Farmer Max Eggs on Pause.
I’m just off a call with Farmer Max, and sad to report that his eggs are off the menu (read: grocery list) for the time being. We know that many of you love a delicious, regenerative, pasture-raised egg, but stuff happens in business.
Max and his team took several hundred chickens up to an arable farm north of Mt Kenya to experiment with how that could work. It is cold up there, especially at night, but the farm uses zero till practice and has a cover crop between growing barley, wheat, and oats. The cover crop is typically a crop that helps ‘fix’ the soil in between your main commercial crops, by protecting and enriching the soil. In turn, a cover crop makes for a delicious, rich, and nutritious diet for chickens, whilst they also then scratch around in the soil turning it over a little. In addition to this, the free-range layer chicken also poops, which acts as an excellent, immediately available, fertilizer for the soil.
The eggs that resulted were so protein-rich that you could basically cut through the egg white when you put it in the frying pan. The yolks were a deep orange color, indicative of all the nutrients within. They were amazing.
So why the pause?
The reality is that this experiment was super interesting and provided a lot of insights to Max, and one of these is that he can roll out the same idea but it must be closer to the market. The cost of transport made the eggs quite expensive, and even though there was demand, this wasn’t a scalable model.
So rest assured, by buying his eggs, you showed Max that there is a demand for them! And he will be going back to eggs at some point next year, but just not right now because of the economics.
His focus is on growing delicious chicken for meat, which we all know he does incredibly well. Whilst I was on the phone to him, he was talking about the pasture on which his broiler chickens range.
“It’s so thick Juju, that I’m having to mow it! And then mulch it! But next door, where they don’t have chickens, the ground is still bare – the rain runs straight off it, and you couldn’t even put a sheep on there; there’s literally no grass”.
That’s the power of regenerative farming – when the rain comes, the soil is ready; the soil can absorb the moisture and get all the wonderful grasses growing strong, quick and dense. So keep supporting the farming systems that will change the world, because it’s not just more delicious, it’s honestly going to change the world.