Forge Creek Free Range
Peter Bouchier has a new egg supplier, Forge Creek Free Range. Recently awarded Best In Class Nationally for their Free Range Eggs, Forge Creek Free Range are a family business in East Gippsland and it gives us great pleasure to share their story with our customers.
Peter and Deb run the farm, along with their two children, Maya (8yrs) and Lucas (5yrs). When they bought the property at Forge Creek in 2010 it had been set up for cattle, however, being a relatively small property at 75 acres, Peter and Deb felt the land could serve a better purpose and after deliberating over their options, chickens proved to be a definitive winner. The added bonus with free range eggs is the regenerative benefits to the pastures and this was the deciding factor for Peter and Deb. The family started with forty hens late in 2014 and received 600 more in January 2015 and they haven’t looked back.
Having never owned chickens before that original forty, it was a big leap of faith for Peter and Deb. However, they quickly became involved in the vibrant food sector of East Gippsland that is thriving with people and wonderful farmers who are passionate about high quality produce and where it comes from.
Deb describes the Forge Creek Free Range hens as very social little creatures making them great fun to be with on the farm.
“We are very passionate about (and get great satisfaction from), providing our community with ethically raised quality produce. The continual feedback we receive regarding the freshness and quality of our eggs is always very humbling!” says Deb; “We are extremely lucky to have found not only a great fit for our farm with the hens, but this business also means we get to spend a lot of time together as a family.”
The farm is also home to a number of alpacas. This year, Peter and Deb decided to have the wool spun and their alpaca wool balls are now available for purchase on the farm too!
So what makes these eggs so good? Well, the eggs are produced by hens who have grass underfoot every day, and magnificent old Red Gums standing tall above them. Their “mobile homes” are regularly moved onto select pasture, which looks after the land, and their wellbeing. Their diet of insects and bugs, grasses and seeds which they forage for in the paddocks is supplemented with a vegetarian crushed grain.
East Gippsland also provides a beautifully temperate climate which Peter and Deb believe contributes to ‘the girls’’ general wellbeing.
The quality of the produce is also checked multiple times before the cartons are sent out to suppliers. This is because majority of their daily process is done manually including collection, grading, stamping and packaging.
The Forge Creek Free Range eggs are truly special. Having won back to back Gold Medals at the RASV Australian Food Awards (previously named the Fine Food Awards) in 2015 and 2016, they also received the Best in Class trophy for Free Range Eggs – nationally! Which is quite an achievement. Here is what the judges had to say about the produce:
“..Perfect shell and placement of air pocket. Well-structured albumen and yolk, low white to yolk ratio. Complex aroma and flavour, great breakfast egg with rich viscous yolk…”
“…Once again we picked Forge Creek as medal winners in a blind tasting of egg entries. These Gippsland farmers pay attention to detail, have an extremely low density in flock to roaming space and natural diet. The eggs show no structural faults, excellent protein structure, no stress, optimum flavour. They are an ideal breakfast egg but offer versatility for a wide range of cooking and baking applications…”
Peter (Bouchier) personally recommends the beautiful eggs from Forge Creek Free Range. We encourage all our customers to try the eggs and taste the difference! We wish Peter, Deb and family all the best for another fantastic year on the farm.