August 20, 2015
This past weekend my nephew Jordan and I worked at night with headlamps (chickens are essentially night blind so it is much lower stress from them and us than chasing them around during the day) to move 24 young hens to their new laying house. They are only a few weeks away from laying their first eggs, pullet eggs. You may remember pullet eggs, which start out small taking a few months to come to full size. So, first of September you may start to notice a pullet egg or two in your boxes along with the larger eggs. They may be small, but they are the filet mignon of eggs – best yolks around! Also the shells will be noticeably harder compared to the older hens, whose shells are getting a little fragile at this point in their life cycle. Best to continue to call ahead for eggs as production is still limited. By this time next year I hope our flock will be almost twice this size and way more productive!
Despite the warm weather coming this week, the days are getting shorter and the first of our apple trees are ready for harvest. The orchard is only 3 years old so this will be the first year we have a good amount to sell. Most of the apples are older varieties that may not be familiar to you, but are well worth trying. We hope to formalize apple production next year and create an apple CSA, which will allow you to pick up a bag of apples from the barn weekly as the season progresses. That way you can try different types of apples in small amounts. Let me know what you think of this idea. For this year, we will collect data on harvest amounts and the timing of each variety. We will put a basket in the barn of what is ready for eating and you can buy a few apples at a time to try them out. Right now we have “Williams Pride” and “Gravenstien” apples. Williams Pride is a red dessert apple, crisp, juicy and flavorful. Gravenstein is for fresh eating, sauce and pies – very flavorful, crisp and juicy as well. You will also find a few other goodies for purchase in the refrigerator, right now kale and basil. Thanks so much! Jennie and Jordan