The Produce Index: Honest Eggs Co

Published on May 29 2019.

Photo: Happy hens roaming on the Honest Egg Co farm

Eggs with deep-yellow yolks and rich flavour from happy hens outside Daylesford.

What
Excellent quality eggs from ISA Brown hens raised under one of the best free-range environments in the state.

Where
Honest Eggs Co’s hens graze on pastures growing in rich volcanic soil in the hills above Guildford, with just 30 birds per hectare.

Who
Farmer Paul Righetti follows the farming principles of his Swiss-Italian forebears, avoiding expensive chemical fertilisers and pesticides and instead using natural processes. Honest Eggs Co is now in its fifth year, employing 15 people on the farm and in the packing shed.

Why it’s different
Righetti’s operation is an excellent example of regenerative farming and integrated farm practices. The hens are housed in specially built moveable sheds at night and are protected from foxes whilst they’re in the open by Oscar, Righetti’s maremma sheepdog. The hens follow Righetti’s herd of beef cattle, scratching about their old manure and eating protein-rich bugs. The chook manure in turn fertilises the grass which the cattle then graze. The cycle continues.

The eggs themselves have incredibly firm whites while the yolks have a broad, rich flavour and deep yellow colour.


Oscar the maremma with Honest Eggs Co hens

Who’s a fan?
Ides chef Peter Gunn uses the eggs in desserts, such as a honey custard mousse, and in an entrée of sous-vide yolks and pickled celeriac. Closer to the farm Alla Wolf-Tasker from Lake House Daylesford says, “I use no other egg. Paul’s transparency in provenance is wonderful”. On her autumn menu she serves a chestnut pasta with wild mushroom ragu topped with a confit egg yolk.

Buy
At Newtown farmers market, Spotswood Slow Food Melbourne Market, selected Ritchies IGAs, Leo’s Supermarkets and many independent grocers in central Victoria and Melbourne. Find out more at honesteggsco.com.au or call 0499 173 447. 

By Richard Cornish

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