Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fresh Farm

My guy showed me a very awesome place the other day. It is informally named: "Fresh Farm". I have already been there twice in two I think you will get the idea that I am pretty impressed with the place. First, there are chickens everywhere.

We brought our out of town friends with us to visit today. The chickens are allowed to roam freely about the property, even venturing through the fence and down to the pond if they wish. They happily cluck to themselves and scratch through the grass and dirt for insects. Sometimes, they lay eggs in their nesting boxes, sometimes in nests out in the grass. These are obviously happy creatures.

Farmer Joe collects eggs about twice a day. In addition to the nesting boxes, he knows where the chickens hide their eggs in the high grasses. He estimates that the chickens lay from 6 to 10 dozen a day, and that he usually sells 6 dozen a day. So that means during a time like this, when the chickens are molting, he usually sells out of eggs. Molting causes chickens to lay less eggs because they are putting their energy into making feathers.

Farmer Joe feels that the ones that molt the most are generally the best layers. The chickens that do not lay well may end up being someone's meal, though he does not sell chickens already butchered. The fresh eggs he gets are washed and put into a fridge on his front porch. Anyone who wants to buy eggs can come and get them at any time. Joe sells eggs on the honor system...a sign of the trust we are lucky to have in Iowa. I had to get a dozen eggs right away the first day. I am really excited about this, hopefully I will never have to buy eggs from a grocery store again.

Copper, the farm's greeter and resident chicken herder comes in to check things out while we are sacking up some produce. He is extremely large, I'm glad he is a nice dog.

In addition to selling fantastic fresh eggs, Joe also keeps an extensive garden. He sells produce on the porch depending on what is in season. Right now, you could get potatoes, beets, cucumbers, green beans, and bok choy. I mentioned an interest in canning some green beans, and Joe would not let me get that day's green beans. He said that he was picking over 60 lbs the next day, and I should come get the fresh picked for the best canning flavor. I ended up buying 20 lbs today!

I was impressed with Joe's knowledge of both the animals and the produce. He told me the names of his many chicken varieties. He also raises turkeys, geese, ducks, goats, a horse, and a llama. A very large fence protects the garden from all the animals. If you want to, you can venture in and pick your own, or get it off the porch with everything else. You can even pick herbs and fresh cut flowers.

I have never seen knockout double zinnias like these before. Maybe at some point I can do updates on what is available at the farm. Joe would like to make food available to people where they can get it as fresh as possible. Perhaps I could say, green beans are coming ready this week, next week bok choy and potatoes. That sort of thing.

If you are interested in visiting this really cool place where real free range animals are being raised the right way...go to:

24 Hour Egg
Fresh Farm Market

2225 W. Main St. Rd.
Marshalltown, IA

or contact me to get directions.

Tomorrow's post will be me trying to can 20 lbs. of green beans. Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck!!! Im sure you will do great! It will be great fun! It will be worth it when you are eating those yummy beans all winter long!

  2. Sounds like a fun, happy and bestof all,a healthy place. It almost has a storybook-like charm from the way you describe it. Hmmm... Farmer Joe owes you, I think ;)

  3. A nice and definitely very neat and clean fresh farm. It is good that they open the farm to public. I wish I had a farm like that.... and good luck to the 20lb beans!!
    ~ bangchik

  4. This places looks amazing!! We need to schedule a field trip ASAP :) Have fun with company this week!


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