A Week in Photos from the Garden Bloggers Conference February 25th - 27th

February 28, 2015

-photo credit: Julie of Garden Delights-

This past week I spent a few days in Atlanta at the Garden Bloggers Conference. I was so honored to have been asked to speak at the conference, sharing a stage with the likes of Nate Berkus, Bunny Williams,  Sara Bendrick from DIY Network's I Hate my Yard, Rochelle Greayer author of Cultivating Garden Style and Brett Vankoski, the founder of the wine enterprise Ninety+ Cellars (yes there was wine served during that segment!) along with so many other great speakers and bloggers. 

Sushi Ball Treats for the Chickens

February 23, 2015

Several years ago, I took a sushi-making class at the Culinary Institute of Virginia. It was a lot of fun, and since we love sushi, I do make it occasionally at home when I have the time. So as I was going through the pantry the other day and saw all my sushi stuff tucked into a back corner - the nori sheets, vinegar, rice, etc. - a light bulb went off and I realized that the chickens would REALLY love a sushi treat. And so ... this happened.

A Week in Farm Photos - February 15th - 21st

February 21, 2015

I know its not right to rejoice about snow when so much of the country (including my Mom in Massachusetts) is literally buried under several feet of the white stuff, but I really, really love snow - and we don't get near enough of it here in Virginia, so when we got about four inches earlier this week AND it stuck around for awhile, we were thrilled! The animals less so, but everyone rallied and did just fine even though we also experienced a low of 5 degrees - a record in the 12 years we've been living here. So enjoy our meager snowfall!

Are my Chicken Eggs Fertile?

February 19, 2015

One of the most common questions I get asked is "How do I know if my chicken eggs are fertile?" The short answer is, if you have a rooster, then all of the eggs you collect from your chickens are most likely fertile.

The Risk of Avian Flu to Backyard Chicken Flocks

February 16, 2015

-photo courtesy of USDA APHIS-
Whether you keep chickens or not, you've probably been hearing the news about the Avian Flu (avian influenza) which has been found primarily in chicken flocks in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest (as of the end of 2015). However, unless you live in that proximity, maybe you haven't been all that concerned about it. But the bad news is, it's spread by wild birds and it IS spreading. 

A Week in Farm Photos - February 8th to 14th

February 14, 2015

This week brought us our first crocuses of spring, our second snowfall, and ended on an upnote with a Valentine dinner featuring lobsters shipped in from Maine with a batch of decadent homemade baked donuts for dessert. Oh, and the animals are all fine too! Enjoy this peek at our week!

How Many Eggs Should I Eat a Day? A Week?

February 11, 2015

I eat lots of eggs. I mean lots. Naming my blog Fresh Eggs Daily could NOT be more apropos. I don't really keep track, but I would guess that I single-handedly eat probably at least a dozen and a half to two dozen eggs a week, easily, despite current federal dietary guidelines to limit egg consumption to one a day, or just seven a week. So how many eggs should you eat a in a day or a week? Should I worry about my cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease? Not necessarily.

Grow an Herbal First Aid Kit for Your Chickens

February 9, 2015

Growing herbs is easy and rewarding. Most aren't very picky about where you plant them, what you plant them in, or even if you water them very often. They thrive in sandy soil, full sun and basically like to just be left alone. Pruning or taking cuttings actually helps them grow, so you can help yourself to what you need all summer right from the garden. Herbs help to flavor your cooking, of course, but most herbs also have some powerful health benefits for both humans and animals. I grow an Herbal First Aid Kit Garden for our chickens each spring and then use the herbs both fresh and dried to keep my flock happy and healthy.

A Week in Farm Photos February 1st - 7th

February 7, 2015

Signs of spring are arriving here in Virginia this week and I'm starting to get excited about planning this year's hatch schedule and gardens. It's still cold enough for gloves and a winter coat but the days are warm and sunny and everything is starting to come back to life after the winter. Egg production has increased and I've got my first broody hen of the season. Here's a peek at our week.

Permaculture Chickens Film Featuring Joel Salatin

February 6, 2015

I'm very excited to share with you a new project I'm involved with called Permaculture Chickens. It's an educational film about raising chickens in accordance with nature from hatching to the plate (and everything in between) and features the indomitable Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm, among other influential voices in the chicken keeping community.

Valentine Heart Seed Treats for Your Chickens

February 4, 2015

Valentine's Day is right around the corner which of course prompted me to come up with a chicken-friendly heart-shaped treat for our flock. They were a big hit with all of our chickens and so easy to make!

20 Heat-Hardy Chicken Breeds

February 2, 2015

Chickens are far more likely to suffer heat exhaustion than problems relating to the cold, so if you live in a warm climate, choosing breeds of chickens that are heat-hardy is a good idea. If you live in a place that experiences both extremes - bitterly cold winters as well as hot, humid summers - you should still consider the heat-hardy breeds, since nearly all chickens are cold-hardy to a great extent.
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