Families are looking for more control over what goes into their meals. The values that make farm-to-table restaurants popular are the same family values driving the backyard-to-table food trend.
Chickens are at the heart of this trend. Through April, baby chicks and ducklings are available at Tractor Supply stores nationwide, including the Shelburne-area location.
Daily access to nutritionally superior eggs and organic garden fertilizer makes chickens a smart addition to backyards, said Kathy Shea Mormino, a backyard chicken contributor for Tractor Supply’s Know How Central and author of the popular backyard chicken website The Chicken Chick.
“Breakfast from the backyard is just the beginning — the joys and benefits of raising chickens are endless,” said Mormino. “Beyond eggs, another enormous perk of keeping chickens is garden fertilizer; there is no more valuable amendment to garden soil than nitrogen-rich chicken manure.”
Growing food is nothing new for many American families but raising chickens has led many to have more fun in the kitchen — trying their hand at breakfast burritos and frittatas to more challenging dinner entrees like handmade pasta with garden fresh basil pesto.
“When the hens begin producing eggs and the garden flourishes, families really begin to appreciate what their flocks can help them create in the kitchen. The coop to garden to table connection is so rewarding,” Mormino said. “What often begins as a hobby quickly becomes a gratifying and healthy way of life for the entire family.”