Answer Man: Where can I buy farm-fresh eggs in this area?

News-DemocratMay 8, 2013 

Q. Please tell me where I can buy farm-fresh eggs in this area. They seem to taste so much better than store-bought.

-- M.S., of Belleville

A. You'll probably be happy to put all of your eggs in one basket if you visit Norm and Sandy Sutter's place northwest of Millstadt.

In 2010, they launched Fresh Pasture Farms, and the name pretty much says it all.

"Every morning the chicks, chickens and (livestock) are moved to a fresh pasture, where they receive a variety of grasses, sunshine and non-medicated feed (for the chickens)," they write on their website, freshpasturefarms.com.

And don't think this couple are just a pair of Johnny-come-latelys trying their hand at the new-fangled natural farming movement. Norm was a grain farmer when he met and married Sandy more than 33 years ago. Sandy knew about farming only tangentially, but quickly rolled up her shirtsleeves and pantlegs and dug in as a farmer's wife.

Over the years, they worked full time off the farm, but still kept their hand in growing grain, raising livestock, baling hay, etc. Then, as they were building their new home in 2006, they began hearing about the tasty (and healthy) joys of grass-fed animals.

Four years later they added pastured eggs and chickens and opened Fresh Pasture Farms to the public. Now, their son Wade and his girlfriend, Jaime, have joined their operation.

There you'll find not only brown-shelled eggs ($4.50 a dozen; 25 cents off per recycled carton) but also raw local honey ($10 a pint when available), fresh chickens (broilers) and turkeys ($4.15 per pound, pre-orders taken), and pork ($3.70-$3.85 a pound for whole and half hogs).

Stop in any Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call 719-1983 or write info@freshpasturefarms.com for an appointment Monday through Friday. They're at 1931 Kropp Road, which is just east of Triple Lakes Road, southeast of the Triple Lakes Golf Course.

I'm sure I'll hear now from other sellers, so keep watching this column for updates in the future. For example, the Germantown Egg Co./Rose Acre Farms is not open to the general public, but they tell me that they sell their eggs through Eckert's and Farmer's Market in Belleville.

And here's one you gotta love: Cock and Bull Farms at 12100 Hoyt-Monken Road near Highland. You can call 972-4261, but don't be surprised to hear "Carl Poettker -- CJL Engineering" on his answering machine. He jokes that he designs hospitals by day and sells eggs and other farm products by night. See a very recent picture of a hopefully happy, free-ranging chicken on the farm's Facebook page.

Q. I haven't seen the TV series "Falling Skies" for a long time. Please tell me it hasn't been canceled!

-- Annette, of New Baden

A. Good news for all you TV Chicken Littles: The skies haven't fallen on your favorite science-fiction series.

You may not be used to it yet, but in this age of hundreds of TV channels, new seasons can start just about any time of year.

That's what's happening with "Falling Skies." The show, produced by Steven Spielberg, premiered June 19, 2011, and proved so popular that a third season was ordered shortly after the second one began last summer. So, Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood and all of your other favorites will return again next month on TNT along with the network's other summer shows, including "The Hero," "72 Hours," "Major Crimes" and "Rizzoli and Isles."

For those discovering it late, "Falling Skies" picks up six months after a global invasion by some nasty E.T.s, including a mysterious species known as the Overlords. Within days, the invaders neutralize the world's power grid and kill 90 percent of the population.

Now, as you might expect, a small, brave band of human survivors is trying to fight back. How successful will they be? Their continuing battle premieres with a two-hour season opener at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9, on TNT. But don't wait until then to get your fix -- watch a two-minute preview now at www.fallingskies.com.

Today's trivia

How are Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, and Josef Jakobs, a German spy during World War II, linked?

Answer to Wednesday's trivia: " 'Sister Bertrille, how could you!?' The Daughters of Charity at the Convent San Tanco were shocked. A nun doesn't fly! But Sister Bertrille upset more rules than the rules of gravity and soon the convent and the town of San Juan, Puerto Rico were shaken by her antics." That's the blurb from the back cover of "The Fifteenth Pelican" by Marie Theresa "Tere" Rios, which served as the basis for "The Flying Nun" with Sally Field. The book, published in 1966, was dedicated to her eldest son, a U.S. military adviser who, unbeknownst to her at the time, had been executed by the Viet Cong on Sept. 26, 1965.

Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or rschlueter@bnd.com or call 239-2465.

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