The Wetzel side
Maybe egg farming and delivery is in our blood. Mark's great grandfather (Henry Charles Wetzel, Sr.) was a farmer and sold eggs! He also had dairy cows and delivered milk/eggs. Recently, Mark's great aunt Louise sent us the egg scale that he used on his farm. What a great piece of family history!
|Mark's great grandfather's egg scale that he used on his farm from 1935-1955|
Here is a picture of Louise and Butch (Mark's grandfather aka Henry Charles Wetzel, Jr.) on the farm as kids. They say they remember their father sitting at the kitchen table with fine sandpaper, cleaning the straw and "chicken dirt" off of each egg. Then he would place them in the egg cartons and deliver them to his customers.
Henry Charles Wetzel Sr. (Mark's great grandfather) bought a farm in 1935 and married in 1943. They left the farm in 1955. Before becoming a farmer, Henry Wetzel Sr. was a professional golfer. We even have a trophy of his that has been made into a lamp!
|Trophy says "Henry Wetzel North British Annual Trophy Won By"|
FYI: Henry Charles Wetzel Jr. (aka Butch) was a golf course superintendent for over 38 years. Mark's dad (Henry Charles Wetzel III) has a degree in plant pathology and specializes in turf pathology (as in golf course diseases). So, it seems that farming and golfing run in the Wetzel blood! What an interesting combination...
Mark's maternal grandfather was a milk delivery man!
The Klenda side
My maiden name is Klenda. I grew up in Kansas on a small diversified farm. Our family had a farrow to finish hog operation and raise beef cattle. My dad also grows wheat and other grains.
My great uncle Paul and great aunt Dorthy (on my mom's side), had an industrial chicken egg operation. They did not live far from us. As a child, I remember going to their egg barn, sitting down at a desk, pushing a button, and a little conveyor belt would just bring all the eggs down to the desk area. Then, you worked like crazy to pick up all the eggs and put them into big flats. We loved finding the squishy eggs that had not developed a hard shell.
After I left home and went to college, my Aunt Julie (on my dad's side) started a free range chicken egg business. She also lives really close to my parents. Every summer, I remember going to her house for chicken butchering day. It was truly a family affair and everyone had their job (scalding, picking, eviscerating, etc...). In the summer of 2015, I took Mark and Joshua to visit her when we were trying to determine if an egg business might be a good fit for Mark.
|Aunt Julie's free range egg farm|
Aunt Julie's egg business is truly free range, there are no fences anywhere. There are shelters for the chickens to go into at night but other than that, they just roam all over their farm. I think the name of her egg business is Cackleberry Eggs.
Mark's egg business will probably not get to the scale of these other egg businesses. BUT we are only in phase 1 of the business. We plan on growing and adding more egg laying chickens/ducks this fall and next year (phase 2 and phase 3 expansions).
I have relatives with egg businesses on both ends of the spectrum...industrial and free range. Henry's grandfather used to farm and sell eggs/milk. Does everyone else have egg farming in their families?
Have an Eggcellent Day!