Monday, September 25, 2017

A Beautiful September Day

I had the most marvelous afternoon this past weekend while visiting my friends' property nearby.  If you remember a short while ago, I promised you that I would visit the chickens that lay those beautiful eggs, which we've been partaking of here at home.  I finally took that much-needed trip to see the "ladies" and visit my friends.


When I arrived, I noticed that some of the flowers near the home and around the outbuildings were still in bloom.  The garden planted by my friends, Luke and Alicia, was bursting with vegetables ready for harvesting.  To top it all off, the sky was as clear and blue as the ocean.  

Our area of Pennsylvania has been experiencing very warm temperatures of late.  The days have been feeling more like midsummer than early fall, but you won't hear me complaining because I don't mind sunny days and eighty degree temps.  I'll take this weather and whatever the garden has to offer, any day.


Years ago, I visited this beautiful property and blogged about it by taking you inside the barns, the various outbuildings and by giving you a brief history behind the structures.  You can read about that experience by clicking here.


As we made our way to the garden area, I noticed a wire fence surrounding the parcel allocated for the vegetables.  Luke told me that in year's past, his fencing endeavors of mesh, chicken wire, etc., have not been as effective as this low-voltage, electrified fence.  Constructed of wire that winds around the four posts of the garden, the entire system connects to a solar-powered mechanism which can be turned on and off at the flick of a switch.


Can you guess what Luke is holding here?  I'm told that the little green pods which grow high on thin stalks were somewhat of an experiment to see if they would grow.  As you can see, they did.  Still no guesses?

Sesame seeds!!


Isn't it amazing how large sunflowers will get?  They always seem like something out of this world to me.


Alicia harvested several beets, including this beautiful golden one.  We began talking about how to best cook these beetroots.  I like them either roasted with olive oil (salt and pepper of course) or steamed with a little butter.  Tasty!


As we made our way back to the barns, we stopped by the little dairy outbuilding.  Luke discovered a small milk-keeping space that was hidden underneath a pile of stones.  This area was once used to hold metal milk churns back in the early 1900s.  Through a series of pipes, cool water would fill the area, and the milk containers would then get submerged for cooling.  Keep in mind that this was way before refrigeration.     


The inside of the building is very rustic, yet beautifully preserved.  Luke and Alicia think that this would be an ideal space for an extra kitchen in which to do large-scale cooking and baking.  Can't you just imagine a Garland stove against the wall, and a long farmhouse table right in the center?    


As I neared the door to the coop, I could hear the ladies clucking away.  The area where the chickens reside was originally used to house the bull on the dairy farm.  It's such a nice, sunny space that is well-insulated to keep the chickens cool in the summertime, and warm during the winter.  Hay is laid down along the floor of the coop, while bails are placed throughout so that the chickens can take a rest.  Feeders and water sources are hung from overhead.  


Look at this adorable Plymouth Rock trio that greeted me upon entering!  They were most welcoming and chatty.


Luke and Alicia tell me that they have a mix of Plymouth Rocks, Leghorns, Orpingtons, Australorps and Araucanas.  They are about to add Silkies to the mix!


What a beautiful Orpington.


Along one of the walls is a set of shelves reserved for the laying of eggs.  Taking a peek over the top, I noticed quite a few eggs ready for the taking.


The coop run is bright and sunny for the chickens to stretch their legs.  The girls can come and go as they please, but if you happen to be anywhere near the little hatch, they come running out because they know that treats are coming.  On this day, Luke fed them some tomato fresh from the garden.


The chickens are even let out from their coops for a bit of free-range time late in the afternoon.  It's so nice to see them run around the yard as a group.  They really do like to stick together.


Can you blame me for wanting to come here?  I can't get enough of the beautiful eggs from this property.  It's so nice to be able to enjoy something delicious that is locally sourced.  My omelets, fried eggs, cakes, frostings and cookies have been even better since I started using these beauties.  I vow to put some Maran chickens in their flock for the coming year, because I think they could do with some chocolate-brown eggs.

The last of the bounty from the garden.



I can't tell you how fortunate I am in knowing good people.  It isn't every day that one gets to make the connection with individuals who are passionate about locally sourcing fresh vegetables, eggs and other foodstuffs.  Luke and Alicia tell me that one day they would love to bring back some cows into the fold so that they can start milk production.  I hope that someday their dreams come true, for when it does, their endeavors will be as successful as their current small-scale cottage industry.

Thank you Luke and Alicia for allowing me to visit the property, and for continuing to supply my home with the best of the best! 

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful property (and more importantly what great people!). Love the hens.....I had to give mine away when we moved recently of which I am very sad.

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    1. I'm sorry that you had to give away your wonderful hens! I've never raised any, but for the few minutes I was with these ladies, I immediately felt a bond with them. They're so adorable!!

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