Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Season for Everything

I'm sure we've all heard it; to everything, there is a season.

There is no doubt that some seasons are more enjoyable than others. There are seasons of plenty and seasons of want.

A season for gardening, with fresh tomatoes straight from the vine, strawberries still warm from the sun, and sweet lettuce just picked from the garden. And a season of well, no gardening, the cold winter months when the ground is frozen and all there is to do is look through seed catalogs and dream about spring planting.

And a season for eggs.

Did you know this? Eggs have a season. I had no idea.

Right now we are only gathering between one and two dozen eggs each week, a far cry from the six dozen we were getting each week last spring. I feel like we've let down our "regulars" who buy eggs from us each week. And for the first time in a year I even resorted to buying eggs in order to have enough over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a bit sad.

After a bit of reading I've learned that it is completely normal to see a big decrease in production when winter sets in, the hens are molting, and daylight is short. Some people would suggest using a light to extend the "daylight" hours, but we want to give the chickens their much deserved break and let them follow a more natural course.

There is always something new when is comes to this farming adventure. There is so much to learn. While our current egg shortage is not ideal, we will adapt. Not only do we plan to add more hens to the flock, but we will adapt how we use the eggs we do get.

I'm trying to be more aware of the seasonality of our food. Now eggs will have to be part of that equation too. While we still buy more than I would ideally like that is not local or seasonal, hello bananas currently sitting in our fruit basket, it's all about baby steps. In my wildest dreams we would raise every bit of our food right here, just steps from our back door, all while the house is perfectly clean, the kids are on their best behavior, our meals are planned and executed to perfection and nothing goes to waste.

Reality check, this is real life and that isn't happening... ever. Not in this season we're in, or any other that comes our way.

But, I guess it never hurts to dream.

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