This past weekend, I had a fantastic time presenting at the Country Living Fair in Ohio. I shared my love of keeping bees, chickens and gardening with the audience. I also got to meet many of you in person, signing books. For those of you that couldn’t make it, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that I discovered at the fair. I find these so inspiring and I hope you do too. I have loved the magazine for years and the best way to describe attending one, is that the pages of the magazine come to life.
This week I’m traveling on the road again for the next two weeks. I’m headed to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and then off to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. Before we left, I received a very special package from one of my favorite companies, Fluffy Layers. The owner, Tara, is so thoughtful and a Mom like me. She sent me something that she knew Maddy and I would just adore, these matching Mommy and Me Farm Aprons.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought this week to our beautiful country. The anniversary of September 11th was earlier this week. I was saddened to see so many of those images and stories that had been burnt into my mind resurface. There is so much palpable pain that still lingers on in the lives of so many. I also remember the one positive thing that came from the ashes, the melting pot we call America had never been so united. We came together as brothers and sisters. We showed a solid front and for a while, it seemed as though the good in everyone came shining through. Unfortunately, it was fleeting. Fifteen years later, I think to myself, how did we become so divided on so many issues these days? Like usual, this week, I looked to the flock for answers. I wanted them to share their wisdom.
Over the weekend, my lucky chickens got a package in the mail from our friends over at Chubby Mealworms. Chubby Mealworms decided to throw the girls a coop warming party! I could not believe how many wonderful things were inside this box. I was especially excited for my flock to try three new product that they had never had before. I could not wait to see their reactions.
Quietly this spring we did something crazy. We found a lovely house that spoke to us on the way to one of our favorite beaches. It was up for sale and with a huge leap of faith we made an offer and it was accepted. We hadn’t even sold our original house, and yes- I admit- I did have a few moments of what did we do? because I loved the current house that I was in so much. I also realized that I was going to have to move bees and moving chickens would be even more challenging because I wanted to take the coop with me. I thought that I would share the process with you and let you know for those of you who might be moving, you might just be able to take your flock and coop with you. Here’s what we did.
One of the biggest questions that I get when I am traveling around the country meeting fellow chicken keepers like you is, how do I keep my flock healthy and the eggs a-plenty? It’s actually not complicated and it starts by providing your flock with a healthy, well-balanced diet. We are at our best when we eat healthy and take care of ourselves. Chickens are no different. This is why chicken nutrition matters.
Earlier this spring, I was invited by P. Allen Smith to attend the Garden 2 Grow retreat at his Moss Mountain Farm located in the beautiful hills just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. One of the highlights of the retreat was the invitation by P. Allen himself to tour Poultryville. A poultry enthusiast since 10 years of age, P. Allen Smith has made it one of his life’s missions to preserve rare and threatened poultry breeds. He created the Heritage Poultry Conservancy with that in mind and is incredibly dedicated to this cause. His knowledge of poultry is amazing and his passion is palpable.
Have you thought about gardening with chickens but just don’t know where to start? Today, I’m sharing with you some terrific tips to get started and also a fun DIY gardening project to recycle your flock’s eggshells into seedling starters.
Sometimes I compare my backyard to an oasis. My kids spend hours playing in the grass and the garden provides fresh vegetables for my family. It’s a place where I go to clear my head, a place where all my worries drift away. Because my family and I love my lawn and garden so much, I have given a lot of thought into keeping the backyard healthy. One of the best helpers I’ve found? My flock of backyard chickens – and, in turn, the feed they eat. I feed my chickens in the morning, let them free-range and forage throughout the day and then bring them into their coop at night. Not only does this keep the chickens happy, it also helps my plants keep growing! The chickens eat insects, aerate the lawn, love eating weeds and even produce fertilizer!
Ready to add chickens to your backyard? Here are four steps to get started!
People often ask me how I have clean chicken eggs when I harvest them. Today I’m sharing my secrets to picking clean eggs from the nesting boxes. As the egg is laid, the hen puts a protective clear wet coating on the egg called a bloom. The bloom seals the outer shell of the egg keeping air out, along with other harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. When eggs are washed the bloom is removed. That ultimately decreases the “shelf-life” of the egg. Harvesting clean eggs, allows you to keep the bloom intact and there is no need to wash your eggs. Here are my secrets to clean chicken eggs naturally.
I turned everything off today. The television, social media and unplugged. I decided to take the kids and get a breath of fresh air and visit the neighbors. With eggs in tow, we decided to slow down and visit with the neighbors. We decided to spread joy.