Fresh Eggs Daily: 2018 Highlights

December 31, 2018


2018 has been such an amazing year! Each year Fresh Eggs Daily continues to grow and become better - and continues to surpass even my wildest dreams!

I have always been a bit of an overachiever and always pushed myself and aimed high, but even I could never have predicted this path my life would take.


Fresh Eggs Daily has afforded me the opportunity to travel to places I never otherwise would have gone, and meet people I otherwise would never have the chance to meet. And I'm having so much fun!

So, I need to first of all thank all of  YOU - my readers who have supported and encouraged me every step of the way since the beginning, back in 2011.

I also am indebted to my wonderfully generous sponsors who make it possible for me to do what I do year after year! Without their support, I would be out in the "real world" working for a living. So thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I really mean that.


Highlights of 2018


So on this, the last day of the year, I would like to share with everyone who has made Fresh Eggs Daily not only possible, but the success that it is, a look back at the past twelve months.


January

The year started off with a brand new book! Right after the first of the year, my kids book Let's Hatch Chicks! was released.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of writing my first kids book and what made it even more special was having the opportunity later in the year to meet the book's illustrator, French artist Perry Taylor, in person while he was on holiday here in the US.

We collaborated on the book via email and through my editor, so to be able to say thank you to Perry face to face was such a treat as we signed books at local Maine bookstores.


February

The excitement of my book being released was tempered just a bit in February. The second month of the year marked the passing of our flock matriarch, Charlotte.  She was one of the chickens from our very first batch of chicks back in 2009 and had just celebrated her ninth birthday.

While her passing wasn't a surprise - I had noticed her slowing down considerably that last winter - it was still a heartbreak. She was a sweet, beautiful black Australorp.  A good layer and great Mom to several batches of chicks over the years.

As a tribute, I buried her under a stand of pine trees by the far end of our chicken run and planted nine black tulip bulbs on her grave.

I hope they bloom this coming spring and for years in the future to honor one of my favorite girls.


March

In March, I traveled to Connecticut to the  My Pet Chicken headquarters! I've been working with My Pet Chicken for years now and it was so great to finally get to meet Traci, Forest and the rest of the crew - and even get to watch behind the scenes of a photo shoot for their website.


April

In April, I was in Connecticut again for a private tour of the famed Arethusa Farm. I was joined by a handful of "super fans", the lucky winners of a special giveaway we had held.

The farm which raises award-winning dairy cows is owned by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, formerly executives at Manolo Blahnik.  I've never seen such a gorgeously clean cow barn, eaten such delicious cheese and ice cream, nor seen such a unique chicken area.

The only thing that could have made the tour better was to run into Sarah Jessica Parker there. Apparently she drives up from Manhattan and pops in with her kids on occasion (fans of Sex & the City will get the connection right off the bat!). But anyway, better luck next time?

After the tour, we had lunch at Arethusa al Tavolo, the "dairy farm to table" restaurant that sources their milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter and cheese from their sister farm.

It was to-die-for and I'm definitely up for a return visit one day!


May

May saw the launch of my new product line of natural poultry feed supplements. I had been feverishly working behind the scenes to develop the Fresh Eggs Daily® line which includes Organic Coop Kelp and Brewers Yeast with Garlic Powder.

Currently, it's exclusively available through Amazon, Meyer Hatchery, and several Blue Seal feed stores, however I hope to add several more products to the line in 2019 and also expand the distribution.

It really was exhilarating to see my "brand" name on such great quality products that I personally use in my girls' daily feed.


June

The following month, I was honored to be invited to Book Expo to do a book signing. Book Expo, held at the Javits Center in NYC, is THE place for authors!

It's the ultimate book trade show and industry professionals, authors, librarians and publishing houses congregate to get a peek at new releases, attend seminars and network.


I had a wonderful time signing my kids book and wandering around meeting so many great people in the industry, but also made sure I got in line to meet some of my favorite authors.

To chat with them  for a moment and get a personally signed book was this avid reader's dream!

I am happy to say that Al Roker, Mary Higgins Clark, Elin Hilderbrand, Brad Meltzer, Jan Brett, Nicholas Sparks and Martina McBride are all just as nice as you would imagine.




Also in June, my husband and I dined at The Lost Kitchen. For those of you who aren't familiar with Erin French's hidden gem in the woods of Maine, the seasonal farm to table gets so many reservation requests each spring, they have had to resort to a "lottery" system and hand pick postcards that potential diners mail in.


By some stroke of luck and good fortune, our postcard was drawn and we enjoyed the most amazing dinner of our lives. We can only hope that we have the chance to eat there again - it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Erin is a gifted chef... who loves her chickens clearly! It was so fun to have her sign my copy of her cookbook.



