August has become special on the farm for one particular reason: it’s typically when the chickens we raised from young chicks begin laying their first eggs. Depending on breed and exactly when we got the chicks in spring, there’s some variability in when they will begin laying. But we know in early August that it’s time to keep an eye out for the young hens to start laying. It takes a few eggs being laid on the ground for them to figure out that there’s a safer place to deposit their eggs. Whether on the ground or in the nest boxes, however, I’m always so excited to find those first little eggs. I can’t not praise the young hens out loud for being such good girls. You’ll start seeing these “little gems”, as I think of them, along with our older hens’ eggs in each dozen eggs.
This weekend we created a tentative planting plan for fall and started assessing seed needs, including what can be purchased now and carry over for spring planting. Carrots, for example, have a storage life of several years, so buying seed for fall and some extra for next spring too is not a problem. Lettuces, however, have a much shorter storage life, so we’ll only buy what seed we need for fall, and purchase more lettuce seed early next year to ensure we’re planting good, viable seed for the season. I also realized that beets and Swiss chard were left off the fall survey, so if you are particularly looking forward to those items, fear not, we are continuing to grow them! Based on what we learned this past winter though, we may not harvest any fall/winter beets and simply carry them through to spring. I also found one new item that I can’t wait to introduce later this fall!