The Good Egg Project - Farm to Table Tour

farm_to_tablefarm_to_table-2

With two kidlets, a full time job, dust bunnies to vanquish and this blog thing that needs my attention every so often, I don’t get out much. And so I was schoolgirl-giddy when I was offered the chance to head to sunny Phoenix, Arizona to take part in the first ever Farm to Table Blogger Tour, presented by the good people at the American Egg Board as part of the the Good Egg Project. I’m sure you all remember the people who brought you the Incredible Edible Egg?

And so in early March, nine bloggers from around the country descended on Phoenix, Arizona, armed with cameras, laptops and a burning desire to spend a few precious days footloose and kid-free.

farm_to_table-6

The cast of characters from left to right: Clint Hickman, Jeffrey Saad,  Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks!, Anitra from The Mama Zone, Laurie from Doublebugs, Shanda from The Parents with Style, Tonia from All America Mommy, Marla from Family Fresh Cooking, Kristina from MOMFormation, Ann from Healthy Tasty Chow, and in the egg chair is Thomas Schoaf, the Mayor of Litchfield Park, Arizona.

farm_to_table-15

But wait, there’s more! Also attending the event was Jeffrey Saad, National Spokesperson for the American Egg Board, restaurateur, and the runner up on season 5 of The Next Food Network Star. He’s also handsome well-spoken, and makes running shoes look hot.

farm_to_table-2-2

Let’s not forget the delightful Howard Helmer, Guinness world record holder as the world’s fastest omelet maker, American Egg Board spokesman for over 40 years, and expert charmer extraordinaire.

farm_to_table-18

Last but not least, Clint Hickman, Bill Hickman, Sharman Hickman and matriarch Gertie Hickman, collectively known as Hickman’s Family Farms granted us the unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a large scale egg farm. Do you hear bells ringing? Is your memory jogged? What you may be recalling is the episode on Dirty Jobs which featured the Hickman’s Family Farms. Curious? Catch the full video here, just scroll down to see the clip.

 farm_to_table11

As you can see, we got all gussied up for the occasion. Nothing says class like white paper lab coats and blue booties, baybee! At the center left is nutritionist Mary Lee Chin who not only kept us company at the farm but also gave us an eye-opening lecture on egg nutrition.

Did you know:

  • Next to mother’s milk, eggs are one of the highest quality proteins available, providing us with all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Eating a good breakfast has been shown to help kids get better grades and higher test scores.
  • An adult can enjoy an egg a day without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.
  • Eggs are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient essential to developing fetuses and infants.

farm_to_table-12

For those of us living in the bigger cities, Clint Hickman was kind enough to show us what a chicken looks like with it’s feather’s still on and not shrink-wrapped.

farm_to_table-33

Eggs-actly what I said.

farm_to_table-14

Quick! Can you spot the bloggers? I’ll give you a hint: They are wearing hairnets, white coats, and have digital image recording devices permanently grafted to their fingers.

farm_to_table-3-2

Anitra flips out! Actually we all flipped out. Everyone got to flip an egg, and most even ended up back in the pan.

What’s that?  You want more? Well you’re in luck! Farm to Table Tour – The Complete Collection is available for your viewing pleasure on The Eclectic Cook’s Flickr Photostream

Oh! There is one more picture I need to show you.

farm_to_table-7

Flowers. And Green grass. In early March. I can’t begin to describe how delightful it was to see flowers and green grass, especially after the long, cold and crappy winter we all just slogged our way through. This was a picture that inspired a recipe. Stay tuned over the next few days for: How to Make The Perfect Omelet – Omelet with Fresh Herbs, Goat Cheese and Edible Flowers. I threw in all of the tips and tricks that I learned from watching the best of the best, the omelet king, Howard Helmer. I have proof. The very last picture here features me, Howard and my omelet creation. See if you can guess who’s who. I’ll give you a hint: I’m not the one that’s yellow, covered in garnish, and sitting on a plate. And just in case you already know how to make the perfect omelet and aren’t too fond of goat cheese, did I mention the Giveaway?

I’d also like to send out a big heartfelt thank you and even a few squishy hugs to Erika and Serena, for finding me at the airport, for making us feel so welcome, and for reminding me (in case I got sunstroke and forgot) that I had to get back on a plane and home to my family.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts.

