More for Less | Eggstra, eggstra!
Shop local farm-fresh eggs for less.
Editor’s Note: Because we’re all feeling the pinch of inflation, the Gazette has begun “More for Less,” a recurring list of budget-friendly things to experience and buy to help stretch your dollar a little further.
Great news: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that the average price of eggs is going down.
While you can now buy industrial-farmed eggs as low as $1.25 at some Aldi locations, it might be worth an extra few dollars to eat a more super version of the superfood, and you’d be supporting local farms, too.
Farm-fresh eggs have less cholesterol and saturated fat than those purchased from the store, reported a “Mother Earth News” study, which the publication claims has been verified multiple times.
They also reported that pasture-raised eggs contain 25% more vitamin E, 75% more beta carotene and up to 20 times more Omega-3 fatty acids. But the price tag can be steep, upward of $10-$20.
The blog “Fed By the Farm” recommends pasture-raised eggs to assure that the hens get to forage outside for bugs and grasses to eat, and exhibit other natural behaviors.
“Because small farms produce a limited quantity of eggs, you may want to contact the farm and buy them in advance of market day, so they’ll save a dozen or two with your name on the order,” the article instructs. “Farm-fresh eggs are some of the first things to be ‘sold out’ at the farmer’s market.”
For a variety of locally grown farm-fresh eggs, visit the Rural King Weekly Farm Swap at 2999 NW 10th St., Ocala, from around 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Ocala Downtown Market at the corner of SE Third Street and SE Third Avenue also includes local farmers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.
Indeed, the Ocala-Marion area is teeming with farms, too many to mention here, but we can help you get started. We suggest signing up on the Nextdoor app to learn about locals in your immediate area.
Tara Waller, who has a farm in the Ocala National Forest area, sells a dozen eggs for $3 and an 18-count carton costs $4.50. Reach Waller on the Nextdoor app at tinyurl.com/TaraWaller. “Ring the bell by the gate if see no one,” recommended one of her neighbors on Nextdoor.
Heirloom Farms,15880 SE 36th Ave., Summerfield, sells a dozen eggs for $5 as of this writing. Call (352) 307-7364 to arrange a date and time to pick up your order. Visit heirloomcountryfarms.com for details.
Red Acre Farm at SE Seventh Avenue, Ocala, sells its fresh eggs by the pound for $6. The farm boards non-GMO pasture-raised chickens, pasture pork and seasonal non-GMO pasture turkeys. All of its poultry is raised from day-old chicks to harvest right on the farm and the owners offer fresh pickup on harvest days or frozen birds in between harvests. Call (352) 354-2838.
You can also visit localharvest.org/ocala-fl/eggs and eatwild.com to read listings of local farmers selling eggs near you if you don’t feel like driving around and hunting them down.
“Pastured hens’ diets are naturally complemented with bugs, earthworms, and other such critters that give their eggs a huge nutritious oomph,” wrote Local Harvest on its website, adding that “pastured hens are usually much healthier and happier than their space-restricted and antibiotic-pumped industrial cousins.”