Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Joy pitches farm fresh eggs June 17, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Eggs

 

WHEN MY FRIEND JOY, whose name matches her joyful personality, approached me after church last Sunday about buying farm fresh eggs, I hesitated. I didn’t really need eggs. And if I did, I could buy them at the grocery store for half the $2 price Joy was charging.

 

Chickens, coop

 

But I bought the eggs anyway, because, well, Joy is a persuasive saleswoman. She touted the better taste, the yellower yolks, the free-range aspect of her primarily bug-eating and grass-munching chickens, and the reduction in her cholesterol from daily consumption of her chickens’ eggs. Sold. Yes, please, I’ll take a dozen.

 

Chickens, black chicken

 

I have yet to try the eggs, which come from varieties like Rock Island and Buff. I am certain Joy spoke the truth in her sales pitch. She’s no snake oil salesman. I can already predict what will follow. The farm fresh eggs will taste so great that I will no longer be able to eat mass-produced eggs packaged for mass public consumption.

 

Chickens, buff colored chicken

 

How about you? Have you eaten and noticed a difference between eggs direct from a small farm vs. those sold by major egg companies?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Facing the fowl September 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:01 AM
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MY MOM PAUSED in our conversation. She wondered if she was hearing me right. I had just stated that I thought the chickens beautiful. Not all chickens. But these chickens.

 

Chickens, rooster

 

She had reason to question my observation. Ever since I was tormented and pecked at and chased by a rooster while growing up on our Minnesota farm, I have disliked chickens. I am afraid of them, of their flapping wings and sharp beaks and talons.

 

Chickens, patterned chicken

 

But these chickens were different. They are not plain white. And the rooster did not chase me.

 

Chickens, buff colored chicken

 

I was able to stand within feet of uncaged multi-colored fowl and appreciate their beauty. Sheen of blue in black feathers. Patterns of black and white. A beautiful buff. Chickens that were actually cute, if a chicken can be truly cute.

 

Chickens, black chicken

 

Even I surprised myself. I was not terrified. I did not scamper away. I drew the line, though, at cuddling the chickens belonging to friends Steve and Joy. Or at being inside a shed with a hen, gentle as she might appear. My trust is not quite that secure.

 

Chickens, flying chicken

 

And when a chicken flew onto a fence top, I ended the photo session. She was flapping a little too close for my comfort. I have memories of unhappy hens in the chicken coop who did not like their eggs stolen.

 

Chickens, coop

 

I will never really like chickens. But I am at least beginning to tolerate them. The pretty ones.

HOW ABOUT YOU? What’s your experience with chickens?

FYI: I first observed my friends’ chickens when they were running around the yard. I did not have my camera with me. But when I visited again, I had my camera. These images were taken then.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling