By Mary Pratt
Five vendors offer chicken eggs at Saratoga Farmers’ Market. All their hen shelters are on pasture in spring, summer, and fall. Most hens can choose to go outside their shelters in winter.
Squash Villa Farm, from the Town of Easton, Washington County, raises vegetables, goat meat, and eggs. They’re the only vendor who has chicken and duck eggs and attends Wednesday and Saturday Markets. Himanee Gupta-Carlson said, “Jim and I started raising poultry for eggs in 2012.”
“Today, we raise heritage breed hens, such as Cuckoo Maran, Cuckoo Araucana, and Speckled Sussex.” They produce a variety of eggshell colors – brown, green, blue, and white. Their duck eggs are from Muscovy.
Laurie Kokinda from Kokinda Farm in Mechanicville offers vegetables, fruit, and jam, and began raising hens for eggs in 2012. They also raise heritage chickens, including Black Asterlop, Polish, and Olive Eggers, which produce several colored egg shells.
Laurie explained that during pasture season, her hens can go all over their yard when she’s at home. They are fenced into a portion of her yard when she’s away. In winter, they can go outside under a covered area.
Mary and Bob Pratt’s Elihu Farm, also in the Town of Easton, offers lamb, wool, and eggs. They started raising hens for their own use; then, around 2000 began raising more and more hens for eggs to sell.
Their hens are hybrids produced by Moyer’s Chicks in Pennsylvania, which lay brown eggs. Their hen shelters and feeders are on pastures and frequently moved. In winter, their hens can still go outside. Chile powder and alfalfa powder are added to their feed to keep the yolk color orange.
Jireh Organic Farms and Livestock, newest to our market, is a disabled veteran owned organic farm out of Saratoga County. They use non-GMO feed for their cage free, hand raised hens. Later this summer they will also have grass fed beef available.
Lovin’ Mama Farm, according to Corinne Hansch, raises organic vegetables and flowers and also heritage breed hens for organic eggs. Their hens include Whiting True Blue and Whiting True Green, whose feathers have been used for fly fishing. Also, Cucu Marana, for dark brown eggs.
Their hens receive non-GMO feed and rotationally graze in summer. From November to March, they live in vegetable tunnels with deep straw where they receive leftover vegetables and micro-greens for dark orange yolks.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at High Rock Park. And on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. also at High Rock Park. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.