If you ever visit Farmshop in Brentwood Country Mart on a Friday morning, you’ll find a line out the door. People wait all week for these farm fresh soy-free eggs–the absolute tastiest eggs in town. They sell out every single time.
We love these eggs so much, we wanted to meet the chickens that lay them. We volunteered at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark to find out what’s going on inside this agricultural haven.
Whiskers, a frisky gray cat known for hunting varmints, jumped inside our car to greet us before following us down to meet the Garden Manager, Joy.
On this misty morning, Joy taught us how to correctly plant seeds in their cozy greenhouse—if you pack the dirt too hard, your little seed won’t have much chance to sprout. Our day started off perfectly by planting seeds with hopes they’ll grow into a magnificent herb. Nothing felt better than getting our hands dirty and learning the basics of gardening. My mom and grandma gardened a lot during my childhood, so reconnecting with the earth felt like being a kid again.
In all honesty, figuring out what biodynamic actually meant took a while. It’s not a new concept, but not super well-known either. It’s a method of farming that recognizes a farm as a living, breathing organism with an ecosystem that must constantly be kept in balance. Apricot Lane Farms believes that everything has a symbiotic relationship and they focus on solutions that already exist in nature. Biodynamic goes beyond organic by literally mimicking the cycles of nature. This is why the eggs are so damn good.
For the first time in our lives, we felt like actual farmers: cutting down overgrown lemongrass, spreading hay around the growing vegetables that we occasionally snacked on, building a fence (which we never imagined we could do), and making fun of each other when our true rookie skills surfaced.
We particularly enjoyed saying hello to the farm animals– not only are they cute, but they also play a vital role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. I felt a special closeness with the animals because I had horses and chickens growing up. The birds eat bugs, the sheep mow orchard fields, the dogs guard sheep, the horses pull trailers, and the chickens give us the best eggs ever. The livestock provides manure that farm hands collect to process into compost for the land. Once again, everything is connected, everything is important.
Through volunteering, you can connect to your community, learn where your food comes from, and experience a different way of life. If you’re lucky, you may even leave with a goodie bag of delicious herbs, fruits, and vegetables fresh from the garden. We wish we could’ve brought an amazing chicken home too, but for now, we’ll just have to wait in line for those golden-yoked eggs.