Murray’s Farm – Withrow Market Farm Tour

Cover Photo By: Laura Bernman | Beautiful Heritage Eggs

Visit Murray’s Farm at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market, Toronto (Facebook) – Saturdays, 9am-1pm, rain or shine. | Farmers’ Market Toronto


Author: Sarah Elton

Murray’s Farm

There are likely no eggs in Toronto as famous as Murray Thunberg’s eggs. Newspaper articles have been written about them. Chefs buy them for their rich yellow yolks and because they know they come from chickens that have a chance to run about and eat grass and bugs and just be chickens. Celebrated chef Jamie Kennedy has used them in his restaurants–in fact, he was Murray’s first customer when he started his farm. And at Café Fiorentina on the Danforth (re-opening soon at its new location at the top of Logan), you can find a cloud-like quiche that is incredibly delicate and fluffy made from the eggs.

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Murray’s Heritage Eggs off to be graded.

Even if you aren’t a chef, Murray’s eggs are designed to please. Open a carton and you can begin to see why. Murray’s eggs are beautiful eggs–soft whites, warm tans, light blues and even a pale green. Every carton is packed with aesthetics in mind. Because the chickens that lay Murray’s eggs belong to different breeds, they lay different looking eggs from what you find at the supermarket.  When Murray and the women who help him at the egg grading station pack a carton, they make sure the dozen looks its best by artistically placing the different colours.

“People appreciate it. Especially city people, because they’re stylish,” says Murray.

Murray has been farming eggs, along with vegetables such as beans and tomatoes and raising pork too on his farm near Kitchener for the past six years. He left a career in the city to work on a farm after the 2008 financial crisis. He is one of a growing number of people who are turning to farming as a second career. But unlike many city transplants who must struggle to find their way in the countryside when they move, Murray didn’t have to learn how to farm. He’d grown up working hard on his family’s farm in Alberta. It was just a matter of figuring out how to make it work for him today in Ontario.

Withrow Park Farmers Market Heritage Eggs

Photo by Laura Berman

One part of differentiating his business from other farms was to choose to raise the heritage hens that produce those stunning eggs along with heritage breeds of pigs. He’s had so much success that chefs now seek out his products. While they might value the quality of the product, Murray is also conscious of the role he’s playing in the preservation of the genetic material of heritage breeds. By raising old breeds of chickens and pigs, he is keeping alive the gene lines of livestock that not many farmers are raising anymore. And every time you buy a dozen eggs or a pound of pork at the market, you are helping to keep these breeds alive too.

Withrow Park Farmers Market

 

Visit Murray’s Farm at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market, Toronto (Facebook) – Saturdays, 9am-1pm, rain or shine. | Farmers’ Market Toronto


Murray’s Farm – Withrow Market Farm Tour

Author: Sarah Elton

Photos courtesy: Murray’s Farm Gallery

 

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