The Yoder family and Hillside Organics farm have been a fixture of Rochester Farmers Markets for the past decade. They are known for baked goods and egg noodles year round, heirloom tomatoes in the summer, farm fresh eggs and maple syrup.
We visited the farm in Utica, MN on a sunny April morning, when most of the family was busy with laundry and other house chores. Garden plants had just been started in the two greenhouses, and, with luck, the wood-fired hot water heating system was about to be turned off for the season.
This time of year, we were most interested to see the chickens, a major part of the family business. The family keeps a flock of 2,200 laying hens, who lay just under 2,000 eggs each day.
While most of the eggs are sold to a distributor, the family sets aside enough to sell at market each week. The egg whites are used to make angel food cake, and the yolks go into the noodles.
On our way out, Mrs. Yoder pointed out the black cap raspberry patch and grassy yard where the chickens explore in the warmer months. Off in the distance, the family was about finished tapping maple trees for this year's batch of maple syrup.