Monday, January 31, 2011

Egg Hideout

Happy Hens

There's now over 60 free ranging happy hens (& counting) on the farm. That's a lot of eggs to collect and since all our hens roam free, there's an egg hunt everyday..kinda like Easter all year round. And don't let these girls fool ya, they are pretty slick when it comes to concealing their laying spots. After all, why would they choose the lovely handmade boxes that were custom made for them to sit in when they could choose a spot with a different view everyday! Can't blame them honestly. So an egg collector has to be attentive and watchful. Since these are very chatty girls, one just has to be a good listener to know where to look. When the egg hide out is found, the collector can then be sure where not to find eggs the next day. Once their hide out is revealed, they tend to move on. I personally think a hens' goal is to lay the last egg on every nest, kinda like the last one that lays wins! So if a nest is found out, they all lose and the game starts all over again the next day. To be an egg collector, one must enjoy a sportingly egg hunt game...everyday!
A hideout in the goat hay rack
With 40 acres, there's endless egg laying hide outs. Rita, a red star hen, greets me every morning by the corn barrel. She waits patiently for me to lift the lid. As I lift the lid and take what corn I need, she nestles down inside the barrel among a buffet of cracked corn to do her divine duty. Some mornings I'm running late, some mornings I'm there earlier than doesn't matter to Rita. She clears her morning for this event. And since she prefers the corn barrel,  she will wait tirelessly or get up before the rooster if need be. Egg duty calls but she's in no hurry. She does not care about being the last layer on a heaping pile of eggs, she doesn't seem to care about much. But she does like having an all she can eat breakfast...and because she always gives something in return...she knows I will accommodate her short stay there in the corn barrel. Smart girl!
Rita in the corn barrel

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Soap Room

The milk on the farm has now come to a complete stand still. For the past year, we have milked every day...rain, shine, scorching heat & frigid between jobs away from the farm, ball games, chatty teenagers, band practice, church, dinner, chauffeuring teenagers, homework, birthday parties, silly teenagers, family get-togethers, breakfast, school, grumbling teenagers, chores, sleeping...every day! It was our first full year in milk and it was a good one. But now it's time for the girls to rest while they finish growing those beautiful babies that will be showing their sweet faces in just a couple more months. 
Goat Milk Soap
With no more everyday milk, cheese & milk shares are done for the season. Which leaves me some extra time for SOAP. All year long, I stored loads of milk in the freezer..preparing for these next couple months. So while the pregnant girls on the farm are resting, I will be soaping! Soap, to me, is probably one of the most interesting of all the things I create..imagination, creativity and it's all done in my favorite room in the house, the kitchen! If a person likes to cook, it's quite possible they will love to make soap! Blackberry Sorbet, Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Daiquiri, Twisted Tangerine, Warm Peppermint Tea, Cherry Blossom...just to name a few. These are all new on the soap both goat & sheep milk. All soaps are made using the cold press method and contain at least 50% olive oil, which produces a creamy moisturizing lather that...I think everyone loves! Little bars, chunky bars, round bars, sheep shaped bars...addicted to soaping...yes quite possibly I am. Milk soaps are wonderful! But don't just take my word for it, come check out these goat & sheep milk soaps for yourself - The Soap Room welcomes you anytime and will have you at the first sniff!
Sheep Milk Soap