The "eat local" movement has driven more Americans to seek out their local farmers' markets, instead of the nearby supermarket chain, for everything from eggs, produce, even meat.
There are a variety of reasons that more people are turning to local food: some just want to support local business, while others have concerns over food safety – from pesticides in produce to the way animals are treated on large farms.
And, on Saturdays, it's BYOC – that's "Bring your own cartons" – at the farm.
Volkert says his business is run like the family farms of the 1950s – without the use of hormones or byproducts – but to today's health regulations.
"We are about taking care of the animal and giving them a good life, the short life they have," he said. "We take care of our animals as we think they should be."
Free range eggs in Florida must be certified by the state of Florida, unlike many small other small farm operations, Volkert said. To meet state certification Volkert says eggs must meet all standards for grading, sanitary handling, and refrigeration.
Free range eggs that do not meet state standards can only be sold as animal grade food.
Although the USDA nutritional value is the same for mass produced eggs and cage-free eggs, Volkert says he believes his free range eggs are healthier than the big egg producers.
"We are different than the big guys, we don't put our chickens in cages," said Volkert. "They are about volume and we are about quality."
Volkert says his farm's mission is also to support the "slow food" movement – kind of the antithesis of "fast food."
"The slow food movement is about how things were done in the past like back in the 50's," he explained. "We use breeds of chickens that are older breeds, heritage breeds. We have people who deliver house to house.
"It's more about connecting with the person who grows your food and knowing where your food comes from."
Volkert is aware of the debate stemming from the current salmonella outbreak over whether cage-free chickens are any safer than those on larger farms, who produce cheaper eggs.
But, he says, "I think you if you take care of your animals they will take care of you."
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