In the last year or so I’ve become very interested in buying more locally when possible–especially locally produced food items. I grow my own veggies–which is about as local as you can get. I purchase additional vegetables and fruits from preserving at our local farmers market (the ones not purchased from farmers themselves come from a vegetable “auction” up in Syracuse–all from w/in NY and PA). Our venison is obviously local (go Yankee Bill!) and I purchase a 1/2 pig from a local organic CSA.
(note: Yes, obviously I still buy a lot of conventionally supplied items at store such as Walmart. It’s a balance of price, intent, availability and more)
Not only am I supporting my local economy, but I see it as helping to ensure that there ARE local producers. I’m a big believer that the more complicated something is, the more chances there are for it to break or have issues. And our food production system here in the US? It’s pretty complicated. There are “multiple points of failure” that could occur.
Buying food grown locally? Well for a lot of it I could practically walk or bike to the farm and pick it up if I had to!
Some of it even comes to me! Like my eggs. A friend has a farm just outside of town. Among many other things, she keeps over 40 laying hens and sells the eggs locally. Every Monday she comes into the village for a meeting–so she offered to drop my standing order of 2 dozen eggs a week off at my house regularly.
We’ve got a pretty slick system worked out if I do say so myself. Every Monday morning I take my specially reinforced envelope (I just love packing tape) and I pin it with a clothes pin to the porch mailbox. I actually have an alert set in my Google Calendar to send me a text early on Monday morning reminding me to do this.
Inside the envelope is her payment–$4.
If I have egg cartons to give back to her I stick them in a bag and hang them off the mailbox as well. Recycling don’t ya know. At some point in the morning she drops the eggs off on my porch and takes her payment. She doesn’t ring the bell or anything, just sets them there. As the weather turns warmer I may set a Styrofoam cooler out there with an ice pack or two in it. . .
I have another alert set on my Google Calendar reminding me to go out and pick up the eggs in the late morning. While they are fine out there for quite a while, I don’t want to forget!
As you can see, my farm fresh eggs are different sizes and different colors. Sometimes I get a bluish one. Sometimes one is rather small. Frequently I get speckled ones or eggs with imperfections on the shell. That’s fine! They are all good! It’s amazing how much more orange/yellow the yolks are then the store bought kind. Probably from a more varied diet and the fact that the chickens actually get to move around. . .
Finally I usually take a piece of paper, write the date on it and stick it in the carton. I usually have about 3 dozen eggs in the house at a time–they are good in the fridge for several weeks–and I want to make sure I use the oldest first. I don’t write on the carton because I give those back to her for re-use.
So what do I do with all those eggs? I will boil up a bunch for quick breakfasts/lunches, deviled eggs and pickling. I make fried eggs for breakfast. I use them in baking. I make quiche. I make mayonnaise. I make egg drop soup. They are a low cost, high quality protein–and there are a million things you can do with them! Here are a few of the egg recipes that I’ve previously shared here on Frugal Upstate:
- Easy Hard Boiled Eggs
- Scotch Eggs
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Crockpot Spinach Egg Strata
- Baked Egg Casserole
- Crustless Cheeseburger Quiche
- Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Crustless Quiche