It’s Spring in Nova Scotia… I think! It’s really difficult to tell some days. Only a couple couple of days ago it was snowing hard enough to totally obscure one half of a brilliant blue sky, with the threat of nighttime temperatures of 6 degrees below. This was hard to take after a week or so of temperatures up in the teens. I think these erratic shifts are bothering me a lot more than any of the denizens here at QuackaDoodle who seem to be undeterred and are laying up a Spring storm of their own.
The girls on the Duckville production line are insisting that I set the record straight. So here it is: Duck eggs rule. Really! From a nutritional stand point, Quackers against Cluckers, there’s just no contest; with more protein, more Omega 3 fatty acids, 3X the iron, over 5X vitamin B12 and so on. To be fair, ducks lay bigger eggs therefore more calories (130 versus 71) and more cholesterol (619mg versus 211mg).
However, there are several health benefits to duck eggs that I believe far outweigh that one negative:
Usually people with an allergy to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs and apparently they are an alkaline protein source (as opposed to chicken eggs which are acidic). This makes them a beneficial anti-cancer food as cancer cells tend not to thrive in an alkaline environment.
Athletes in training prefer duck eggs because of their additional power boost.
Their thicker shell means they keep fresher much longer (the eggs, not the athletes).
And they are any baker’s dream come true as the extra albumin makes for much lighter, fluffier pastries.
Last, but definitely not least is the taste; so much richer and creamier and reason enough to pick duck over chicken eggs anytime!
To self “There, if that doesn’t keep those little quackers happy, nothing will!”
I dug the last of my leeks today and salvaged a Brussel sprout stalk that didn’t get picked in the fall. The outer leaves were a bit raggedy and the sprouts were on the small side (probably why they were not harvested) but man did they ever taste delicious! I used to boil Brussel sprouts but that was a big mistake. They are three times more tasty sauted in butter with some fresh ground pepper. Seeing my neighbour’s children gobbling up Brussel sprouts as if they were candy was my Eureka moment regarding Brussels sprouts. That was when I knew I’d been cooking them the wrong way all these years.
I have lots of hardy greens (tat soi, pak choy, kale, chard, etc.) coming up already and surprisingly a whole patch of mache which survived the winter unscathed, along with some raspberry vinegar ‘lettuce’ which is actually sorrel. Their winter housing was shredded in a storm and they were unprotected for most of the winter. I thought they would have at least turned bitter but no, if anything the taste of the sorrel has softened slightly and the mache is just as crisp as ever. I’m impressed!
My green house was also shredded in a storm and this is creating quite a problem as I’m running out of sunny places to lay out all my early starts. And let’s face it, they’re not really ‘early’ at this time of year. In the past my over-enthusiasm has resulted in some very ‘leggy’ transplants that were started too early and outgrew the confines of their starter pots long before the last frost. Now I tend to err on the other side of perfect and leave things a bit late 😦 By now, it’s definitely time to have everything that’s needs starting indoors seeded in their starter pots, I think, so guess what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day!
My book, Permaculture For the Rest of Us has been getting lots of positive attention. Below I have posted a link to an interview I did last week on Covenant Agrarian Resistance Radio. It’s two hours long, which in my book is a bit much to listen to all at once, but you might want to play it while preparing supper or seeding pots.
Also, Kathryn Robles at firstname.lastname@example.org has been very generous in her review of my book. She also has a really informative site that is well worth visiting.
Also, and these just in, more sites (and reviews of Permaculture For The Rest of Us) that are really worth visiting:
They are all give away a free copy of Permaculture For The Rest of Us!
Anyone living in the Halifax area might be interested to know that QuackaDoodle duck eggs are available at:
The Grainery 2385 Agricola Street. This food co-op is open Tuesday through Saturday and is run on a volunteer basis by members. I love going there as I always feel like I’m dealing with kindred spirits. http://www.thegrainery.ca