I only have four more exams left for the term! It's great to have the end in sight, though there was some guilt as I told the kiddos that mommy was not going to get to play until Wednesday. They will be so thrilled to have me back, even now as I write this, my son is curled up and sleeping next to me on the couch. In the midst of all of this test prep to become a DC, I took a ride out to the Rustic Road Farm about a half hour drive west of campus in Elburn, Ill. to order my seasonal crop share.
I decided to get a crop share this year, because it is an affordable way to get a variety of locally grown organic produce, and I think my family could really benefit from that. It ends up coming to about $30 a week to get a big box of veggies and a dozen eggs. I am hoping that this will spur me to do more cooking and experimenting with foods this spring and summer; I will be sure to share some of the best recipes.
The farm itself is small, only 18 acres, owned by a former executive chef for Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and his husband. I am pretty sure that this is why the prepared foods that they have are so tasty, plus all packed in glass mason jars which they recycle if you bring them back. When you pull up on the property, chickens roam free on the grounds; some will follow you to try and sneak through the doors to get inside the farm shop leaving farm employees trying to shoo them back outside. All of the animals seem happy and well-tended, and the eggs from this place are delicious (I left with four dozen!).
Because the chickens are allowed to move about freely and forage, the eggs are more nutritionally dense. In one study, pasture eggs were shown to have twice as much vitamin E, 38 percent higher vitamin A, twice as many Omega-3 fats, and less than half the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. (1) I intend to try some of their grass-fed meats on a future visit. If you don't want to make the trip all the way out to Elburn, they come up here to sell their goods at the Wheaton French Market. I probably could have just ordered online or attended the French Market, but I took the trip mainly because they have a whole bunch of adorable new baby goats. They advertise free goat hugs with purchase. Let me tell you; there is nothing quite like snuggling with a baby goat to take all of your cares away, an ideal study break. By the time I got back home, I was recharged and ready to work.
If you would like more information about the farm, check out their website: https://rusticroadfarm.com/
- Karsten, H., Patterson, P., Stout, R., & Crews, G. (2010). Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 25(1), 45-54. doi:10.1017/S1742170509990214