Producers who rely on honesty boxes for farm gate sales are all too often left out of pocket when would-be customers walk off with their eggs or other produce without paying. It just doesn’t work.
The machine offered farmers some security against opportunist thieves who took advantage of honesty boxes. It can be tailored to suit any size of operation and it can vend anything from eggs to vegetables and potatoes.
In the US, Glaum Egg Ranch in Santa Cruz County, California was one of the earliest adopters, dispensing eggs with a side of entertainment. When customers purchase eggs, they’re also treated to an animatronic show complete with singing and dancing chickens.
New York decided to implement a vending machine program that was somewhere between practical and publicity stunt.
Machines at rest stops are now selling items ranging from Red Jacket Orchard juices from Geneva, New York to Finger Lakes Fresh apple slices from Groton and Sweet Sam’s cookies from the Bronx.
New York has installed 10 machines throughout the state and hopes to install more if they prove popular. This marks the first time local-fare vending machines have been sponsored by the public sector.
Vending machines have a number of advantages over brick-and-mortar stores or even farmers markets. There’s no need to pay an employee to run the register and, unlike a weekly market, the machines can run 24/7 in many locations at once.
The vending machines also boost farm income and offer a bit of brand recognition. Visitors who see a farm’s name in a vending machine might be moved to take part in a farm tour or seek out their products elsewhere.
Interesting Facts about Eggs
- Harriet, a hen from the United Kingdom, laid the world’s largest egg in 2010. Her astonishing egg measured 9.1 inches in diameter.
- It takes a hen between 24 and 26 hours to develop an egg. Once she lays an egg, the development of a new egg normally starts within 30 minutes.
- Chickens don’t produce one egg at a time. Instead, producing hens normally have several eggs in various stages of development.
- There are several reasons why commonly we eat chicken eggs instead of duck or turkey eggs. Chickens lay more eggs, they need less nesting space, and they don’t have the strong mothering instincts of turkeys and ducks, which makes egg collection easier.
- White eggs are more popular among commercial producers because chickens that lay white eggs tend to be smaller than their brown egg-laying cousins, therefore needing less food to produce the same number of eggs.