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Egg Source Andrea

  
Last weeks eggs mostly came from Andrea Allerton. I love Andrea. She is incredibly skilled and hard working. She lives ten minutes from us towards Thomson Lake. 

Andrea is always a blast to work with butchering chickens or peeling tomatoes because she makes it not take so long. Haha! 

She also always brings her darling three children. They are so kind and adventurous. Little C always rallies the groups and gets them digging in the mud outside searching for treasure. 

Andrea’s chickens are free ranged and get soaked grains (currently lentils), bugs, grass and a lot of kitchen scraps. The eggs have nice dark yolks and hard shells and they whisper to me “eat meeeee.”.

I’m so honoured to call Andrea a friend. She harbours the knowledge of the past as she takes to old important tasks so easily and efficiently. She’s bringing history back. 
I’ve begun labelling the eggs so everyone can know which farm theirs are coming from. I hope you will feel a bit of Andrea and her chickens and children as you enjoy her fresh farm eggs. 

   
    
  
Please check out some of Andrea’s other ventures.Chickens are not all that she is doing right now. She also has amazing sewing skills and makes diapers, costumes, clothes and more for her children and to sell through her business “Cuddly Tushes”. 

Andrea’s fb page Cuddly Tushes. 
  

Andrea, Andrea the chicken sewing Queen. She sees chickens?!!!? Probably.

 

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The Prairie Pearl’s Homestead

  
Prairie Pearl Homestead:

This is the newest and hottest small farm we’ve been working with.  

Meet Brian and Jen Pearl and their darling two children Emma and Liam. I like to call them affectionately The Prairie Pearls.

We got to spend quite a bit of time on this farm last year as they are so open and generous to guests. They are also very eager to join forces and get things done and have come out to our house in Gravelbourg numerous times to lend a hand. 

This picture is from a weekend that we spent cleaning wool into the night. It felt really special and it’s one of my fondest farm memories. 

  
When I met the Prairie Pearl’s I was impressed by their true homestead nature. They have managed to save hundreds of pounds of food from their massive garden and livestock for themselves and are actually really close to self sufficiency. I don’t even think they realize how amazing what they are doing is. People that are in their element often don’t and they reply with “We just do it.” When people ask them how. 

  
The Prairie Pearl’s face big obstacles as all farmers do. One of the main issues has been that they are in the middle of butt duck nowhere.  By Admiral, to be more precise. It makes it difficult to market food, without a market, ya know.

That’s where we can and are eager to help here at The Wandering Market joined with you, the people. We see the incredible value and nourishing nature of what they are producing.

So besides the massive garden with various produce and some fruits, they have pigs, meat chickens, egg layers, ducks, geese and turkeys. But what they really specialize in is lamb. Beautiful, beautiful grass fed and finished lamb. 

   
    
 
The sheep are blessed to grace hundreds of acres of pasture land that is a mix of alfalfa and milk vetch. It produces a top quality product of meat and wool and the animals get an amazing life. 

I just want to say one last thing about The Prairie Pearls. I really appreciate how the ingenuity they demonstrate as they use what is available to them in such practical ways. Check out this pallet barn that Brian built! It is completely functioning for chickens and is heated by… Wait for it… Compost! The floor has about a foot of wood shavings that the chickens scratch and mix with poo that heats up! So genius! And it was free to build, he used materials that would have been thrown away. 

   
   

The Prairie Pearl’s are so deserving of our support and I’m so grateful to call them friends. 

Eggs: an understimated powerhouse of nutrition and possibilities.

