It’s Cool to be an Egghead!

Greetings from the Farm,Every time you visit the store, eggs always seem to come up. It’s at the top of everyone’s mind right now, but how much do you know about eggs and how they come to be? Today’s newsletter is all about eggs, so let’s get cracking!

Egg Education : Ever wondered how chickens produce eggs? Our hens have been bred to be excellent layers, at peak season one of our chickens can lay an egg up to 5 days a week! It all starts with the yolk, also called an oocyte, and begins with ovulation. Approximately 20 minutes later, the oocyte is released into the oviduct, a long spiraling tube in the hen’s reproductive system. It takes about 2-3 hours for the albumen (that’s the egg whites) to form around the yolk as it moves down the oviduct. The next hour, the shell membrane is formed before spending the next 16 hours in the uterus. During that time, the full shell is formed, mainly with calcium carbonate and the egg gets it’s “bloom” which is a thin coating that helps the egg pass through the cloaca before being laid. The bloom also protects the egg from bacteria, and washing the eggs removes this thin coating, causing the eggs to require refrigeration. Last but not least, it takes about 6 minutes of contractions for the chicken to lay the egg. All in all, the process takes approximately 24 hours from start to finish…definitely a full-time job!

Counting our Eggs: Our Off-Season Retail trial is in full swing! We’re excited to gauge the level of interest in this program, and help relieve some of the…tension around egg availability. You can still place an order until 3pm Friday, for pick up at the Farm on Saturday!

Meet and Greet: Interested in Meet The Farmer? We’ll be hosting a Meet the Farmer on February 8th at the Willowsford Boathouse in the Greens . These events are a great way to learn more about Willowsford Farm, our practices and the Farm crew!  You can sign up for one of our events here.

Anyway you Slice it:  KTPizza will be joining us in the Farm Stand Parking Lot today (Thursday, 2/2) from 4pm-6pm. Stop by for one of their delicious pies! Please note, the Farm Stand is closed during the CSA off-season.

Connect With Us : Join us for one of our upcoming programs or volunteer alongside us. Visit the Conservancy Events, Instagram or Facebook pages for details.

Eat well, be well,
– The Willowsford Farm Team

Order Today!

2023 Off- Season Retail Program

Willowsford Farm will be offering limited a la carte sales of farm-fresh eggs, meat, pantry products and some root vegetables during the CSA off-season. Our growing season is over, but we have a bumper crop of root vegetables in proper storage to offer along with our Farm Stand pantry products and bounty of eggs. We understand that avian flu outbreaks in commercial operations and ongoing supply chain issues are causing a squeeze at local grocery stores, and we’ve decided to offer a trial program to continue sales of some of our products outside of the regular CSA season. If weekly participation is strong, we will continue to offer this smaller a la carte menu through April.  The farm is excited to trial this new off-season retail cycle, which will operate in the following manner:
  1. The Online Farm Store will be open for limited a la carte retail sales 10am Monday through 3pm Friday.
  2. There will be one location option for fulfillment: Saturday Pick Up at the Farm Pack Shed, with two time slots available, 9-10 am and 2-3 pm. We are not offering off-season home delivery.
  3. The cycle will function according to the following example: Orders placed between Monday 1/23 and Friday 1/27 will be available for pickup on Saturday 1/28 during the selected pick-up timeslot. Unclaimed orders will be notified via email EOB Saturday.
  4. A la carte purchases can be made using Store Credits and/or credit and debit cards. Please use your existing Barn2Door account. All inventory will be kept current in Barn2Door, please consider any low stock alerts to be accurate.
  5. Eggs will be available by the dozen, and inventory will be based on flock production. Our current flock has blessed us with abundance, but availability will be on a first-come first-served basis.
  6. Pantry products inventory will be according to current stock. Pantry product items are from the 2022 Farm Stand season and inventory will not be refreshed until the beginning of the 2023 CSA/Farm Stand season.
  7. Root vegetables will be available in current a la carte weights and packages.
  8. Meat bundles will be available for purchase based on current inventory. Throughout the off-season, we will be creating new bundle options as we work towards opening new space in our freezer.
  9. This will be ongoing beginning the first cycle, Monday, January 23rd tentatively running through Monday, April 24th. There will be no dedicated email communications announcing the Open/Close of the Online Farm Store, but there will be a reminder with a link to the Online Farm Store page in the weekly Farm Newsletter.
  10. This trial program is interest-based, and we encourage participants to spread the word to friends and neighbors. The Farm may announce and schedule a hiatus of retail sales or make changes to match interest in off-season purchasing. Any changes made will be communicated at least a week in advance.
  11. Questions about the off-season sales program can be directed to

Highlights This Week

Willowsford Farm Eggs
Willowsford Farm Eggs

GF Key Lime Pie
GF Key Lime Pie

Ground Beef Patty Bundle
Ground Beef Patty Bundle

Photos From the Farm

Photos : The chickens were once again, moved to a new spot. This patch is much smaller so there can be a quicker build up of that all-important nitrogen in the soil. The ladies love the new coop and spend a fair amount of the chilly day inside. You may notice that they look very fluffy…they are so cute when they puff up their feathers to stay nice and warm!

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Fresh Local Food, Just a Click Away

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www.WillowsfordConserrvancy.orgOur mailing address is:
23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148