OSAGE — Deb and Keith Wolf quickly saw an uptick in sales of fresh eggs from their rural Osage home after a recall of tainted eggs that has spanned the nation.
“I’d say we’ve noticed it over about a four-, five day-period,” said Wolf, who began selling fresh eggs about two years ago.
“We’re just a hobby farm — we normally sell four dozen or so a day — and now it’s eight dozen. For us, that’s a lot,” Wolf said.
Small producers may be benefitting from the recall of almost a half a billion eggs from two farms in Wright County since mid-August.
Salmonella from the tainted eggs have sickened more than 1,000 people, health officials reported Tuesday.
Keith Hansen of Hampton agreed, saying his wife, Barb’s, egg business has also changed.
“She told me that at (this week’s farmer’s) market she had some new customers,” he said.
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Wolf said she is not sure the increase will last.
“It was up the past few days — and today, I haven’t had one customer,” she said.
Still, eating fresh holds a growing interest among consumers, she said, with or without recalls.
“Once you like them (fresh eggs) — and they do taste different than what you are probably used to with store-bought — people want to keep having them. And, they’re local,” she said.
She has standing orders for customers from across North Iowa.
The Wolfs only intended the egg operation to be small. They have between 150 and 250 laying hens, depending on when older fowl are culled from the flock and replaced. They have had customers as far away as Missouri and Minnesota.
“I had a semi driver pull over and buy every egg we had one Friday night,” said Wolf with a chuckle. “He was just so tickled to get fresh eggs.”