Over the years I have gotten in the habit of buying eggs from small producers. Once you start it’s hard to go back to store bought eggs. For one thing, I like to drop by someone’s house, have a little chat, see the hens outdoors scratching about, and purchase one, two, sometimes three dozen eggs. Some for baking, some for quiches, some for omelettes, you get it, I like eggs. Simple, easy, nutritious. Today’s eggs are coming from Jim and Tanya Teed’s farm. Located on the outskirts of Oxford, they have named their operation Little River Farm.
Originally from Springhill, Jim moved to Ontario where he worked for several years. There he met Tanya Vandehoef. Eight years ago the couple moved to Oxford and bought a house with 22 acres of land. Tanya, who works for the animal shelter in Amherst, has an evident love for animals. For fun, and as a retirement plan, the couple decided to get some hens and roosters. They also started working some of their acreage for market gardening, producing enough vegetables for themselves, and for their summer farm stand.
When it comes to gardening, their neighbors Ed and Emma, both retired teachers, have been invaluable supporters of their enterprise, mentoring them as the years have gone by. “They start our tomato and pepper plants for us; one hundred of each” says Jim. “Last year Ed wasn’t able to plant his garden so we grew his veggies for him. This year he tells me he’s got a job for me.”
Jim hopes to grow a nice crop of corn this summer, about one quarter acre he says. Last year the couple lost their harvest to hurricane Dorian.
As we go outside I look forward to see the hens. Tanya has several breeds among which the Ameraucana who lay eggs in shades of blue. As I enter the barn I am at once surprised by the fragrant smell of wood chips. Not quite what I expected. There are several coops, each with no more than a dozen birds, and each with an exit to the outdoors. Outside every opening is fenced to protect the hens from predators. Tanya has named all the roosters and you can see, as she picks them up, the love she has for each.
After the tour I see the fields to be plowed and planted next summer; about two acres worth. The couple plans to grow enough root vegetables to store and sell throughout the winter. In season you can find their produce at their farm stand and at the Lower Main Market in Oxford.
Right now, if you wish to buy some beautiful eggs, give them a call, anytime after 5pm, or stop by their farm. I guarantee a lovely visit!
Jim and Tanya Teed: 902-447-2285
Street address: 5982 Little River Road, Oxford