Eggstremely good ride fuel

The cafes around the Great Taste Trail make a pretty good brunch. Eggs Benny, or plain bacon and eggs are a favourite start to fuel a day’s riding.

As you ride the section between Wai-iti Domain and Belgrove, chances are you’ll be visiting the hens that supplied your breakfast.

Free-range chicken farm Ewing Poultry generously allowed the Great Taste Trail to go along their boundary in Belgrove. Co-owner, and trail supporter, Jill Ewing says they wanted people to see where their eggs come from, and know the hens are happy and well cared for.

Bio-security measures means you can’t go right in, but from the fence line you can get a taste of a day in the life of the brown shaver.

Hens are comedic to stop and watch, as they bathe in the dust, scratch for worms after rain, and perch on anything including the back of a cow. Jill says they are curious animals and may even come over to the fence to check you out.

Of course, there is a serious side to successful free-range egg farming too. The hens need space, good food and an environment in which the birds will thrive.

Ewing’s source their feed grain from within the South Island, mainly from north of Canterbury, and their brands carry the SPCA Blue Tick high animal welfare approval.

In the supermarket, Ewing’s eggs are sold under a few different brands, due to the various marketing partnerships they have, and whether the eggs are free-range or barn.

These include Quail Valley Free Range, Doug's Free Range, Sungold Organic, Sungold Barn, Betty's Barn, and Ewing Barn.

You can find the same free-range eggs at Nelson’s Saturday market, or at the roadside egg shop on State Highway 6 in Hope.

For the DIY rider who doesn’t ‘do brunch’, you’ll find eggs are one of the best snacks to take with you as you head out on the trail. Just hard-boil them first! Full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, they’ll keep you feeling charged-up for ages, and they even come in their own biodegradable packaging.