What Is An Organic Egg?
A trip to Taiwan... - 2005-03-31

Dear Egg Buyer,

What Is An Organic Egg?

Recently, I was in Taiwan. My son, Steedman, had invited me there to watch his folding bike being assembled. We also went to the International Bike Show where his bike, the Strida, was proudly displayed. I saw the tallest building in the world, 101 stories high, and experienced an earthquake in my hotel room. I telephoned the hotel operator for earthquake instructions. She told me to stay in my bed. In my travels on this island, someone asked me what was an organic egg. Here was my answer:


Start With Soil Farmer

The Country Hen has its own feed mill and buys grains from certified organic farmers. These farmers may not use pesticides, herbicides (to kill weeds), or fungicides. They may use livestock manure, but may not use commercial factory fertilizer. They must rotate their crops so that legumes (soybeans, clover, etc), which pull nitrogen from the air and put into the soil, follow grains (corn, barley, etc) which take nitrogen out of the soil. Most organic farmers do not plow deeply, but use a disk system so as to not to bury the good topsoil under.


The Organic Egg Farmer

To keep our mill certified, we must receive organic certificates from all the organic farmers. We cannot add antibiotics, growth hormones, germicides, etc. (not that we'd want to!) in the milling process. And when we clean our barns once a year, we cannot use harsh chemicals, only those products approved by our certifier. Our hens must also have access to the outdoors. During good weather, we allow our hens to use outdoor porches, which have screened netting. This open plastic netting allows the breezes to blow, but protects the birds from predators and diseases, especially from Avian Influenza, which can be caught from wild birds.


The Proof Is In The Eating

I hope my Asian friend was able to understand my answer. I told him he had to come to Hubbardston between the 15th of May and the 15th of October, when we encourage visitors. We would give him a tour of the farm, some eggs, some compost and a free Banana Split down the road at Calico & Crème. He would find that our yolks stand tall, the whites don't run, and the taste is so good, it cannot be described. We hope all our customers will visit us. In the meantime consider Taiwan. It's amazing. And perhaps, consider a Strida


For those at the Country Hen,

George S. Bass

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