I’m so glad you’re here and interested in learning how to buy farm fresh eggs directly from a farm in your community!
Buying farm fresh eggs is one of the ways I became more connected to the food I eat. And not just eggs, during the growing season I buy most of my produce directly from local farms as well.
Finding farms to buy eggs from is one of my most absolute favorite thing to do.
In this article I’ll show you how to find farm fresh eggs near where you live. Plus, some helpful tips and advice for buying farm fresh eggs.
You might be surprised by the options in your own city, or town, for buying eggs directly from small farms. The grocery store is definitely not the only place to buy eggs these days.
In this post:
- How to Find Farm Fresh Eggs
- Questions to Ask
- Why Aren’t Farm Fresh Eggs Refrigerated?
- Make Farm Fresh Eggs Last
How to Find Farm Fresh Eggs
1. Check your farmers market for eggs
The farmers market is a convenient place to buy farm fresh eggs directly from local farms.
While I can’t guarantee that your farmers market will sell local eggs, I predict that as long as it’s a pretty good size market, there’s a good chance you’ll find farm fresh eggs there.
Here’s a tip. When I’m going to an unfamiliar farmers market, looking for something specific, I pull up the market’s website and social media feed ahead of time to see which farms are on their vendor list.
Then I’ll check that farm’s website to find out what they sell and learn more about their farming practices – such as whether or not they are organic and if their eggs are from pasture raised hens.
Because small farms produce a limited quantity of eggs, you may want to contact the farm and buy them in advance of market day. That way they’ll save a dozen or two with your name on them. In my experience farm fresh eggs are some of the first things to be ‘sold out’ at the farmers market.
2. Visit a small farm
In addition to the farmers market, I’ve had success finding farm fresh eggs by learning how to locate small farms near where I live.
Here are a few ways to find local farms:
- Get connected to your area’s farming community on social media. Just by being part of the conversation on social media you’re bound to hear about the family-owned egg farms in your neck of the woods. I’ve discovered many farms this way.
- I’ve successfully used the Google Maps app many times to find farms near me, at home and when traveling.
- Search an online farm directory such as EatWild.com. You can search by state and view farms on a map. From there, it’s a bit of weeding through the results to find those farms that sell eggs.
3. Ask for a referral
Farmers tend to be well-connected within their farming community.
Even if the farm you visit, or find at the farmers market, doesn’t sell eggs, ask them if they know someone who does.
Odds are quite good that they can point you in the direction of a friend or neighbor in the area who raises hens and has eggs for sale. This has worked well for me as a way to find farm fresh eggs while traveling.
Questions to Ask When Buying Farm Fresh Eggs
If you’ve read this far, there’s a reason why you want to buy eggs direct from the farm, rather than the grocery store. It’s important to know those reasons so you can find a farm that shares your values.
What are your criteria for the eggs you buy?
For example, pasture raised is my main criteria. I know that eggs laid by pasture raised hens are healthier than eggs from caged, or even free-range hens.
I also like knowing that the hens get to forage outside for bugs and grasses to eat, and exhibit other natural behaviors. Buying farm fresh eggs is a way I can support farmers who share my values.
To find egg farms that meet my criteria, it’s important to ask questions, such as:
- Approximately how many hours a day do your hens spend outdoors and during what months of the year?
- What do you supplement their feed with when they aren’t on the pasture? Is the feed organic?
I also check their website and social media feed where many small farms do proudly post photos of their hens.
Why Do Farm Fresh Eggs Not Have to Be Refrigerated?
Something you’ll notice when you start buying fresh eggs direct the farm is that they aren’t kept in a refrigerator.
This is because when a hen lays an egg it has a natural protective barrier, called a “cuticle” or “bloom”. This is almost invisible to the naked eye. The bloom protects the egg from bacteria that could otherwise get through the porous egg shell.
But, in the United States the FDA requires that eggs are washed before they leave the factory. This removes the protective barrier on the outside of the eggs and makes them more vulnerable to bacteria getting in. Hence the need to refrigerate store-bought eggs.
On the other hand, in Europe it’s illegal to wash eggs. European grocery stores therefore do not refrigerate the eggs they sell.
When I buy farm fresh eggs I love to keep them in a pretty bowl on my counter and bring some of that farm vibe into my kitchen. 🙂
Important Tip! When buying eggs from a farm you haven’t bought from before, always ask if the eggs have been washed or refrigerated. Once they’ve been washed or spent time in the fridge, they aren’t safe to put back on the counter.
How to Make Farm Fresh Eggs Last Longer
If you’re stocking up on unwashed farm fresh eggs and want them to last longer, you can put some in your refrigerator to extend their life.
Disclaimer: FedbytheFarm.com is not a source of food safety advice, and its readers assume full responsibility for any decisions made regarding their food and food storage choices.
Are You More Prepared to Find Farm Fresh Eggs?
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments below. I read every one of them!