A Trip to the Local Farmer’s Market in August

Duck eggs next to a chicken egg

Duck eggs next to a chicken egg

The bad news first. For many years, a trip to the local Farmer’s Market was a disappointment. When my kids were younger, I would go to the Farmer’s Market to supplement the fruit and vegetables from my garden. I was met by tents full of jewelry vendors, artists and musicians. Occasionally during the winter time, I would find a vegetable vendor. But normally they were a conventional farmer from the far reaches of the valley.

Here is the good news. In the last 5 years, what people are referring to as the “backyard homesteading trend” has provided lots of excess fruits and vegetables for people to share with their friends or to pack up and sell at the Farmer’s Market.

I went to the Farmer’s Market last Sunday for the first time this summer. I begged Steve to go with me. I was glad to see that there were a few vegetable stands. While Steve was browsing through the tent that had baked goods, I was looking for lamb.

Though I did not find lamb, I did find duck eggs. It has been years since I owned ducks. I had Pekings and Mallards (think Donald and Daffey). They are very noisy. I have been looking into the Muscovy variety because they do not quack. They are a large duel purpose breed (eggs and meat) and are very good mothers. The perfect water fowl for a small homestead. They also dine on ticks. Though I do have them here, I have heard that they can be a problem in the desert dirt.

Why have I not acquired any ducks at this home? They are just as full of personality as a chicken and they play well with others. But they love to play, eat and poop in the water sources. All of them. My goats will not drink dirty water. I do not blame them. When the goats lived here, the ducks would have to share the pen with the goats.

Steve loves ponds. He plans on building a pond, complete with fish and pond plants. So there will be room for ducks in the future. Until then, I will buy him duck eggs at the Farmer’s Market once in awhile.

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About sharinglifesabundance

I am a backyard food producer. I grow 800 square feet of organic vegetables in the desert year round.
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2 Responses to A Trip to the Local Farmer’s Market in August

  1. 42things says:

    our muscovies have their own area and pond to muddy with constantly running water (our water source is a mountain stream and the drainage filters through the ground for a ways and then comes out clean right back at the source) And they “free range” in a large orchard and mow the grass and eat the dropped fruit.

    They are not technically ducks in that if they cross breed with a duck their offspring will be sterile. They are some sort of South African or South American water fowl.

    Their meat is different than a duck too. less oily and more mild flavoured. tastes delicious. My kids call it “chicken-beef”

    Their eggs are delicious. They are excellent setters hatching 10-20 babies at a time. They don’t “need” a pond but just a tub of water would be enough for them.

    They are just as personable as other ducks, more so than chickens I find. Some are put off by the large red carnacles in the males but I think my male, Elvis, is ever so handsome!

    They dress out at about 4 lbs average after 4-6 months growth.

    They eat a lot, so free range is a must if you don’t have a cheap source of duck feed. Or you can throw a wheelbarrow of grass in their enclosure every day, they LOVE grass.

    I have found the black and white pied version to be the most hearty. Every time we’ve had a pure white one they’ve mysteriously died from some nothing.

    We have 1 male and 4 females which have provided us with 46 ducklings. Some died due to crows and we sold some as ducklings. But at the end of the season we will have 34 nice sized ducks in the freezer. And that was just our first experiment year. Next year we will start letting them set right in the beginning of spring and again in late summer. And we have provided better protection from the overhead predators. So we hope to at least double that number by fall 2015

    Anyway, hope you don’t mind I wrote my own novel here, but I hope that helps you know what you’re getting into with Muscovies.

    Cheers!

    Jo

    • I appreciate readers like you that add so much to the conversation. I love to find out what others are doing and then SHARE that here. Thank you for taking the time to SHARE the abundance of your life and your experience. Feel free to post more…

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