Friday, August 29, 2008

Shoulder-tapping.....for EGGS!

True story. We eat a lot of eggs.

That is not the story. We get our eggs from a lady down the street who has 5 acres and a bunch of chickens. They are delicious and I am really picky about my eggs. Something about the yolk color..if they are too yellow they make me sick and dizzy, but if they are nice and orange I could eat them all day long. We easily dust 3 to 4 dozen a week, between breakfasts and baking--more if we have guests. (My brownie recipe calls for 6 eggs so I can only make them when I have an abundance.) Ideally, I would at all times have a large supply of eggs, 6 dozen or so would make me feel peaceful. They last a month and are a rocking source of protein. Remember that "I love eggs" jingle from's running through my head right now.

Anywho, for some freakish, unexplainable reason egg production took a huge drop this last month. Not just our source but all farms I know of that have chickens are getting a sad percentage of eggs. We had recently worked out a deal with our egg-connection to just leave 3 dozen out in her pickup box every Wednesday at 9am...but lately there would only be 1 or 2...then last week she said there were none! (Can you hear the tragic drama in my voice?) She suggested that we just come by the Farmers Market that Sunday and buy them there when she'd upped her supply. Fine, I said, fine. I ate bacon and oatmeal the rest of the week (cha!)

Sunday morning rolls around--I am up at the butt crack (8am, which for anyone that knows me is REALLY early for me) ready to hit that Market as soon as the tent poles dug into the dirt. I nursed the baby and passed him over to Papa who handed me enough cash to by all the eggs I could get my hands on. I got to the market right on time, with my old lady/homeless person metal cart on wheels and approached the egg booth with a sunny smile on my face and greeted Bonnie with a hearty "Good morning!" I was greeted kindly in return, but then I just cut to the chase.

"So how many eggs you got?"

Bonnie replies, "Well, I can give you two dozen..."

Inside, I am a combination of shocked and crushed, as I see her reach into her cooler and take out 2 dozen from the many many more dozens I see! My face only shows a portion of this, and there is a severe lack of "sunniness" in my tone when I ask "Only two?"

"Yup....but I am really hoping things will pickup next week," she offers. Like somehow that will make me want to punch her less. I know, I know, that reaction might be a little harsh, and really aren't I being a bit selfish to want all the eggs for my own family? I mean she does have other regular customers to keep happy...but that reasoning came later after I had my breakfast scramble. Back to the face-punching.

"Well, that will last us about a half of a week..." I moped, all signs of sunny disposition gone. I was taking the 4 year-old-approach now. I took my eggs and sat them in the bottom of my sad little cart and rolled around the market buying other non-egg things, like melons and tomatoes.

When I finally headed to the car to unload, I happened to notice all the other SE Portlander walking toward the market and I hit me. Why should I leave here with only 2 dozen when I could possibly leave with FOUR dozen! I looked around, scanning for the perfect patsy. Many familes didn't speak English so that was a no-go. After a few minutes I saw him: some local hungover dude stumbling solo toward the market.

"Excuse me, sir," I started. "Are you planning on buying any eggs at the market today?"

He looked at me, slightly confused. "Well....I hadn't really thought about that just yet...why are you selling them?"

I laughed and began "Well, no...and this is going to sound crazy but.." and I started in on my story. At first he looked ready to walk but then (instead of playing the nursing-mother card which I considered but would have worked better on a family) I threw in a "Hey, its not like its BOOZE or anything." He laughed and said okay.

I waited by the car like a nervous, awkward criminal, arranging and rearranging the fresh cut flowers I had bought before. Finally, but not before I began to suspect she was on to me, he comes bumbling around the corner with a bag.

"She'd only sell me one!" he reported as he got near. Better than nothing, I told myself, and thanked my accomplice who then wandered down the street to meet up with some friends, and didn't even go to the market. Weird. But, of course, not as weird as ME, who had just shoulder-tapped for FARM EGGS.

Apparently, from what I can figure, she was only selling 2 dozen to her regulars, and 1 dozen to non-regulars. And even later in the day, from what I gathered, she wasn't selling to anyone who wasn't a regular. How did I gather this, you ask? Because my mom came by our house later that day and I asked her to go get some eggs for me, too. Bonnie told my mom that she was out and my mom put the kibash on her and made Bonnie scare up a dozen. (Thanks, Mom!!!)

So there you have it. I love eggs so desperately that I will go to great lengths to get them. This whole situation has made it abundantly clear to me that I need to just get my own damn chickens. So this winter we will build our chicken tractor and/or coop and be ready to buy chicks this spring. Then I can hoard them all to myself. (insert evil laugh here.)


Lee said...

That is really funny. I have a similar problem -- will only get my eggs from one particular guy at the farmer's market. He doesn't have very many, and will usually only give me 1 dozen even when I ask for 2. There WAS a huge drop in egg production this past month -- he only had 4 cartons for sale (instead of his usual 8-10 cartons).
Bah, we need more good inner-city chicken farmers that are able to take care of their chickens such that they get the orange yolks. Yum.

leahsmom said...

It was great fun knowing I could get 1 doz eggs. My thought was you need to get your own chickens. Such a good idea for egg lovers like you. Once you've experienced the real thing you are never the same. mom

Nicole said...

did I hear you say (with your pinky to your chin) 1 milliion eggs oops I mean 1 million dollars?....hahahahaha, laughing all the way to my farmers market....

Cat said...

This must be the time of year that they are butchering all the birds. We've had a lot of birds here for sale, low on the eggs.

Next time I see you guys I hope that you've had you egg fix:)


ABS said...

Oh dude...that's hysterical. I woulda bought for you! We have been spending sooooo much time and money building our coop, I was beginning to doubt this plan. But we also eat a ton of eggs, so I'll carry on with this project. When you're ready, I have the best brooder in town if you want to borrow it. Can you have roosters up there? One of my sweet babies is a rooster. Sad. Enjoy your eggs!!!

Aimee said...

Too bad you don't live closer to me, with our 24 chickens we're getting nearly 2 dozen a day!! We've got so many we can't always eat them!

Rebekah said...

What I want to know is...are chickens the next honey bee? The next frog? WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE CHICKENSZSZ!!?!!?

SOC! Save Our Chickens!!!

Why? Cuz it's for the chickens!!!!

Mrs. G. said...

Now I know not to get between you and your eggs. Can you raise chickens in your backyard? Great homeschooling project.

Bill & Savannah said...

FUNNY story lady!! I can so see you scheming at the farmer's market for eggs...

UrbanHippieMama said...

I can't believe you did that!! Oh, wait, I actually CAN believe you did that... but that is SO freaking hilarious! We are ready to just get some laying hens, too... This raising them from chicks business takes a long damn time. Hope you find a way to get enough good eggs soon!

hendreque said...

hey mama, I have an every day layer. If you're hard up, I'd be happy to deliver some eggs for ya! If you need any help building, let me know. I loved building our little tractor, that the girls don't use now.