I have been passionate about cooking for a long time (though not about cooking chickens). More recently I’ve become interested in gardening, and even more recently I’ve become interested in urban homesteading. It seems to be all the rage lately – farmers markets are quite popular, the local food movement is gaining steam, and more and more people are taking responsibility for knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced.
One day I’d like to have more space at home so that we can be more self-sustaining. As it is now, we don’t have much of a yard to speak of at our house. Fortunately our neighborhood started a community garden two years ago, and I joined. This year, we decided to get chickens. We take turns caring for them. When it’s your “chicken day,” you feed them, give them fresh water, scoop out the coop, and collect all the eggs laid that day.
Yesterday I made quiche. Quiche, using eggs laid by the chickens at the garden. The chickens who laid the eggs ate organic food scraps from my table. The chiles in the quiche are the ones I grew last year, a crop so prolific that I’m still eating them out of the freezer. The crust was made entirely from scratch, the beans soaked and cooked on our countertop, the cheese organic and hormone-free. And the food scraps left over from making the quiche? Right back to the chickens. And the green grass grows all around, all around, and the green grass grows all around.
I think this is the way that it’s supposed to be. You can taste it.
The Ethels. I don’t know what the other gardeners call them, but I think the name suits them. Eleven virtually identical Bovan Brown hens that now spend their days peckin’ corn in our compost heap, laying eggs for us to share, and generally making me smile.
I made two quiches using four eggs per quiche. Each of the Ethels cranks out about one egg per day, so I normally collect 8-11 eggs. I add about a half a cup of milk to my beaten eggs and a couple of tablespoons of flour. One quiche is Tomato, Black Bean, Green Chile and Cheddar; the other is Cheddar, Apple and Veggie Sausage.