Last night, Philip came to the kitchen door with his left-hand full. He held three eggs – a white one, a brown one, and a green one – like the girls had planned to show off their gorgeous individuality.
I took a paper towel, wet it, and gently wiped off each beauty. Then, I took the carton out of the fridge, added two – one white, one brown, and then slipped the third into a carton from under the counter.
A dozen eggs. We have a dozen eggs to share with our neighbors. It’s been a couple months since we could say that.
Learning to Love the Fallow
This was the first year when we really saw the full fall-off of egg production because we don’t add light to our coop. (Hens need 14 hours of daylight to make one egg, so many people put lights in their coops in these short days.)
For each of the past few years, we’ve added new hens to the clock in the spring, and so come winter, they didn’t molt and, thus, continued to lay even in the short days. But this year, given that I was pregnant and couldn’t bend over to check on baby chicken butts, we didn’t order new birds.
So each evening, when we checked the laying boxes and found one solitary egg or, often, no eggs at all, we sighed and contented ourselves with weekend easy-over fry-ups.
Each week, someone would write to ask if we had eggs, and I had to keep saying No. I didn’t like that.
But as each week passed, I settled into the small grace of not having to wash eggs and handle the cartons each day. I took those few minutes and watched Milo laugh. . . fallow gifts.
The First Dozen
Today, though, we are putting this gorgeous 12 in the stand for neighbors to pick up, and we hope to have more and more cartons available for sale (always at the price people can pay even though we suggest $3). It feels nice to slide back into this offering, to handle these fragile gifts and pass them along, brown, green, and white orbs of goodness.