What a glorious week! Gorgeous crisp fall weather enjoyed by all! Enjoy this peek at our farm.
Fresh eggs make everything better, including pancakes. My favorite pancake recipe uses vanilla to give the pancakes a yummy, comforting flavor. They're so easy to make ... why not whip up a batch this weekend?
I hate to throw anything away, even if it's an old broken fence board. I love this DIY project because you can make the sign any size you want to, paint it any color you want...depending on what you have available. And it makes a really cute sign for your coop or to advertise your fresh eggs.
Life can be stressful and move way too fast at times. Sleep can be elusive. It's hard to turn off your thoughts at night when you have ideas for new blog posts swirling around in your head, baby chicks hatching, or you are trying to juggle, work, home, family and animals. Enter my Lavender Vanilla Sleep Salve to help calm your thoughts and allow you to drift of into a peaceful sleep.
I love fall! The cool crispness in the air in the early morning insists I put on socks and a sweater to do chores, and makes that cup of hot coffee taste even better, but warms by afternoon to a glorious sunny day to enjoy outside with our animals. I'm busily harvesting herbs to dry for winter, and we're picking the last of our berries, while our fall crops are starting to sprout in the garden. I've got the itch to bake again and cook simple comfort food for dinner. Evenings when the chill returns, a cup of hot tea hits the spot as I curl up with my knitting under a soft throw (and we can actually sleep with the windows open and the air conditioning off) What's not to love!
We were happy to enjoy a quiet week at home this past week with our animals, fixing some fencing and just relaxing. Autumn is in full force, but this year I'm really going to try to keep my garden going as long as I can. Some fall crops of beets, chard, kale, broccoli and more are just sprouting and we still have basil, parsley, mint and dill in the herb garden. Come take a peek at fall in Virginia.
Egg production naturally slows as days get shorter. Of course you can light your coop to artificially stimulate your hens to lay, but I like to give our girls a much-needed rest in the winter. Recently I shared instructions on freezing eggs to use through the lean months, but here's another simple way to preserve fresh eggs, for a year or longer.
Fresh herbs play an important role in both my home cooking and chicken keeping, so I plant a large herb garden each spring - and harvest herbs by the handful as I need them all through the summer. I also dry any excess to use through the winter, but with temperatures hovering in the 40s at night lately, it's about time to bring some of the plants indoors so I have fresh herbs through the winter as well.
All chickens really need to be perfectly fine and lay you eggs is good-quality layer feed and fresh water. But the addition of just a few inexpensive, natural supplements can really boost your flock's overall health and result in better egg production.
For someone (me) who doesn't leave our property much, except to buy groceries and chicken feed, and up until now has lived a pretty private life on our farm, this past week was really a whirlwind. I returned from P. Allen Smith's farm on Sunday, appeared on a local television show on Tuesday and then Friday spent the day posing for my first professional photo shoot. Add to that signing a whole bunch of books and getting them mailed out, I barely stopped to catch my breath.
It was all so much fun, but I'm looking forward to a far slower-paced next week - and some quality time with my husband and our animals. It's fun to be a jet-setter, but there IS no place like home. Oh and did I mention our spring Marans have laid their first eggs! Sweeet!
I was recently contacted and asked to film a segment for The Hampton Roads Show about backyard chickens. (Think the Today Show with a local community flair - sort of a lifestyle, sports, celebrity, fashion trend show with recipes from local area restaurants thrown in) Naturally, I immediately agreed and extended an invitation to come out to our farm to do the taping.