At a winter or early spring farmers market, would you pay $7 (or more) for a dozen eggs, when grocery stores are offering Easter specials of $3 (or less) per dozen?
Before you look in your wallet, add this up. During the winter months, hens instinctively lay fewer eggs in order to conserve energy and nutrient reserves for their annual molting process. Many commercial facilities circumvent this natural process in order to keep their annual yield of eggs high and their production costs low. Artificial lighting is employed to fool the hen’s physiology into thinking that winter has not yet arrived.
That’s not the case at Persephone Farm in Lebanon, Oregon. The farm’s commitment to seasonal produce means their hens lay according to the natural rhythm of the seasons in order to maintain good health without the stress of heavy laying when they aren’t meant to be doing so. As a result, the cost of a dozen eggs was $7 at a recent Portland Farmers Market.
Chef Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru realize the value of these precious farm-fresh eggs. Try their recipe for Curried Devilled Eggs.
Photographs by John Sherlock