Fussy Chickens and Peppery Tea

There are a dozen yearling, healthy hens in our flock, and 5 young pullets. Between the 17 of them, we have easily been receiving six dozen eggs a week. I love looking at the varied earth tone jewels in the carton. From snow white to cream to hot cocoa brown. 

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But recently, I think a few of them have been on strike. There have been days we have only found 4 eggs instead of the usual 10. I've noticed one of the australorps seeming a bit broody. But when I leave eggs for her she ignores them. I don't know how to get these silly girls to not want to sit on eggs, if for only half of a day. The cluck clucks seems confused.

Peas, chives, sorrel, cabbage, beets and sunflowers all playing nice. 

Peas, chives, sorrel, cabbage, beets and sunflowers all playing nice. 

In the garden, things are happy and productive. About half of the tomato plants have at least 2 baby fruits.  The bush peas are way more bushy than I thought they were going to be, nearly drowning out the carrots and kale planted near them. Everything is just bursting from the rain we received this week.

An abundance of chamomile.

An abundance of chamomile.

Fruity fragrant herbs are a fun thing to have in the garden even if you don't use them for anything but sniffing on your way through. Rubbing lemon and orange thyme makes fingertips super fruity and sweet, instantly making me smile. I highly recommend them for everyone.

Lemon thyme

Lemon thyme

In the kitchen this week, I started mixing the herbs and flowers into fragrant teas. I harvested and dried a bunch of chamomile, lemon thyme, ginger mint, pineapple sage, lemon balm, bee balm, orange thyme, and rose petals. My favorite combo so far is ginger mint with lemon balm. The peppery minty scent is very strong, while the lemon and mint flavors are just right. It has a little bite on the tongue that I like. I have had a lot of fun playing with my plants. 

 

 

This weeks recipe is a salad that could be a meal in itself.  

Protein Packed Salad

  • bunch fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1\2 large head chopped lettuce
  •  2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into half moons
  • 1\2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1\4 cup bacon, chopped
  • handful of shelling or snap peas, shelled or chopped

Dressing:

  • 3\4 cup sugar
  • 1\4 cup balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1\4 cup olive oil
  • 1\3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all top ingredients in a large bowl. Put all dressing ingredients into a pint mason jar. Shake until well mixed. Just before serving, drizzle over salad, toss. Serve right away. There will probably be extra dressing for another day.