In June I chatted with Grandma and Grandpa at the Cloverdale farmers market (friday nights). Their free-range hens are pastured for most of the year and cage-free. For the farmers market and retail distribution, eggs from neighbors are included as well. They told me that if I buy at the farm, the eggs are fertile, 50¢ less per dozen and only from their own hens.
To find Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch, look for the sign just south of the Lytton Springs Rd exit pointing to the driveway. Grandma’s Eggs never closes, just drive up, help yourself to the eggs in the refrigerator 24/7.
Grandma's has a self-serve refrigerator with an honor cash jar payment system. I got a dozen eggs and a basket of garlic (4 small purple heads). The eggs are very fresh and richly flavored with thick whites. Most look to be large size with the jumbos and medium sized ones evening out. Grandpa had explained to me to judge egg size by weight, not shell size, and the carton felt heavier to me. Good garlic too.
I walked further up the driveway to check out the hens and their pecking grounds. The laying hens (and one rooster) had already been rounded up and in their pen for the night at that time (7pm). The charming thing is that most of the chickens ran over to the fence to greet me and give me the once over. When I’ve been near chickens elsewhere, they usually run away from strangers and seek cover. These seemed to be friendly, happy birds.
Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch is in the heart of wine country, and you may have passed by if you’ve visited wineries in Alexander Valley, Lytton Springs or Dry Creek Valley. Next time, think about a carton of eggs to take home with your wine purchases. If you can’t make it to the farm in person or find them at the Windsor or Cloverdale farmers market, the eggs are also sold at Shelton’s in Healdsburg and Food for Humans in Guerneville.
Edited to add: I had asked Grandma if it would be possible to purchase "retired" layers as stewing hens. She said that she could put me in touch with one of their friends who has the appropriate licenses to take care of that. She explained that all their chickens have names and she can't dispatch them herself. Grandpa added that it would be a while before they'd be pruning the flock as their birds lay for a longer time than average.
September is National Chicken Month
Grandma's Pumpkin Patch
17740 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA