Urban Farmer

Noah’s Organic Eggs

By Vanessa Caceres | October 07, 2015
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When you buy a dozen eggs in a tie-dye covered carton, you know they probably won’t be your run-of-the-mill eggs.

Noah’s Organic Garden eggs are anything but ordinary in taste or how they came to the retail market.

Central Florida’s John Soles, a third-generation farmer who has managed the Haines City Citrus Packinghouse for 26 years, once had a 10-acre organic tangerine grove. In fact, his tangerines were used in juices made by Uncle Matt’s Organic in Clermont. Yet canker and citrus greening—the latter the disease that’s pummeling citrus farmers in the state—wiped out his grove.

“I wasn’t too crazy about replanting it,” he says.

As Soles considered ways to keep his acres farming-related, he came on the idea of raising chickens for eggs. Along the way, he got in touch with Mitch Blumenthal, who operates Sarasota’s Global Organic, which distributes organic food throughout the Southeast.

As it turns out, Blumenthal had a need for better eggs. “Eggs can be tricky,” says Ronni Blumenthal, vice president of administration at Global Organics and Mitch’s sister. “The labeling can be misleading.”

For example, your carton of eggs may say “organic” on it, which conjures a bucolic vision of chickens running freely in a large field. Instead, that label only means they’ve eaten organic feed. “It doesn’t mean they have a good life,” says Ronni.

Global Organics got to know another egg vendor who had free-range chickens, but he fed them conventional feed. The company wanted someone who had chickens that ate organic feed and were able to roam.

That’s where Soles enters the picture. His birds supply the pasture-raised organic eggs sold by Global Organics. He started with 300 to 400 chickens but now has 2,500, with room to grow. The chickens are able to fly around and even have playgrounds on the property, Soles says. They eat soy-free organic chicken feed and in season they’ll also eat organic pulp from blueberries that could not be packed due to bruising or discoloration.

A typical day for Soles starts before most of us step out of bed, as he feeds his “girls” before heading off to the packinghouse.

Although a dozen eggs at the level of quality that Soles provides is not cheap—it’s about the price of a large gourmet coffee drink—they are a true investment in one’s health, says Ronni. “It’s a nutrient-dense superfood,” she says.

Many of the eggs sold by Soles are pullets, which are from hens less than a year old. Chefs tend to be big fans of pullets. If you get a chance to try any of the eggs produced by Soles, get ready for a richer taste compared with your routine egg purchase. “They’re tiny, but they will fill you up,” Ronni says.

Locally, you can buy the eggs at Jessica’s Farm Stand or Albritton Fruit Company, both in Sarasota.

Article from Edible Sarasota at http://ediblesarasota.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/noah-s-organic-eggs
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