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My new office

After 4 years, I have officially closed the doors on my organizing business.  As of May 31, I will be devoting 100% of my time to homesteading and running an educational farm in Peaceful Valley.  In the weeks since I made this decision, I have had many days where I think, “oh f**k, what did I do?”  My waking (and sleeping) hours are peppered with “what ifs” but today… 

Today was perfect. 
A complete stranger, who read about what I’m doing, told me that I was doing the right thing, following my heart. Farm Camp registrations are rolling in. People are starting to say “I heard about your program…”
My beautiful, heirloom seedlings are growing like…well…weeds (expect a plant sale, soon).  
I found, connected with and hired the most amazing assistant!  I feel like, together, we can do some pretty cool things! 

Today, 
I sat at my new desk (where I interviewed my new assistant!)

in my roomy, new office

and had lunch with my co-worker, Fred (someone should have a talk with him…B.O. big time!)

The chicks dig it here!

And these guys are…real turkeys

but, the vending machine

is close to my desk
And I am surrounded by like minded people

so, today, I feel lucky, confident that I have jumped off and will land, safely.

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A word about eggs

Lately I have had some really interesting questions about chickens and eggs. Some from kids, who might be expected to not know the facts, but even from adults. It just goes to show, again, how far away from our food sources we have become.  so, a few answers for those who may not know…

1. What color is the egg inside this green shell? How about this brown one?
The color of an egg shell has nothing to do with anything, except the breed of chicken that laid it. Eggs come in all colors (look at my variety, here), but no matter what it looks like on the outside, the inside does not vary in looks or quality. Brown eggs are not better for you because they are brown.

2. How are your eggs different from the ones at the store?
If you have only ever had commercially farmed eggs, you don’t know what an egg is really like! USDA certified farmers have 30 days from the day an egg is laid to get it to stores. Then, the stores have another 30 days to sell the eggs.  After 2 weeks, the quality and texture have noticeably declined.  The whites will be thinner and runny, the yolks will get more pale and loose.  The USDA recommends a maximum of 5 weeks in your refrigerator before you discard your eggs. What does this all boil down to? On April 1, you could be eating an egg that was laid on Christmas. (stats from Wikipedia). Now really, do you want to eat an egg that is that old?
Currently, my hens lay 15-20 eggs a day, so we always have the freshest eggs available.
A fresh egg will stand at attention when you crack it into a bowl. If the hen is well fed with lots of greens and bugs, the yolk will be a golden orange. And the texture, when cooked, is rich and creamy.  The taste is nothing like commercial eggs!
 
3. Can hens have babies without a rooster?
Um, no.

4. Why do you keep a rooster?
So that we can have babies!

5. Can I take home one of the eggs and hatch it?
Yes, I do it all the time! Of course, this child was proposing sitting on it, which doesn’t work so well. 🙂  With proper incubation (in a humid space with temps between 99.5 and 102) a fertile egg will hatch in 21 days. If you buy a fertile egg from the refrigerated section at the store, it will not, because the egg is too old and has been chilled. If you want to hatch eggs, contact me, I always have plenty available!

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I have never….

been so tired, busy or excited!  There have been a million things going on, many of which I need to write about, but…time…tick-tock! For now, a photo montage so that I will remember my topics, then I can give each one the attention it deserves later.

There’s been a whole lot of this sort of activity going on here…

 TURKEYS!

 A FLOCK OF BLACK COPPER MARANS

 ITTY BITTY GOATS

 A CHERRY ON THE TREE PLANTED IN MARCH

 THE GREENHOUSE IS POPPING

 THE HENS ARE EGGING

 I AWAKE TO THIS SCENE MOST MORNINGS

I CLEARLY FAILED TO GET THE CAT FIXED EARLY ENOUGH

 I HEART FARM CAMP

 AND FRED HEARTS ME!