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Happy hens produce super eggs at Growing Things Farm
Were it not for her enterprising son, Michaele Blakely might never have become the proprietor of a thriving egg business. While still a tot, the boy sold eggs from his very own 20 chickens at the Fremont Farmers’ Market—alongside his mother, who sold veggies from the family’s Growing Things Farm in Carnation. At 5, he retired—and agreed to an amiable takeover. Now, Blakely has more than 1,000 birds, and a devoted following.
Unlike conventional eggs, Blakely’s brown eggs are pastured—meaning her Golden Sexlink hens are free to roam in a field of their very own. Happy, stress-free hens supplement their diet of organic grains by grazing and foraging for insects and worms. “Chickens naturally get all of the nutrients they need if they are out eating grass and green, growing things,” Blakely explains. And, well-fed birds create super-nutritious eggs. (Studies show pastured eggs have three times the vitamin E and twice the omega-3 fatty acids than non-pastured.) Plus, the organic beauties produced on Blakely’s farm boast brilliantly colored yellow-orange yolks—making commercial eggs literally pale in comparison.
“They taste delicious,” says longtime customer Lesley Steinman Burmeister, explaining that Blakely’s eggs have a rich, buttery flavor coupled with a light, fluffy texture that is simply irresistible. “Once you try them, it is hard to go back,” she says.
Blakely quickly sells out. So, if you need supplies for Easter, arrive early at the farmers’ markets in the University District (Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.) and Ballard (Sundays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.). Starting in mid-May, Blakely’s eggs ($5–$7/dozen) will be sold at seasonal markets in Bellevue (Thursdays, 3–7 p.m.) and Madrona (Fridays, 3–7 p.m.), as well as through Community Supported Agriculture. Info: growingthingsfarm.org
Originally published in April 2010