It has been some time since our last post. It seems that launching our lavender products to the universe started a series of events in motion, and we’ve been scrambling to keep up with all of them.
This is the beginning of the travel season. Visitors and seasonal residents are starting to arrive in Nova Scotia, and many of our retail customers are extending their hours and stocking their shelves. So, orders have been coming in, testing our production procedures and ability to meet demand. A lot of unexpected press has helped fuel some of the demand. All good stuff… but challenging nevertheless.
We’re also prepping fields for 800 new lavender plants. We need to amend our soil with lime and grit for drainage. We’ve been sourcing that and lining up equipment.
Our greenhouse is in full swing now and needs daily attention. Regular farmers’ markets start up this month, so we are gearing up for those. We’re also preparing for a trade mission to the Caribbean next month. Throw in income taxes, car repairs, yard work, home repairs, and computer failures and you’ll understand why we haven’t been able to blog lately.
But, just the other day, one of life’s miracles stopped us cold for a moment. Our neighbor’s hen hatched three of our hens’ eggs.
Here’s the background. Our neighbor has a number of bantam (miniature) hens that have a tendency to go broody. Broodiness is a hormonal change in a hen that makes her switch from egg laying mode to hatching something mode. She will stop laying and obsessively sit on a nest – even if there are no eggs in it. Some hens can starve to death waiting for something to hatch. Rather than trying to snap her hen out of it, our neighbor decided to let it hatch out some chicks, but she didn’t want any more bantam chickens. As none of our full-sized hens have shown signs of broodiness, we gave her 3 of their eggs. Her little hen adopted the strange oversized eggs immediately.
20 days later and voila! Out popped 3 little, mottled peeps. Clearly these were not the hen’s offspring, but she fell madly in love with them just the same. It is so remarkable to see how, within 24 hours, these peeps are out exploring and able to feed themselves, but race back to hide under Momma at her first cluck of warning.
Chicken eggs are fascinating. They’re little animal seeds. They stay viable for quite some time at room temperature after they are laid, just waiting for the right conditions to occur before they start developing. When the peeps hatch, they don’t need food or water for 24-48 hours. They just live on the remaining yolk in their bodies. This allows the mother to continue on the nest, incubating un-hatched siblings. Once the babies start to explore though, momma has to get up to keep tabs on them and the broodiness spell is broken.