Recently, we have been getting monsters of eggs. Not all of them but some hens really go above and beyond. Which leads me to believe some of my hens are Type A personalities who just cannot sleep unless they check off the list “lay a double yoker”. or MAYBE those hens love me more ?? I could be overthinking though.
Actually, there are a couple scientific reasons hens lay bigger eggs.
- Hen body weight-bigger hens produce larger eggs;
- Feed-more protein is good;
- Lighting- spring means more light;
- Big boned hens- Feeding starter until 8-10 weeks of age instead of 4-6 weeks;
- Free choice- ensuring they can easily access feed with no barriers;
- Love-hens that love their owner more.
Okay, I made up that last one. But sometimes things are felt and its not always about science.
The pigginess of pigs got the best of me this week when I looked out the window to find four little piglets running around the backyard. The electric fence had shorted out and they were SO happy. But free range pigs are not an option. They had a lovely, big fenced in area but these pigs wanted more. Pigs are extremely smart and can find a weak spot in a fence very quickly. They just lifted it up and walked through. Charlize and I rounded them up with maximum fuss and chaos (as is our way) and I will be picking up a new charger today.
We raise meat hens and the day old chicks will be arriving next week. About fifty Cornish Crosses feeds our big family of eight for the year (3 teens, 1 older daughter, her husband, our grandson, my husband and I ) . We raise 25 in the spring and 25 in the fall. We do not raise any in the summer due to the heat and we are busy with other things.
Like the fore-casted tomato tsunami.
I have WAY over-planted tomatoes and in general most seeds this year. I couldn’t stop myself. Dark, bleak day ? Plant some seeds. Happy sunny day ?Plant some seeds.
I am starting a support group and we are meeting at the seed store.
But honestly its a great problem to have. This week will see me putting up fences and direct sowing potatoes (Yukon, Russet, Fingerlings, and Red), garlic, onion sets (red and yellow), carrots (Chantenay), beets (first crop dark red), peas (snow), lettuce (buttercrunch, black seeded simpson).
Frugality is a virtue….
I really would like to have it. I am really, really resisting buying a new greenhouse. It is $100. But it is not going to be very sturdy for our winds. But is is CUTE. Gosh, so cute. I am not going to do it though. I am going to go with my plan to repurpose some wooden bed frames and make my own.
The other thing that I am re-purposing is a trampoline net. It broke off my son’s trampoline (high winds again) and instead of just throwing it, I used it to cover my coop run and have cut sections to use for my climbing vegetables and fruit in the garden.
Not buying new items for our farm homestead is a goal of mine. There is so much cool stuff out there to be re-purposed. Rules are : if I get something to reuse it has to be for a specific project. Otherwise, it can escalate to hoarding really quick. Don’t ask me how I know.
Lemon Blueberry Scones
So the day I made these puppies, I had approximately 8 children and teens to feed. I should have made a double batch but I was out of butter. The scones were gone in two hours. Sixteen scones just like that and all gave rave reviews. The kids were dying Easter eggs and that can be such hard work (for me ha,ha) Enjoy!
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup whole raw milk (if not heavy cream will do)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
- grated zest of one lemon
- Glaze ( 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, 1/4 whole raw milk, juice of 1/2 lemon and grated zest)
1.For the scones. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2.Mix the heavy cream, egg and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture , and stir until combined. Gently fold in blueberries (or if using frozen I just like to press into the top of each triangle, see next step)
3. Turn out the dough and press it into a rough rectangle about 8 x 12. Trim. Cut the dough into half crosswise then lengthwise to make 8 rectangles. Cut each rectangle on the diagonal to make 2 rectangles for a total of 16.
4.Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15-20 min. Let cool on a rack.
5. For the Glaze: Combine icing sugar, milk, lemon zest, and juice in a bowl and stir till smooth.
6. Placing a baking sheet under the rack, spread glaze over all scones .
If you can get people to wait, let set an hour. That did not happen here.
Happy Easter! On Good Friday I have always made Hot Cross Buns to give to friends and family. It’s just something I started doing a few years ago and it brings so much joy to the season. (And it keeps me from eating mini eggs.)
I use this recipe:
No matter where you are in this journey of family , garden, farm or homestead, challenges are always made easier when we do things with God, whoever you perceive him to be.
Get someone to hold your feed dish or tea cup or wine glass and show them your best.
Love Jenn xx