FEATURE VENDOR – GOOSE LANE EGG FARM
Chickens & Eggs: A Family Farm
by Rachael Chamberlain
The first hint of spring that we encounter after a long, cold, snowy winter always has me longing for farm fresh produce. A sure sign of summer is a thick slice of homegrown tomato sandwiched between two pieces of bread with a little mayo and a sprinkle of salt. Can you taste it? Luckily for Antietam Market visitors, Goose Lane Egg Farm prepares and plans while we are suffering the winter blues, and brings us our vegetable favorites ahead of schedule. On a Saturday morning before opening, market volunteers have been known to scope out the offerings and race to purchase the season’s first strawberries, tomatoes, or beets at the strike of eight!
Goose Lane Egg Farm is home to Casey and Melanie Noss and their two children: Wyatt, 2 and Brooke, 6 months. As one may guess from the name, Goose Lane started out as an egg farm. In 2010, they purchased twenty laying chickens as a hobby and have been expanding ever since. Offerings now include eggs, chicken, pigs, turkeys, a wide variety of produce and fruits, herbs, pumpkins and Christmas trees.
Although not certified organic, the Noss family follows organic practices. Everything is done as naturally as possible and all of the seeds are GMO free. The chickens are in a mobile chicken house which is moved throughout pasture to give access to fresh supplies of as many bugs and grasses they desire. This results in tastier eggs with deep orange yolks, something that you don’t get from grocery store bought eggs.
In addition to the stand at our market, Goose Lane runs a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, from June through November. They also operate a stand at the farm, open 7 days a week from 7 am to 8 pm, selling produce, canned goods, local honey, and whoopie pies. This is self-serve on the honor system.
When I asked Melanie about her favorite crops, she chose pumpkins. There are so many varieties of pumpkins, and the excitement on kid’s faces while picking them is priceless! The favorite animal to raise are pigs. They have great personalities and Wyatt loves feeding them produce scraps. Stay tuned to Facebook and the Goose Lane website for more information about upcoming fall activities and pork sale.
Plan to stop by and say hi to Melanie and Casey at their tent this weekend. They would love to hear from their customers and enjoy talking to everyone. While farming is difficult and many times there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day, the satisfaction they get hearing compliments on the quality of their products from customers makes it all worthwhile!