I have written before that molting season is the time that tries a chicken keeper’s soul. It seems cruel that just as the weather turns cold and the days turn dark, we find ourselves without any eggs waiting in the nest boxes as a reward for our chicken keeping chores. Feathers abound, but eggs become scarce or nonexistent.
Today, I made the most wonderful discovery when tending the chickens. After eight egg free weeks, there was a beautiful brown egg was waiting for me nestled in the straw lining one of our nest boxes. I let out such a commotion that our girls couldn’t leave the coop to go outside fast enough! Now I’d like to share the celebration with the entire 1840 Farm Community by having a good old fashioned Facebook page giveaway.
Visit our Facebook page to vote for the prize that you would like to have a chance to win. I’ll tally the votes over the weekend and share the giveaway with you on Monday morning. You never know, if I keep finding eggs in the nest boxes and comments on the post, I just might feel the need to offer more than one prize. I can’t wait to hear what you would like to win in time for the holidays!
Lisa has been a trusted friend and mentor for well over a year. I have been following the progress of her work on this book since it became a reality last year. I have often joked with her that I was as excited as she was to finally see her book in person!
Last week, these beautiful books were waiting for me in our mailbox. From the moment I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read it from start to finish. As I read, I recognized the hallmark style that I have come to expect from Fresh Eggs Daily. The whole book was warm in tone and presented the information in an encouraging manner.
The information was extensive, covering a range of topics from planning your first chicken coop, natural strategies for the daily maintenance of your flock and discouraging pests of all kinds. Common chicken keeping challenges such as molting, coop cleaning, and potentially dangerous foods and plants are also covered in detail.
If you’re a Fresh Eggs Daily fan like I am, then you’re already familiar with their collection of posts containing tips and suggestions for raising and tending your flock naturally. I am constantly learning new techniques from their blog and Facebook page and sharing their content on our own page.
Now Lisa’s natural chicken keeping knowledge has been assembled into a beautiful book. Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally will teach you how to implement effective and simple strategies like drying herbs fresh from your garden for use all year long. Lisa offers common sense tips for helping prepare your flock for Mother Nature’s extremes and handling inevitable chicken keeping challenges. She also includes several recipes for natural concoctions and several DIY projects including creating your own brooder. This book covers such a wide variety of topics that it is sure to be your go to chicken keeping resource for years to come.
I wish that I had been able to add Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally to my bookshelf when I was beginning my journey as a chicken keeper. Within the pages of this book, I would have found the information I needed to ensure that our first flock had the very best chance of thriving here on our farm.
Luckily, I can add it to my chicken keeper’s library now and so can you. Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning to become a chicken keeper, tending to your first chicks, or have already earned your chicken keeping stripes, I know that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.
If you already follow 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook, then you have already earned a few entries. Simply click on the buttons below to claim them. While you’re at it, you can claim a few more entries and increase your odds of winning.
In fact, I’d love to hear where you are in your chicken keeping journey in a comment below and grant you another entry. I ‘ll go first and share that we have been keeping chickens for three years. Now it’s your turn to share: tell me about your chicken keeping experience. I can’t wait to read all about it!
After you have claimed all of your entries in our giveaway, visit the other stops on The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour by clicking on the links below. You can read other chicken keeper’s reviews and enter their giveaways to increase your chance of winning your own copy of Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.
Angel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake. I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks. I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.
That was decades ago. Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old. We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together. I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.
It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake. My reason is simple: I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies. It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind. Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.
Luckily, I don’’t have to. Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me. Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six. My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers. Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.
Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake. As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why. The technique was altogether simple and brilliant. This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.
My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake. I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue. We worked together until the cake preparation was complete. She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.
I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake. The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow. The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.
The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue. It wasn’t a fancy cake. Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper. This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs. Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.
More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime. Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present. Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.
Daffodil Cake Makes 8 servings
The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue. A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step. Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites. This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat. Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube. Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.
6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons warm water
½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer. Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue. This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue. Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue. Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cool cake onto a plate. Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.
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Raising baby chicks is a wonderful experience. Here at 1840 Farm, we have counted ourselves lucky enough to enjoy the process twice. Each time, we were captivated by the sight of the tiny birds in our brooder. We couldn’t help gathering in our barn to watch the little, fluffy birds mill about.
Both of our brooding experiences were positive. The day old chicks matured into young pullets, moved into their coops, and went on to become beautiful, egg laying hens. The major difference in our brooding experiences was our use of my favorite piece of brooding equipment: The Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder.