My neighbour will be 83 this year. He grew up eating eggs fresh off their family farm. A while ago he told me about how he loves eggs but now restricts them due to cholesterol. This wasn’t the first time I had heard this sad story. It’s tragic when good, affordable foods gets given a bad name. Especially things like eggs that contain so many essential nutrients. Eggs can provide an instant source of nutrients as they are very easy to digest, especially raw or lightly cooked. I explained to my neighbour that after 25 years of study, eggs have been found to actually help bad artery clogging cholesterol and It isn’t a secret. There’s even a pamphlet at our towns doctors office that says “eggs are good for you.”. Eggs have always been good for you.
I love eggs so much that I get 150 dozen at a time so I can spread this true wealth. I use them as trade or give them as gifts. I use eggs as a form of tithing. I give them to people in need. By doing this, I am giving them almost every nutrient they need. >Who doesn’t need good eggs? Who doesn’t need good food?!?!
Last year on a quiet walk I casually met up with a man who asked me about the eggs I had for sale. He told me that he too loved eggs but was restricting them for health reasons. It didn’t take much convincing that he should eat the eggs he loves everyday. And this is a very educated man, a French teacher at the local school here. What I told him made sense to him and something clicked. He went home a happy man with eight dozen eggs for him and his two boys.
Other than being nutritious, eggs are so versatile and I am always learning new ways to incorporate them into foods. I even enjoy blending one into my morning coffee as some added creaminess and as instant nutrients that are easy to digest. I am often awed by the ways that eggs can act. You can use eggs to thicken like in this tangy lemon curd. I also love quick crustless quiches, custards, soufflés, puddings, homemade icecream (I use up to 12 yolks in mine) and blended into smoothies.
Eggs have been very underrated. A good source of eggs can cost between $4-$9 a dozen. Even at $9 a dozen, think about what you are getting. An amazing source of protein and essential nutrients. They contain all the building blocks for life as they are intended to nourish a baby chick into being.
We get our eggs from a few good sources but our main supply is from our beloved Bill, or as he’s better known as: Chicken Man. Him and the chicks are near Neville, Saskatchewan and live happily on his well-treed paradise on the prairies. Chicken Man is a very unique and kind hearted guy. You can tell in the way he both acknowledges and speaks to children and animals. Having his birds speak back to you is not something that is casual. I was out at his place the other day and he told me about his baby Turkeys. I told him about other peoples experiences, including my favourite author Barbara Kingsolver, with not being able to get turkey’s to breed, even heritage ones. He said “Nah. It’s easy. They do it all the time.” Oh man, I still chuckle about that. I love buying my eggs from someone who is called to have birds. Recently he told me about his “pet” blackbirds. How he has videos of them riding around with him in his truck. Blackbirds? Most people around here shoot blackbirds but not Chicken Man, he takes them in as friends. I could go on about him but really you should just try his eggs. In every bite you can feel good knowing you are supporting local, healthy food. It’s what the world needs.

During my research for this article, I found these egg quotes from various websites:

“The egg is a powerhouse of disease fighting nutrients”

“For years we have known that eggs are an excellent source of protein and a solid source of 14 essential nutrients.”

“Because we are so familiar with eggs, we can miss the significance of their impact on our health. Other cultures who do not have as much access to meat, depend highly on eggs.”

“The nutrition provided by eggs are a notoriously contentious subject. Personally – I love them, both for nutrition and frugality.”

This is Chicken Man with the grass he sprouts for his chicks in the winter.

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Chicken Man with his tray of grass that he sprouts for his chicks in the winter.

Happy Chickens for sale!

Last year we butchered chickens with Pilgrim Farms by Pilgrim Farms. You know that feeling when you feel so in your element that work is fun? That was me. I was quite pregnant but something called me to push forward and continue with our purpose of bringing people local and holistically raised food. I also love the community that came together of mothers, fathers, children, friends and farmers. We sold out of chicken very quickly.
This year we will be butchering chickens with Chicken Man! He lives by Neville, Saskatchewan. You may already know him from his beautiful organic, free range eggs.
We are looking for people interested and dedicated enough to help us butcher. We will be working out an amount to trade people in chicken for their hard work. We are talking about inviting people out for camping, music and good food while we pursue our purpose. If you’re interested in this you can contact me, Nadine LeBean (on fb or 306-648-2886) for an interview to see if you will fit our list of chicken harvesters. You can also contact me if you’d like to be on the list to buy chickens.
Pictures of last years Chicken Butchering and raising:

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Saskatchewan Grown What?!?!?

Rumour had it that a couple in Saskatchewan were growing lemons. Now, if you don’t know Saskatchewan, Canada you need to imagine snow drifts above the roof tops along with wind. The wind blows in furiously with the winter cold hard enough to lift up a water tank. That happened to us. I looked out the window on a casual Saskatchewan afternoon and noticed that our 1200 gallon water tank had blown into the field just like it was any other day. Hmm. It’s also not uncommon to become stuck in the snow, two or maybe three times in one day. You’d better get out and shovel. The winters here always make me feel extreme especially when I venture outside with only my eye balls showing. Can your eyeballs get frost bite? Yes.
So imagine my surprise to learn that there was a mature lemon tree right on these snow covered prairies. Only in my wildest dreams did I imagine being able to get local citrus fruit. It’s an amazing treat to have this taste of sunshine (and incredible vitamin c) throughout the winter. I wonder if any food will be able to top Saskatchewan grown lemons. And they are oh so beautiful. Picked fresh and ripe from the tree, they smell like heaven.

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