In the April issue of Minnesota Monthly, I wrote a short piece about Khaiti and Andrew French’s Living the Dream (LTD) Farm, where I found two young farmers with big dreams and a lot of energy. What I didn’t mention is that a dream came true for the duo in the form of a successful Kickstarter fundraiser, which has allowed them to expand, sharing their duck eggs with even more consumers.
In western Wisconsin, the Frenches are raising a flock of buff-colored ducks along with vegetables, fruit trees, chickens, rabbits, goats, and turkeys—and they’re doing it without chemicals. During the day, their flock of more than 200 Khaki Campbell ducks feasts on pasture grasses, local grains, kale, and garden trimmings. Come nightfall, the ducks take baths in small pools and then snuggle up on hay beds in their hoop house. Around 3 a.m., they lay their eggs. At their peak, their flock produces 60-dozen eggs weekly, but that number is set to increase.
In December, the Frenches reached their goal on a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, which will allow them to expand their farm infrastructure in order to raise more ducks and produce more eggs. Their new duck barn is under construction, and they’re hoping to continue to have eggs into winter this year. Currently, you can find LTD duck eggs and their handmade goat soap at Heartland’s Farm Direct Market, Mississippi Market, and Seward Co-op, Linden Hills, and Eastside Co-ops.
On average, duck eggs have more fat and protein than chicken eggs, which means duck eggs make magical baked goods. The protein-rich egg whites and rich yolks of duck eggs are known for adding fluffiness and richness to cookies and cakes. Not a baker? Fresh duck eggs make springtime brunch dreams come true. Sauté a few morels (now available at co-ops and markets) and serve them with a fried (or softly scrambled) duck egg.