There is no dancing around the fact that large scale farming operations of all kinds have born the brunt of scrutiny and criticism over the past few decades for their industrial agricultural procedures, much of it justified, much of it because of practices stemming from the environmentally unfriendly mentality of an era long gone. But the hard truth is that our human population is continually growing and we need to find a way to feed us all. Most people realize that the industrial agricultural practices of past decades are unsustainable for farmers, consumers and for the planet, and a shift towards sustainable agriculture is not only necessary but inevitable. A definition of sustainable agriculture from Wikipedia:

“Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities….The term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

As we exit the first decade of the 21st century, we find ourselves in a world with instant access to information, some good, some bad, and some very ugly. Some might argue that this information free-for-all is not in society’s best interest, but I would respond that we are entering an era of informed choices and personal responsibility that can only lead to better decisions. I give a big basketful of credit to Hickman’s Farms in their continuing efforts to embrace the concept of sustainability in their farming practices, to connect directly with their consumers, and to let us all take a look behind the scenes so that we can make those informed choices that are our personal responsibility to the future.

farm_to_table-8

Whoever you are and whatever you think, we can all benefit from this little pearl of wisdom from the Good Egg Project:

Eat good, do good every day.

You might also enjoy:

  1. Strip Steak and Chimichurri Sauce
  2. Chili Egg Bake and my Weekend Horribilis
  3. Starting Herbs from Seed: Bringing Some Spring into February

17 comments to The Good Egg Project – Farm to Table Tour

  • I just finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and am trying to purchase and eat with intention. Posts like this are very timely and interesting – thanks!

    • Karen

      It’s so funny you should mention that book. One of the ladies from the Good Egg Project mentioned reading it when we were having a conversation about sustainability and supporting local farmers on the busride back from the farm. I guess I’m just going to bump it up to the top of my library list!

  • Thanks for letting me guest star on this post. No autographs, please :-) It was a really fun time and I’m glad we got to connect. Great post. I so have to get mine done to.day. Take care!

    • Karen

      But I must have an autography, for when you are even famouser, and I can frame it and treasure it and leave it to my grandchildren in my will! ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  • What a great post… sounds like terrific fun and you did their efforts proud… Thanks for sharing, well written

    • Karen

      Thanks! That means a lot, coming from you :) And I did have a great time, learned a lot, and even had some long standing questions answered first hand.

  • Curtis

    Excellent post. I was anxious to see pictures from your trip. Great info too. I’ve been eating a bunch of hard boiled eggs lately to supplement protein into my diet… glad to see it’s the good type of protein I thought it was! :)

    • Karen

      Thanks Curtis, I always love it when you drop in for a visit to my little corner of the interwebs ;) Stay tuned, I’m having egg-related giveaways coming up in the next few posts.

  • What a fun and educational event. You must have had a blast. Jeffery was my favorite to win and I still like him better than what’s her face who got the show.

    • Karen

      I agree. I said as much to him. He smiled, and said thank you so fast that I’m sure he’s heard it many times before :) I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. He’s so down to earth, and it’s so much fun to talk to someone who speaks foodese in person :)

  • Karen, your post is wonderful! Awesome photos and re-cap. What a fun, educational time we shared together (was that all ready a month ago???) When can we go back :) I look forward to seeing you again some day.

  • Jeffery was my favorite too. What a great experience you had. I have been trying to convince my husband that eggs have been maligned for no good reason. In moderation all food is good. I personaly believe the original tests on the cholestoral damage of eggs in our diet was flawed. Love your blog.

  • OMG, I love Howard. Worked with him for ages when I did PR for the California Egg Commission. Isn’t it unbelievable the education you get when you step foot onto a farm?? Glad you had this experience.

  • As usual, awesome photographs! Seriously, if you’d like to drive down and visit me I’d like to take a photography lesson from you!

  • The photos tell the story…nothing like a good eggs for breakfast!

  • Wonderful post! Really great! And I loved all the photos!

  • Heyas!!

    MAkes me want to go out and make an omelet or sommat – though I should probably go to the store first. I blew through the last of my eggs in a gigantic bowl o’ arroz con leche (Rice puddin’) and am temporarily eggless. :(

    As usual, a great read & pics that speak those 1000 words LOUDLY and colourfully.

    Miss ya!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>