Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life with Jason and Tortured Eggs

As I was sitting here uploading pictures and wondering what I would write for this blog post, my thoughts wandered in a very non-horse related direction. I started musing about life with Jason, and I came to the conclusion that life would be very boring without him. This afternoon I found him happily sitting in his water trough again. He was very content. I can't help but compare this to how I spent my "me time" today, riding my two horses. Why can't sitting in a water trough make me happy? It would be so much cheaper in both money and time!

We just finished eating dinner and one of our vegetables was fresh corn on the cob. We always pitch the eaten corn cobs behind our house because the Don (the rooster) and the goats like to nibble on the cobs. Jason came back in from disposing of the corn cobs and announced "we're down a plate." Apparently when he went to fling the cobs off the deck he forgot to hold onto the plate. We had a good laugh while we combed through the grass picking up the pieces of the plate.

Yesterday we made our weekly trip to the grocery store. As always Jason made his truck noises while he pushed the cart through the store. He "accelerates" and shifts gears, and then does the same thing when he slows down. Of course whenever he puts the cart in reverse he has to make beeping noises.

As we made our rounds of the store Jason and I had to have our ongoing conversation about buying eggs. We try to buy any meat and dairy products locally. Sometimes I also buy local eggs. The problem is we don't consume very many eggs, only about a half dozen per month. Thus I usually just buy eggs at the grocery store.

We always have a major discussion at the egg section. We go out of our way to purchase, and are happier to pay more, for products raised with high standards of animal welfare. So I always reach for a half dozen of the "cage free" eggs. Jason always objects. His argument is that there are so many loopholes now for the packaging and that cage free means nothing. He tells me how the chickens don't have any happier of a life than their caged friends. He always describes in detail how many chickens there are per square foot in a big "cage free" poultry house. Given his years in the ag industry and his first hand visits to many poultry houses he's seen it all first hand. Thus he refuses to pay more for the cage free eggs in the grocery store.

My argument back to him is always that I would rather pay more and delude myself into thinking that I'm doing a good thing. One week as we were hashing through our usual discussion at the egg section I said to him in a very loud voice "but I don't want to buy the tortured eggs. I want to buy the happy eggs." This was complete with large hand gestures as I pointed at the 'tortured eggs' and the 'happy eggs.'

Jason replied in an equally loud voice that all of the eggs were tortured eggs. He spread his hands wide to indicate the entire egg section. You can imagine we had more than our fair share of onlookers at this point. Like I said, life without Jason would simply not be the same.


Thomas and Trigger

Tony, Levendi, Homer and Baby

Apollo, Hemi, Elfin



Johnny and Rampal having a grooming session

George was giving Clayton a very thorough grooming over the fence

Gus, Winston, Romeo, Faune, Asterik, Fonzi

Lily and Cuffie looked very peaceful grazing in the early morning sun

Chimano and Silver often like to "horse around" while they wait for breakfast


Bif said...

Yes, but which eggs did you buy? The tortured eggs, or the slightly less tortured, theoretically happy eggs?

And you realize this conversation takes place after you talk about the Don... Why not rescue 2 or 3 old layers that will probably only lay an egg or two each a week anyway? Enough of them to keep each other company, saving a few birds before they hit the stew pot, and yet not overflowing in production like a young hen? Win, win win! ;-D

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Bif, when the Don wandered up several years ago he had a little flock with him. Over the years he killed them all, one by one. Yes, I mean he killed the hens. Occasionally Jason and I talk about getting a couple of hens, but then we watch the Don go clucking past us and we shrug and say "what's the point?"

I buy the theoretically happy eggs. It makes me feel better. :)

Jason said...

The Don used to have female friends and we used to have fresh eggs but he killed them all and now we don't. It's something we may try again (sans Don) at the new place.

RuckusButt said...

I love it! I too prefer to buy "happy" eggs, even though I know they are all tortured. I clearly remember my disappointment when I learned that typical "free-range" chicken didn't amount to much at all. That's exactly why I'd like a few chickens of my own...but bylaw won't allow it. Still, I think my neighbours would over look 3 measly birds, if they were even able to tell I have them!

Glad to hear you're fitting in riding time, Melissa! I think it's important that you take time to do something for yourself outside of the business...which must be hard when the buiness is right there, all the time. I miss hearing about Sky and Bonnie.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

RuckusButt, I did not ride for almost all of the last year as we have been so busy with all off the things that go along wih building a new farm. No rest for the weary! That said Bonnie and Sky have been doing some light work a few days a week for about a month now. I think they're in shock.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I like to buy the eggs from chickens that didn't have to eat chicken / cow meal. And dairy from cows that didn't get fed other cows, or ten tons of corn for that matter.

You may find that there's a farm near you who really lets the chickens roam... smaller less intensive and way more humane farming, probably (way) more expensive too but the livestock are definitely happier.

I know of one in Virginia - Polyface Farm. It's featured in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

We just had a chicken and egg discussion this evening while I was making an omelet for dinner. We are down to 8 chickens and only 4 of them lay. Pete was saying that we should cook a couple of the birds. Of course I could not eat my birds! Also I do not want to get rid of any of my birds, even if they are not pulling their weight! So Pete said that that was enough: no more chickens and we would just have to buy eggs! Well, I have not BOUGHT eggs in years so the thought is horrifying! IF I had to buy eggs, of course I would buy the non-tortured!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Calm, Forward, Straight - we raise our own grass fed beef and generally try to buy meat/dairy products locally. We buy eggs at the grocery store simply because we use six or less eggs per month. Jason doesn't like eggs and won't eat them at all.

We're very familiar with Polyface Farm and Joel Salatin. I think Jason even visited Polyface several years ago.

SmartAlex said...

Considering that the eggs on the store shelf can be there for up to three months, I'd say find a reliable farm fresh supplier, and buy a dozen every two months. You'll still be ahead.

Anne Gordon said...

I know we are talking about the eggs but I cannot help but notice that your horses are beautiful.

Okay, eggs. I prefer them organic. Nothing beats eggs from chickens raised without the use of science. And they're tastier too... :)