Meet Penny (well, her name is really Katie), her egg stand at Chattanooga Market says “Penny’s Eggs”. In reality, it’s the chickens who are name Penny – all 900 of them. I’ll still call her Penny. It’s gotta be a marketing thing. Penny, er, Katie, is a pretty, sun-kissed blond who looks like the “farmer’s daughter”. Who wouldn’t want to buy fresh eggs from her?
Except that Katie also really knows what she’s doing. Wildwood Harvest Farm is just the other side of Georgia, from downtown Chattanooga, on about 250 acres. Katie and her husband Bien are raising happy, pasture chickens with an all natural diet. Her chickens are producing farm fresh eggs that are brought to Chattanooga Market each Wednesday and Sunday for our pleasure. New to the Market this year, Wildwood Harvest is bringing about 300 dozen to sell, more supply than any other egg vendor. It takes a lot of chickens to keep up, over 400 to be exact. Their current roosting chickens are a cross breed variety which are consistently healthy and dependable for a daily egg (yes, chickens lay just one egg a day!). Katie says they have 500 new chicks what will be laying eggs by fall. The newer chicks are more of a heritage variety (think heirloom tomatoes) and will produce delicious colorful eggs.
A day in the life of a chicken at Wildwood:
5am, good morning! Go out and enjoy the pasture all day long, eat plenty of grass, bugs and explore the woods… plenty of natural protein.
Snack before bed of a grain supplement that is non GMO, contains NO SOY and includes vitamins and other natural ingredients such as field peas. YUM!
Bedtime at dark in a safe, cozy “egg mobile” that is protected by livestock guard dogs and moves every few days to keep those chickens on their toes.
This is what it truly means to be free-pasture chickens. While Penny’s Eggs are $6/dozen, keep in mind that pasture raised eggs are higher in Omega 3, fatty acids, contain less fat and provide us with 5 times more Vitamin D than grocery store eggs according to the USDA. Not to mention Wildwood chickens wouldn’t be caught dead (or alive) on a “chicken truck” heading to downtown Chattanooga…Egg-zactly!