Michele Anna Jordan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Although most of us don’t think about it this way, eggs are, for the most part, a seasonal food.
A few breeds continue to lay when there is less daylight and cooler temperatures, but for most hens raised naturally, outside on pasture where they can scratch and peck, egg production slows in fall and winter. The slow-down often begins sometime in September, when many breeds begin to molt. Some flocks lay no eggs at all for weeks and other months; others slow from an egg a day per hen to just a few eggs a week.
This cycle has little if any bearing on the commercial egg business, especially the larger ones. If you get your eggs at a supermarket, they are simply always there. But if you get your eggs from your own backyard flock or from a local farm stand or farmers market, you understand this slowdown has already begun. Some farmers have no eggs at all right now, and others have a fraction of what they had in late spring, when production peaks.
Most farmers markets have eggs year round, but not as many at this time of year. This means you need to reserve them or show up early at your farmers market. Depending on what sort of winter we have, production will begin to increase not long after the first of the year and by spring, you can sleep in on weekends and still snag great eggs at your local farmers market.