Thursday, December 07, 2006

The price of eggs

Years ago I wrote a story about a third generation Franklin County dairy farmer who was going out of business, one of hundreds of New England dairymen who sold off their herds in the past two decades.

As he sat on the porch of his ramshackle house looking out over a million-dollar view, over hayfields toward the southern hills, he mentioned what, 'til that point, was the strangest part of the whole thing: for the first time in either of their lives, the old timer and his wife had to go to a store to buy a gallon of milk.

I have thought about that guy every time I've gone shopping over the past month or so, because the ladies have stopped laying.

On strike.

The Big "No Hay" on the huevos.

We haven't had an egg in at least six weeks.

They do this every year, of course, but still. They keep eating their pellets.

"Maybe we need a new flock," says Dan. "Time to get rid of them."

Nooooo! I say in my most Mister Billish voice.

I was in the egg section at Foster's Supermarket the other night when I heard a similar exchange between a husband and wife.

"Ticks me off that we gotta buy eggs," says the guy.

"It' just temporary, they'll be back," says the wife, perusing over the whites and browns.

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