Shoppers scramble for market day

Published 10:44 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dr. Seuss might have made green eggs and ham a popular breakfast dish, at least for kids, but Old MacDonald had the jump on him.

Long before Dr. Seuss ever thought up Sam I Am and green eggs and ham, the old chicken farmer was fast at work scattering corn around the chicken yard and singing a happy song to encourage his hens to produce the best and richest brown yard eggs that could be gotten – for money, for a favor or just for a neighbor.

Jimmy and Bahar Sanders of the Banks community are doing much the same thing with their 15 heavy bred hens – Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.

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“I’ve had chickens just about all of my life,” Jimmy Sanders said. “There’s nothing better than a brown egg – a yard egg. They are just richer than commercially grown eggs and, to me, they taste a whole lot better.”

Brown eggs are often preferred by bakers because of their richness. What yard eggs can do for a pound cake no other eggs can do.

When Jimmy and Bahar married in October, she shared his love of brown eggs. Although it was not in the marriage vows that they would never eat any other egg, it might as well have been.

Bahar is originally from Turkey where farmer’s markets are big events and brown eggs are commonplace.

“I have always like brown eggs,” she said. “And I love the farmer’s market.”

Since her husband has never eaten anything except brown eggs and neither has she, the two of them are content to have a small chicken farm that specializes in yard eggs.

Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Jimmy and Bahar set up a booth at the Pioneer Farmers Market on the lot behind First Methodist Church in Troy. They put out about four dozen brown eggs and a sign that reads: Farm Fresh Brown Eggs $2.

Jimmy shrugs when asked if $2 is a good price. “I don’t know. I never buy eggs.”

But no matter the price, customers scramble for the eggs which are in short supply and heavy demand.

“The hens usually lay an egg a day but sometimes they don’t lay at all,” Jimmy said.

“So we don’t have a lot of eggs for sale but Bahar enjoys the chickens and she enjoys coming to the Pioneer Farmers Market where she meets a lot of people. We enjoy the chickens and love the eggs and being a par of the Farmer’s Market.”

And, the Sanders are developing a clientele for their yard eggs. Those who want to try baking with brown eggs, frying them, scrambling them, pickling them or adding them to a favorite dish need to get to the market early on Saturday. It’s Pioneer Market Day and a big crowd is expected to shop the market and enjoy all of the fun activities of the day including wagon rides, entertainment and games for the kids. The market opens at 7 a.m. and will run until everything is sold out or the dinner bell rings.