Local pastured chicken eggs are sold on farms, at farmers' markets, and at retail stores for about $6 a dozen or higher. Pastured eggs are sometimes included in a farm's community supported agriculture. You can find egg-only CSAs, such as one offered by Allandale Farm (www.allandalefarm.com).
The best way to buy eggs is directly from the farmer, which is more profitable for them and allows you to ask questions, such as, are the chickens on fresh pasture and rotated regularly and what are their feed rations? Some commercial feed contains genetically modified organism grains and other additives, such as antibiotics.
Farmer Rebecca Lipton of Prospect Hill Farm in Plympton describes a favorite customer, a Romanian immigrant, who buys eggs for nuns, and who prays for both Lipton and her chickens. Lipton has an "open" farm policy, as do most farmers, permitting visitors to see the workings of the farm first-hand
(e-mail or phone before heading out).
To decipher labeling on cartons, look for the word "pastured" or "eggs from pastured hens." The term "free-range" is sometimes misused, and does not guarantee that the chickens are allowed to forage on fresh pasture.
Stony Brook Valley Farm eggs are sold at Harvest Co-op, 581 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1580, and 57 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1667, www.har
vest.coop; Formaggio Kitchen, 244 Huron Ave., Cambridge,
kitchen.com; and at Stony Brook, 34 Carver St. Granby, www.stony
You can also find pastured eggs at Allandale Farm, 259 Allandale Road, Brookline, 617-524-1531, www.allandalefarm.com; Apple Street Farm, 35 Apple St., Essex, 508-596-6913, www.
applestreetfarm.com; City Feed and Supply, 672 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1700, www.cityfeedandsupply.com; Many Hands Organic Farm, 411 Sheldon Road, Barre, 978-355-2853; Misty Brook Farm, 830 Springhill Road, Barre, 413-477-8234, www.mistybrook.com;
The Herb Hill Micro-Dairy, 320 High Plain Road, Andover, 978-475-7931, www.theherbhillmicro
dairy.mckain.me/dairy; and at farmers' markets in Medford, South Station, Somerville (Union Square), Waltham, Wayland, and more (call farms for hours before heading out).
To help consumers make more informed choices when shopping, the Cornucopia Institute (www.cor
nucopia.org), a nonprofit public interest group, evaluates certified organic farms that sell eggs to stores; farms that only sell direct to consumers are not included.
To find the evaluations, click on “Egg Scorecard” on the website.
These sites will help you find pastured eggs. Use the word “eggs” or use your location: The Organic Food Guide (www.theor
ganicfoodguide.com); Baystate Organic Certifiers (www.baystateor
ganic.org); Eat Wild (www.eatwild
.com); Northeast Harvest (www
.farmfresh.org); Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (www.semaponline.org).