Monday, January 3, 2011

Poultry Farm Visit

We travel the same back roads all the time.  I really love the area we live in, and never tire of seeing the same mountains, fields, or streams.   I also love the farms.  On one of our paths we pass by a local poultry farm.  It is the cleanest, most orderly place you have ever seen in a farm.  Nothing is out of place.  I have never stopped there, even though I have passed by maybe a few hundred thousand times in the past.  Today I decided to stop and see if I could buy a few dozen eggs.

As I drove into the driveway, the insides of the barns emulate what you see on the outside, order, order and more order.   My sons drooled over the bright red, perfectly clean tractor parked inside one of the steel buildings.  We then parked and enter into the unexpected.

As I walked into what I thought was a small store, we actually blundered into the packing facility.  It is what every home school mom dreams of....the instant teachable moment field trip.  I was pleasantly greeted by a lovely lady who offered to sell me some eggs.  Seeing the interest of the boys, she invited us to take a closer look.  It was absolutely fascinating.
The eggs entered the building on a conveyor belt and traveled to an area where the browns and whites were separated by hand.  Then they passed through a special light box to check for quality.   We were able to take a close look as they passed through the light, making the eggs transparent.  You can see the light box on the right of the photo below.
Then they moved on to what looked like a wash and sort machine.  Brushes cleaned the eggs off and then the sorter sorted each by size into different tracks.  They rolled down into different colored trays and then were finished by hand packing.  Everything shouted efficiency and cleanliness.

After exploring every aspect except for the chickens, we purchased two jumbo sized dozens and headed for home to make egg salad for lunch.  We did stop by our local bakery for some artisan bread as well.  It made for some "eggs-cellent" eating.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I love how learning opportunities are everywhere.  I could completely expand on this visit with a whole unit study, but for today we will call it a mini-unit.  I think we will surely be back in the future to find out more.

One last thought.  Buy local when you can.  I know this is a modern mantra, but it is so nice to see where you food comes from.  I usually buy organic eggs from New York State.  Most of my friends raise chickens and don't buy any at all.  Today after seeing this well run facility, I am more motivated to buy their eggs, even though they are not organic.  If you get the chance, stop by you local poultry farm.  You may be delighted by what you find.

1 comment:

See Jamie blog said...

What a great field trip!!