Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Poultry Diary

          Our local grocery store is pretty good about sourcing food from local farmers when they can, and I have developed a great affection for Campo Lindo Farms, who provide the fryers and eggs that I prefer to buy.

          Why do I have such a crush on Campo Lindo Farms? Because there is a little literary treat in every egg crate.

         See that strip of paper in the photo above? It contains a vignette about life at Campo Lindo Farms. It's like a tiny farm diary, and I'm hooked on reading them.

          This one says, "Hi from Campo Lindo Farms. As the ladies get older and go through their laying cycle, the size of their eggs can really vary. Because printing cartons is such a big expense for us, our Grade A Large cartons contain Large, Extra Large and even Jumbo eggs (if we can make them fit!). Most of our eggs are also actually Grade AA, but we claim just Grade A so we can use slightly stained shells. Thank you for choosing local eggs that are better than we claim!! Jay, Carol, Brandon & Isabel"

          So this little missive from Campo Lindo has just brought back fond memories of my own days gathering eggs from our chickens, told me that I'm getting bang for my egg buck (Extra Large and even Jumbo Grade AA eggs for the price of Grade A Large—what a deal!), and reminded me that a real family is responsible for getting this carton of eggs to me. I like pretty advertising a lot, and this unassuming little slip of paper is not pretty, but it is so effective that I will search the grocery store over to find the Campo Lindo eggs, grumbling if they're out and I'm forced to buy from the other free-range egg-purveyor whose chickens, at least according to the package copy, spend their days glorifying God*, but who do not write charming mini-essays about it.

          It's hard to imagine how you could possibly get better big-concept mileage out of what appears to be a tiny advertising budget than Campo Lindo Farms has done with these far-from-ordinary little narratives tucked in with the eggs. I do like supporting a family farm, but I like it even better when I can support a smart family farm. Also, the Other Egg Purveyors do not thank me, every single time, for buying their eggs. Campo Lindo Farms appreciates my business and they tell me so, so I'm returning the favor and thanking them here for making every crate of eggs I buy from them both a culinary and a literary treat.

*K and I use to keep chickens, and frankly I find it difficult to imagine a chicken glorifying anything. Cannibalizing her fellow chickens, yes. But chickens do not exist to the greater glory of anything, except possibly Coq au Vin.

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