I can’t say enough about the quality and effectiveness of the EcoGlow. The EcoGlow provides the warm environment that chicks require without bringing the danger of a brooder or coop fire to your farm or homestead. Instead of worrying about the brooder’s temperature or our safety, we could simply enjoy the experience of raising our chicks, content in the knowledge that all was well.
Now you can do the same. Our sponsor, Brinsea Products has generously provided a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder for this giveaway. We’re proud to share Brinsea and their line of high quality line of products with our readers. We use Brinsea products here at 1840 Farm and believe that they are the best products on the market.
I know that you will be just as happy with the Brinsea EcoGlow as I am. You can learn more about the EcoGlow by reading my posts at Community Chickens detailing our experience using it here at 1840 Farm. But first, take a moment and enter the giveaway to win your own EcoGlow Brooder. Good luck to all who enter!
This post is long overdue. Truth be told, I have considered Iron Oak Farm to be a friend of 1840 Farm for years. I first came to know Jennifer Sartell in the fall of 2010. She was merely a name behind an Email address back then. We had both been selected to be among a new batch of contributors to the Community Chickens blog. More than two years have passed and I am happy to say that I have learned so much about her and from her during that time.
I have learned that we share much more in common than our first name. We both love the daily life on our farms. We both keep chickens, goats, and rabbits and love sharing the experience with our readers on our blogs. We are also passionate about gardening and enjoy learning more about heirloom varieties.Jennifer and her husband Zach are also both talented artists. The Iron Oak Farm Etsy shop is full of Zach’s fantastic hand forged steel items and Jennifer’s original photography, artwork, handmade goat’s milk soaps, and fiber produced by their goats and rabbits.
Our shared love of heirloom vegetables led me to ask Jennifer to join me in bringing The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection to life. I was thrilled when she agreed to participate. I was awestruck when I saw the amazing artwork she produced. I am so proud to have such beautiful artwork to accompany the seeds in our collection. I know that you will be just as impressed with her talent as I introduce you to each variety in the collection and each piece of art that she so lovingly created.
I follow Iron Oak Farm’s blog and Facebook page to make sure that I don’t miss out on their fantastic handmade products or the adorable animals that call their farm home. From Oliver the dog to Ichabod and newborn Harriette in their goat herd, there seems to always be a photo in my newsfeed that makes my day.
I hope that you will take a moment to visit Iron Oak Farm, and follow their blog and page. As you can see, you won’t want to miss the photos of all of the adorable goat kids that have been born at Iron Oak Farm over the last few weeks!
If you have been following 1840 Farm, then you are well aware of how much I enjoy sharing my family’s experience with my readers. A few weeks ago, I was given the amazing opportunity to share my story with Your Chickens Magazine from the United Kingdom. Days later, I learned that 1840 Farm would be included in their inaugural issue distributed here in the United States. To say that I was honored would be an immense understatement.
To add to the excitement, I am joined by a few of my favorite henkeepers in the issue of Your Chickens. There are new friends there and some that I have known for years. Somehow, seeing their chicken keeping story next to mine makes this whole experience even more rewarding.
The issue has just been released in the UK and will be available at Tractor Supply Stores in mid February. I can hardly wait to pick up a copy and read the stories of the other American Henkeepers that will be profiled there. In case you would like to learn more about Your Chickens, you can join them on Facebook, Twitter, and their website.
Here’s the text from their press release announcing the introductory US issue. They are still accepting submissions from US chicken keepers to include in future issues. Read the press release to learn how you can submit your story!
British chicken magazine goes on sale in the USA
Your Chickens, a glossy magazine from Britain, is about to go on sale in the USA. An estimated 500,000 people now keep chickens in their back gardens and yards in the UK, and the magazine has been well received since its launch two years ago.
The February issue will be available in Tractor Supply Company stores across the USA from mid February. It will include stories from henkeepers who follow this blog from all over the States, from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and Michigan to Georgia. There will also be an introduction about henkpeeping USA-style and the National Poultry Show.
In addition, there is plenty of news and advice about henkeeping, as well as lots of features; there is even a popular club for children – Hattie Hen’s Kids Club – with puzzles, photos and activities.
Content editor Simon McEwan says: “We are delighted to be a launching in the USA and would like to thank all those American henkeepers who have contacted us. We have had a fantastic response. We would be very pleased to hear from more of you, with about 200 words and a high-resolution photo of you with your chickens. Just email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I have read a lot of great posts about gardening with free ranging chickens. Our chickens don’t roam our gardens as free ranging isn’t an option for our farm. We live too close to a busy state highway and a neighborhood that would prefer that our hens stay within the confines of our property. That doesn’t mean that we don’t garden with our chickens in mind.
