Category Archives: Chickens

Naturally-Colored Eggs for Easter

photo (8)You can probably imagine my delight when I discovered that Eric’s step-sister is in the business of creating botanical paints. Through her company, Glob Colors, she sells all kinds of eco-friendly art products that are made with fruit, vegetable and herb pigments.

IMG_3611She was gracious enough to share some samples with me so I could play and since Easter is coming up, I decided to start with the egg coloring kit. This weekend, I dyed eggs, naturally!

IMG_3615The first thing I noticed when I mixed the pigments together with water was how flavorful they smelled! There was something pleasantly savory about them! The Easter egg kit comes with three packets of natural pigments – radish, cabbage and annatto.

Image (1)I’ve always loved how brown eggs look when they’re dyed. The colors are so bold and more jewel-toned than white eggs. Turns out, when they’re dyed with these incredibly rich pigments, they’re even more dramatic and beautiful!

photo (9)The kit comes with suggestions for dying the eggs in multiple pigments in order to achieve different colors, like dying the egg in the yellow annatto color and then in the blue cabbage color to get green. I don’t think it works out quite as well with brown eggs and yet I love the double-dipped brown egg colors all the same. I just think they’re lovely.

Clearly, Sprocket did too. And since the dyes are all-natural, I didn’t stress when he wanted to get a taste. So the verdict? I had as much fun dying eggs as I did when I was a kid. I can only imagine what I’ll feel when I break out the paints!

Egg-static for Spring!

eggsThis happened a few weeks ago. I finally found some eggs in the nesting box after a long, long hiatus. Three of my five hens are geriatric and after a very light fall, I thought their egg laying days were over. The two other younger hens have never been super productive. I really just haven’t expected much from this lot lately. So you can imagine my surprise when I started finding multiple eggs in the nesting box. I’ve got more than a dozen eggs on my counter right now! I am, um, egg-static!

boil_an_eggI saw this yesterday on Learn to Preserve’s Facebook page and since it’s obviously egg-laying time again, I thought I’d share it as well. Check out the article from Bon Appetit (here) for the skinny on how to properly boil an egg.

Upcoming Classes! Will you join us?

There are still spots open in my upcoming farm schoolhouse classes! They’re going to be just what you need to gear up for spring – From Lawn to Lunch, Indoor Seed Starting, Space Saver Gardening and Tons of Tomatoes! Grab your spot soon! I can’t wait to garden with you! Let’s grow together!

Produce by the Pound: September

photo (1)More than celebrating the actual poundage of food I harvested last month, I am giving myself a hearty pat on the back for harvesting or cooking anything at all. September hit me like a truck and I consider it a miracle that I actually harvested some food, did some garden cleanup that was way over do and even got some fall and overwintering seeds sown. It feels like a bigger accomplishment than winning a blue ribbon. As much as I love being out in my garden, I am grateful that the rain is watering my seed beds and that my to-do list is wrapping up. I think both my garden and I could use a little time to recharge.

I managed to get a pretty decent newsletter sent out for the month of October. This month, I shared my current favorite kale salad! I’d invite you to check it out. Better yet, sign up and get it for free, delivered to your inbox every month! It’d be my pleasure!

September 2013 – Produce Tally:

Personal Consumption –

Kale – 1 lb 2 oz
Beets/beet greens – 2 oz
Rhubarb – 1 lb 4oz
Radhishes – 1 lb 2 oz
Tomatoes – 9 lbs 8 oz
Carrots – 1 lb 6 oz
Garlic – 8 oz

Eggs – 13 (Molt much, ladies?)

Total produce harvested during the month of September: 15 lbs

Total food bank donations for the year: 9 lbs

Grand Total for 2013 (as of October 1):

Approximately 107 lbs, 2 oz and about 28 dozen eggs

Check out the first post in this series here.

Produce by the Pound: August

kaleAs I calculate my August totals, here is what I’m celebrating:

  • Sharing with neighbors is awesome!
  • My fall kale crop, which I started in late summer, is amazing!
  • One word: tomatoes.
  • Vitamixes are awesome at pureeing the baby beets, stems and greens that I often make into smoothies. Beet smoothies are like raspberry smoothies in disguise.
  • Holy cats, Batman! I’ve almost produced 100 pounds of food this year! I live on the little urban farm that could!

Here is what I’m noticing:

  • I need to step up my squash game. Summer Squash 2014 challenge accepted, wherein I try and produce the poundage of zucchini and cucumbers I know I’m capable of producing.
  • All the single ladies are getting up in their years and it shows in this summer’s egg production. It might be time to add a few new chicks into the mix next spring.

August 2013 – Produce Tally:

Personal Consumption –

Pears – 3.5 lbs (Overhang from my neighbor’s tree! Score!)
Kale – 1 lb 11 oz
Cucumbers – 9 oz
Beets/beet greens – 1 lb
Strawberries – 3 oz
Raspberries – 6 oz
Zucchini –  1/2 lb (Honestly! Not my year!)
Tomatoes – 17 lbs
Carrots – 13 oz

*Culinary lavender – 10 oz

Eggs – 31 (2 dozen plus 7 eggs)

Total produce harvested during the month of August: 26 lbs 4 oz

Total food bank donations for the year: 9 lbs (Just about 10% of what I’ve harvested)

Grand Total for 2013 (as of September 1):

Approximately 92 lbs, 2 oz and just under 27 dozen eggs

Check out the first post in this series here.