Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fresh? Natural? Organic?

One of my many ideas with the little homestead is to start marketing what I have. There is a lot here but I just need to focus on the direction I want to take and with what.

One of things that I have readily available is eggs. My parents and I are the first consumers of the eggs with a few relatives and one of my neighbors. Its interesting that I live in the country and yet some of my "country" neigbhors are "polite" when it comes to not taking any of the eggs as they are still die-heart grocery shoppers. However, there are a number of staff members at my school who love to purchase my eggs as they are city-dwellers and love the country perks.

I was thinking about buying some of the egg cartoons with my farm name on them instead of using those used grocery cartoons. The farm name will go them but what else?

Should it say "Farm Fresh Eggs"? "Naturaly Raised Eggs"? " "Organic Eggs"? Which label is the most marketable and appealing to the customer and makes them feel like they are really getting "special" eggs? The organic eggs are probably out as of right now. I know that it is the current rage or whatever but the more I read and look into it......well first I can get organic feed at the Amish feed store I go to. However, 100# of organic chicken feed is $29.50 vs. $15.30 for 100# of chicken mash (I add the oyster shells myself). If I am going to feed organic feed, the price of the eggs has to go up to $3.00 a dozen but then if I feed kitchen scraps or garden stuff that is not organic as of right now, then I technically could not call the eggs organic, right? While I like and would love to do the organic thing, it definitely needs more thought esp. on the cost part.

Not that my freeloading, I mean my wonderful, fun-loving animals, purposeful animals that I slave over, are not worth it, I just need to be conscious of spending. So, I think that leaves me with "Farm Fresh" or "Naturally Raised". I am not using a medicated feed or any growth hormones. They are free range right now but come planting time, they are in the coop with outside access. First impression always stick so I want to start off on the right foot.

The other day when I went down to Amish Country, my Mom and I stopped in at a fabric/sewing store down there. Since chickens have been on my brain lately, it was too coincidental that I found this chicken apron design with 2 potholders also. I thought this would be fun for spring and summer. And its an easy sew for a beginner like me!
Its been a longer winter but I am feeling motivated and much better about things.........well of course there is that insane amount of mud out in the barnyard that is trying to suck me down but I refuse to give up my boots:)


Tammy said...

Hi Kristi,
I think as you are finding out that 'organic' is a tough row to hoe. I think many states are very tough on that label. I would think Farm Fresh would be accurate and attractive. Free Range is a great thing too, but since you won't be free-ranging them all the time it would probably be better to go with the FF. I used to sell every extra egg I had, but just used the grocery cartons and pretty much sold to people I knew. Some people also don't want 'fertile' eggs so if you don't have a rooster, you might have a market there too.

Michelle said...

Look it up, but I think your eggs would qualify as "free range" in some states, or at the very least, "cage free." I'd put "Cage Free, Farm Fresh Eggs" on your carton at the very least.

melanie said...

For us, we definitely advertise ours as Free Range and that is understood by most customers. We are an organic farm (although not certified) but can use that label. Because ours free range and we purposely plant for grazing and use as many cover crops/grains as we can to build soil, we keep the purchases of organic grain to a minimum. Winter is the hardest on the presentation (cartons) and range of colors allows me to get $4 a dozen at the Farmer's Market...

Donna said...

Hi Kristi
I think Farm Fresh and/or Cage Free is a great way to start...check out online for egg cartons. You can get stamps made with your name rather than printed on the carton.....we stamp our own with our farm name. I agree with can be tough what with different regulations and as you said...the cost. Will people pay the extra? We have found an outlet at our local natural food store for local farm fresh eggs. It's a tough row to hoe....finding a niche for our products whether it be eggs, soap, fiber or what have wonder farmers have it tough!

Nancy K. said...

I have been told that one can use "organically grown" as opposed to 'certified organic' if you don't use chemicals to treat your flocks or buy medicated feeds.

I haven't checked into it myself. When the time comes, I suspect I'll just use cage free/farm fresh. Actually, I've already got my "Logo" figured out! It will say: "Bluff Country Backyard Chickens. Where Beautiful Chickens lay Beautiful Eggs!"

kristi said...

I had not even thought about the non-fertile eggs....sold the roosters off on Craig's list last year. Thanks for the imput Tammy!

i am tending to lean towards the Farm Fresh the most I think. I am going to look up more info on OH regulations also:)

I remember you saying something about your farm being organic but I was not sure on the specifics. $4 is a great price! You should post more your organic know teachers love to steal ideas:)

yes, I need that niche and I am working towards its! If I find the right niche, I should be good and I have I good market of people from school...I just have to get going!

Good point on the organic label, I do want to try more organic growing this summer the label slogan!!!!

ae1501 said...

Ok Missy, here is your official fly by! I am serious about the eggs. How much are they and how much notice do you need?

On another note, I did enjoy Tim's performance today. I heard about N's comment earlier this week. That was incredibly unfair. There is a HUGE difference between 7 - 10 year olds and your darlings! Not a fair comparison at all!

Hope you enjoy this wonderful weekend.