In fact, we share a lot of our garden produce with our flock. We even grow crops specifically for the purpose of treating them to fresh greens. Now you can do the same with a package of Chicken Salad Seed Mix from My Pet Chicken. You can earn up to four entries below. One winner will be randomly selected and notified by Email. Good luck to all who enter!
1840 Farm was selected to be Farmmade.com’s Featured Farmer this week. As part of the process, I completed a Q&A. Yesterday, the answers were shared with the Farmmade Community on Facebook. In case you missed it…
Farmmade.com’s Featured Farmer this week is Jennifer Burcke of 1840 Farm! Jennifer and her family produce as much of their own food as possible on their 3.2 acres suburban farm in Dover, New Hampshire. Thank you Jennifer for taking time out to share your farm story with the FarmMade community of farmers and friends!
FARMMADE: WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND 1840 FARM? JENNIFER: The original farmhouse and barn were built in the 1840s. At one time, the farm encompassed over 100 acres of farmland. Over the years, it was subdivided little by little. By the time that we purchased the farm in 2005, the farmhouse and barn were situated on just over three acres. Over a decade ago, three generations of my family made the life changing decision to move from our home in Kansas to the Seacoast of New Hampshire. A few years later, we purchased what was then an abandoned farm and began the difficult work of bringing it back to life. It’s no coincidence that it is located a mere 100 miles from the dairy farm that my great grandparents proudly called home.
I spend my days living and writing about my passion to embrace the traditions of my past. I wasn’t raised to be a farmer and I would have never imagined that I would feel the gravitational pull to live a country cottage farming lifestyle. Yet here I am, living on a farm with my parents, husband, and two children. Today, it is hard for me to imagine living any other way.
FARMMADE: WHO INFLUENCED YOU TO BECOME A FARMER? JENNIFER: I was inspired to become a farmer by my family past and present. The memory of my grandparents and great grandparents inspired me to dare to attempt to become a farmer. The daily encouragement and support of my husband, children, and parents motivates me to continue to improve my skills and develop my craft. My goal is to raise food for our table while raising two children who will always hold their food supply firmly within their grasp.
FARMMADE: WHAT DO YOU GROW AND RAISE AT 1840 FARM? JENNIFER: We keep a flock of 17 heritage breed hens, three Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, and a French Angora rabbit on our farm. We also tend a large heirloom vegetable garden as well as blueberry and raspberry fields. Last winter, we made our own maple syrup for the first time, collecting 123 pounds of Maple sap before boiling it down into syrup. During the last year, we have collected over 72 dozen eggs and harvested 300 pounds of fruits and vegetables from our gardens. Following the birth of our first goat kids last October, we officially became dairy farmers and have since collected over 40 gallons of raw goat’s milk.
FARMMADE: WHY DO YOU LOVE GROWING FOOD & RAISING FARM ANIMALS? JENNIFER: I love living and working on our farm with three generations of my family. The work of producing our own food and tending our farm feeds my soul and produces delicious food to be shared while gathered around our family table. The fresh, homegrown food on our dinner plates is the most meaningful reward I can think of for a job well done.
How about biting into a piece of warm 1840 Farm’s Berry Pie or freshly baked Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake? Jennifer shared two delicious seasonal berry dessert recipes in last Friday’s FarmMade newsletter. Check out yesterday’s post for those recipes and enjoy making one (or both!) of these summer time treats in your kitchen for dessert after dinner tonight!
Meet the farm animals of 1840 Farm and see what’s growing in the garden. JOIN US TOMORROW FOR A TOUR OF 1840 FARM!
Since our day old baby chicks arrived three weeks ago, I’ve kept our Wingscapes BirdCam busy capturing photos and videos of them in their brooding pen. Today as I was looking through the hundreds of images captured earlier this week, I was taken with two photos of one of our Mottled Cochin Bantam chicks.
In them, she has the stage to herself and seems to be taking full advantage of the moment to pose for the camera. Then she turns and looks at the BirdCam rather inquisitively. It was as if she was investigating the camera as much as it was investigating her. So, judge for yourself. Who’s watching who?
1840 Farm has twelve new residents of the feathered variety. They arrived yesterday and I am happy to report that they are all active and well. They spent the better part of today exploring and trying to master two very important skills: eating and getting along with your roommates!
They are adorable and we are all enjoying watching them. There will be daily pictures and videos to share on our Facebook page, but I wanted to give you all a glimpse of them on their first full. day living at 1840 Farm. Here they are after we gave them all a health check this afternoon. Moments later, they were back in their brooding pen warming up and exploring their surroundings.
Stay tuned – there will be an unending supply of chick pictures to share!