July

The following month, my first book, Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens...Naturally was mentioned on the View during the Summer Reading Picks segment.

Sunny Hostin, the legal adviser on the show, raises chickens and follows me on Instagram! She chose my book as one of her favorite summer books.

It was a complete surprise, I had no idea she was going to do that, and everyone in the audience was also surprised with a copy of my book to take home with them!


Also that month, Coop Confetti® organic nesting herbs  were relaunched as a co-branded product with Scratch & Peck Feeds.

Earlier this year, I made the hard decision to move the packaging and shipping out of my house (finally!) and instead have Scratch & Peck help with distribution. Now Coop Confetti is available through their website, Amazon.com and at select retailers across the country!

Even more exciting! Coop Confetti® was named Best in Show by Country Living magazine in the Pet Awards category!


August

August found me in New York City for a professional blogger's conference. It was so inspiring to listen as Tiffani Thiessen, Maria Menounos and Jessica Alba all spoke about their careers and finding success beyond the large (and small) screen.

All are successful authors and business women and it was so neat to be in the audience to hear as they talked about their experiences.





Later that month, I flew out to California. For someone who really hates to get on an airplane, it seems I've been to California quite a few times lately! Anyway, this time I was appearing on several morning news programs promoting my next book that was coming out later in the fall.

Since it was California and I had reason to celebrate, I decided that putting the "stunt" chickens who met me out there on the West Coast in tutus was entirely appropriate! While on the set, I met Maury Sterling, star of the Showtime series Homeland.

While he was super friendly and professed to me to want chickens - and pretended to be utterly fascinated by them, I'm pretty sure that he is still talking at Hollywood cocktail parties about the "crazy lady who put tutus on a bunch of chickens"!





September

In September, my kids book Let's Hatch Chicks was long listed for the prestigious AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Childrens Science Books! My book ended up not winning ,but this was definitely a situation where it was an honor just to be nominated.

That same month I headed to Ohio where I was invited to tour Meyer Hatchery. Like my Metzer Farm duck farm tour last year, being in a huge room surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of peeping baby chicks really tested my resilience and will power!


It was so nice to get to meet Ursula and Cheryl in person after having worked with them for the last few years "virtually" and also to meet Karen Meyer, the founder of the hatchery!

But I have to say that the highlight of the month, and maybe of my entire year, was getting to meet the Beekman Boys! That was definitely an item I crossed off my bucket list!

I attended their Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs and was so thrilled to meet the boys in person - finally! This was a total fan girl moment for me!


As an aside, I later heard that Sarah Jessica Parker was at the Festival later the same day. Drat! My second time almost crossing paths with her!

October

In October, my second book of the year 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks was released. I had the most fun yet writing this book! I hope you all love it too.


November

In November I was excited for Fresh Eggs Daily to become an official underwriter of NPR National Public Radio. A longtime lover of classical music, I often listen to the local Maine Public station, so instead of donating on an individual basis, I reached out to the station about becoming a corporate underwriter.

So for the coming year, if you listen, you just might hear a message that the preceding program was brought to you by Fresh Eggs Daily! I thought it was time for me to give back some of the good fortune that I've been given and what better cause than preserving and supporting classic music.



December

This year is ending with a bang! In the final days of the year, I signed the contract from my editor at Quarto Press for a new book deal, so look for book #6 on shelves in March 2020!

In December, I also shot the pilot for a brand new TV show called Welcome to My Farm.  For the last two years, I have hosted a 30-minute "chicken lifestyle" show on the CW here in Maine. Sadly the TV station was bought over the summer, so that show is coming to an end.

But I'm super excited about the new show! I've learned so much over the last two years about television, and am ready to move on.

I'll be sharing more details soon about when and where the new show will be airing here in Maine, but I can tell you that it will be available on my new digital television channel FreshEggsDaily.TV and also on Roku, Amazon Fire, and other digital platforms. So I'll be keeping busy for sure!



And so that was my year in an eggshell. In between all the travel, I also managed to write a dozen or so freelance articles, a regular chicken advice column for Chickens magazine, well over a hundred blog posts and who knows how many Facebook posts, and also share hundreds and hundreds of photos on Instagram.

I planted gardens, shiplapped my chicken coop, and spent time exploring Maine, the state we now call home.

I look forward to continuing to share good, solid, accurate chicken keeping advice and tips to help you keep your girls happy and healthy into the new year on this website and on social media, and I will continue to work with the best companies in the industry to promote their products.

So I hope you'll stick around and share my journey with me.

Happy New Year!


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