.
Thankfully the recent weather has been kind to us, with rain over Christmas (although that didn't impress those lucky enough to be on holiday) and cool weather since then.
There are still a few stalls selling illegal eggs, as there are at most markets. Buyers need to be aware that just because someone sticks up a sign saying the eggs are free range doesn't mean that they are!
The only way to be sure is to ask if the farm is accredited and check that it has a food safety program in place. There are many stallholders who simply buy eggs in bulk from a cage farm, stick them in second hand cartons and sell them as 'free range' at inflated prices.

No comments: