Local eggs are available year round, but are particularly easy to find in spring and summer. You’ll find them in farm stands, farmers’ markets, specialty shops, and even some supermarkets.

Maybe your neighbors will even be selling fresh eggs! It’s perfectly legal for hobbyists and homesteaders to sell their eggs in Maine, as long as they have fewer than 3000 birds and abide by certain safety practices and other rules, such as not labeling their eggs as “Grade A certified” or such terms.

Locally raised eggs tend to be fresher than those you find in the supermarket or big box store, since the commercial eggs have to be processed and trucked in. Therefore local eggs likely will stay fresh longer. Many farms and hobbyists who keep chickens also treat them quite differently than birds in commercial egg factories. Farm and backyard chickens often spend quite a lot of time outdoors, and eat a diverse diet that may include things like kitchen scraps, garden trimmings, and insects. This diverse diet leads to eggs that tend to have a much more vibrant color to the yolk, and many people claim such eggs taste much better as well.

When shopping for eggs, keep in mind that there may be significant variation in price. If eating organic is important for your family, then seek out certified organic eggs, and expect to pay a premium. But it pays to ask the keeper of the chickens what their practices are. Perhaps they keep their birds on pasture, and feed them organically, but aren’t certified organic. Perhaps they feed a commercial diet, but still allow their birds to roam a yard, and the humane treatment is worth paying a bit more for you. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, there are options for commercially raised (confined) chicken eggs from Maine producers, too.

Also, don’t overlook other types of eggs! Duck eggs are particularly popular with bakers for their richness. (They are also considerably larger than chicken eggs, so baking with duck eggs requires recipe adaptation!) You’ll even find Maine quail, peahen, and even emu eggs available as specialty items!