Night Owl Farm writes:
"Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting a common misconception, or an unusual vegetable to help broaden your knowledge about weird farm things!
They will be long posts, but very educational for those who are interested.
This first week, we will be highlighting our eggs. Our eggs will come to you unwashed (unless otherwise labeled - we wash the eggs that end up extra dirty) and significantly fresher than any eggs you will find at the grocery store.
An unwashed egg has a longer shelf life than a washed egg due to the coating the eggs have on them after a hen lays them. This Bloom is a protective layer to keep the eggs fresh before a hen decides to sit on them to try and hatch them.
If we were to stop collecting eggs each day and leave the chickens to their own devices, the chickens will “collect” the eggs themselves to hatch them (assuming there’s a rooster with them - No rooster means no babies)
The chickens will choose a favorite nesting box or two and consistently lay their eggs in those places. As the eggs collect, sometimes for a couple weeks, 1 or more hens will become Broody. Her temperature rises, she will get extra feisty and protective, and will stop eating and drinking (almost entirely) for the 21 days until the chicks hatch.
In order for the eggs to stay fresh until the hen goes broody, their bodies add a mostly invisible layer to the egg to keep it from rotting while they collect their eggs. This bloom allows fresh eggs to stay unrefrigerated for several weeks without issue.
We made the decision to refrigerate our eggs because it turns “several weeks” into “several months.” Once unwashed eggs are refrigerated, they should stay refrigerated.
So next time you get a dozen of our eggs and there’s a little bit of dirt on them, just know that this means they will be lasting quite a while in your fridge! Store then dirty - all they need is a bit of warm water and soap right before you use them :)
**Something in particular you want us to highlight? Send us a message and we’ll add it to our list!**
Visit Night Owl Farm on the internet (at their location, or one of the farmers markets where they participate). Scroll to the bottom of their home page to sign up for their newsletter -> http://www.nightowlfarm.org/
View this Night Owl text in your browser -> https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?e=9924a495b2&u=9e517f8ba72777e1fdd23368a&id=9fa68ba154
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