Last summer Al and I happened upon duck eggs for sale at a farm. We were blown away by the rich creaminess of the yolk and the flavor. This summer the Bemis’ ducks have been stubbornly withholding their eggs. Farmer Bemis tells us that ducks are like cats. You just can’t make them do anything they are not inclined to do. Luckily, there is a woman just down the road from us who has laying hens. I stopped in recently to buy some eggs from her and mentioned that what I was really hoping for was some duck eggs. She told me of two places I could potentially find some. In true small-town style she said, “There is one guy in Abbot. His house is near the car parts shop. And a lady in Blanchard who might have some.”
Now, the guy in Abbot does have duck eggs and the price is right at only $2.00 a dozen, but the road there is being repaved this summer, making the drive about 20 minutes. Blanchard, on the other hand, is four uninterrupted minutes away (and I have grown quite used to uninterrupted drives). Although Blanchard is even smaller than our town (population 87 in 2018), with no town center, just a crossroads intersection, “a lady in Blanchard” isn’t much to go on. Motivated by my desire to eat duck eggs, I decided to set off to see if I could find her.
I got to the crossroads with no obvious sign of a farm but decided to press on. About 30 seconds later I came to the former Breakneck Ridge Farm where in the past we had bought bison meat and maple syrup. The farm has since been sold to a new owner who renamed it and is hoping to sell beef starting soon. How do I know this? Because I stopped in to see if perhaps the new owner was also the duck egg person. Sadly, he was not, but of course we got to talking, as people do here, and ultimately came around to my quest for duck eggs. He pointed me in the direction I had been traveling and told me to look for a red house with white primer, since Jen and Bruce are in the process of painting, just after the road turns to dirt and there I would find what I was seeking.
True to his word, another 30 seconds further on and I came to a red and primer-white house with a large barn, paddock, pool (for the ducks), fenced in bird yard, and the ubiquitous farm cat. I went to the barn first, since its doors were wide open but only found goats inside. Next I tried the front door bell. I was soon greeted by a thick-set, large English Bulldog and an exuberant ball of pure velvet that turned out to be his 8-week old puppy. Oh yeah, and Jen, the farmer. She welcomed me inside where we proceeded to chat for about 30 minutes about every sort of thing and I left with a dozen large, beautiful, fresh duck eggs in hand. A trip to Jen’s farm has become part of my regular shopping routine and I am delighted to turn my friends and family onto their eggy deliciousness when they visit.
This is exactly the kind of exploration we are so looking forward to in the broader world. You go out seeking a simple thing like duck eggs, and you find people and stories and local knowledge. And maybe, just maybe, duck eggs too.