What Do Seed Catalogs and Laying Hens Have in Common?

Henriettas: Flinging carrots and pecking cabbage!

The vegetable seed order is officially in! This year I am excited to try some new varieties that are sure to add color to the farmer’s market booth. One that I am particularly excited for is the Purple Mist Organic Pea, offered by West Coast Seeds. This pea can be used as a snap pea and shelling pea, but…wait for it…it can be grown to maturity and used as a dried pea for soups all winter long too! Now that is endless meal opportunities right there. I am hoping to grow this pea out to maturity so I can save the seed for next year if I really like it.

This year all of the seeds I ordered are open pollinated! This means that the parents of the seed I am planting are both from the same vegetable variety. For example, the parents (Mr. and Mrs. Pea) of that Purple Mist Pea are both Purple Mist Peas. Therefore, they have the same genetics and continue year after year to produce the perfect Purple Mist Pea (try saying that 10 times fast). It also means that if I really love the variety, I can save my own seed and continue growing this pea year after year.

As I was flipping through the seed catalogs this year, something crossed my mind that never had before. What am I going to grow for the girls next winter? The girls I am referring to are the ever-expanding flock of laying hens.

Let me start from the beginning. This year I started feeding the carrots that were no longer table worthy to the lucky Henriettas. In return, they gave me darker and thicker orange yolks. Now I’m brainstorming what next year’s vegetable crop will be for the hens. I decided on pumpkins, which almost look like egg yolks themselves. I can imagine rolling a 100-pound pumpkin to the Egg Chalet, chopping it up with an axe like firewood, and providing a taste of summer to the girls in charge of our egg supply. I settled on a pumpkin variety that can produce an 80-pound pumpkin so I can have a fighting chance of moving it by myself.

I’m looking forward to the summer, but until then, I will keep sharing our dwindling veggie supply with the Henriettas and telling them of the treats to come.

What do you think is the best vegetable for The Homestead flock?

1 thought on “What Do Seed Catalogs and Laying Hens Have in Common?”

  1. I am just feeding monster zucchini to our hens, turkeys and pigs – split lengthwise with said axe, they are much appreciated, especially if the frost has made them mushy inside ?

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