7/04/2014

Picking Up Strawberries from the Amish and Going Home with Chickens


I've wanted to write this blog since I brought home my latest and greatest treasures. It's a fun story about how I ventured out for sweet, juicy berries, and returned with much more than I bargained for. 


Here's how it happened: I had ordered 10 quarts of strawberries from the Amish family from whom I'd ordered raspberries last year. You can read about that adventure here.


As I drove through the country to their homestead, I thought about all of the children's names and wondered if another one had been born since my last visit. To be totally honest, I'm very intrigued with this family. I know its unusual, having been raised Amish, but these Amish are as original as you can get, and I was raised a little more modern. I love that I can talk Dutch to the kids and they open up to me.

When I arrived, these two cuties were playing on the buggy. I asked where their mom was, and they informed me she was taking care of the baby. Well, there was the answer to that question. But I still had one other question rattling around in my brain. 


Soon, my strawberries were ready, (they were perfect for the strawberry shortcake I made later), loaded up, and I was ready to leave. That's when I decided to give it a shot. I asked the mother that other question that had been rattling around in my brain, and she said she'd have to ask her husband.
When she did, the man said sure, he'd be happy to oblige. He agreed to sell me six chickens (which is how many Allen had suggested) for six bucks apiece.


The Amish man and his little lads headed to the hen house to fetch my chickens, and I prayed that they'd fetch the ones that most needed to be pampered at my house.


I held my breath and snapped a couple pictures with my iPhone, thinking, It really doesn't get any better than this. Little Herman couldn't have been more than five.
What totally melted my heart was when they only needed to catch one more, and he proudly came marching along with two. He had caught both at once! How could I resist? I said if they didn't mind, I'd like to have seven of them now.


So seven it was. While they were readying the hens for their ride home, I visited with this little doll who totally captured my heart. Isn't she sweet? 


Yikes! This was the last misery these ladies had to go through before their journey. I was excited to bring them home, name them, and let them run free-range, enjoying the treats I would give them.


Off I went for home with my newfound treasures of sweet strawberries and excited chickens.
I had the chicken coop all ready and had planned on going to Hershberger's Truck Patch to buy chickens, but now mine were clucking away in the back of my van, and I had to laugh to myself about how appropriate their music was as the dust clouds billowed and rolled in my rear view mirror.


I had plenty of help when I got home. It seems my men were as excited about my new pets as I was!


The Amish man had also sold me a bag of scratch, so we were all prepared. You will have to go look at the cute coop that they now call home on this blog.


The next morning I awoke early and it felt like Christmas. I had to make myself wait for the reveal, seeing if these fine ladies had delivered what I had anticipated. This was my treat as I opened the back of the coop. Seven chickens, and seven eggs! I had heard that chickens sometimes don't lay eggs for a week after they've been moved. 


We have been getting six or seven eggs every day since they came to live with us.


One morning, I caught Big Bertha in action. What a sight! After a month with these lovely ladies, Syd and I still fight over who gets to go gather the eggs in the morning.


So far our chickens only have two names--Sophia and Big Bertha. We have been kind of busy with the Vintage Sale, and a couple of days ago, my Mom had hip replacement. I intend to spend more time with the chickens and name them according to their character. Call me the crazy chicken lady! I don't even care! I've dreamed of having my own chickens for many a year, and finally, on a trip to gather berries, my dream came true.


Maybe one day our herd will grow and we will be chicken farmers, but for now, I'm totally content with my lovely ladies.


I could share with you many funny little chicken stories that I hope will create memories for our kids. Quinton, however, is not so fond of his mother's new pets. One day he came into the house and, under his breath, mentioned how he and Ace--his new lab puppy who will someday be a duck-hunting dog--almost gave those chickens a heart attack. He informed me that somehow the pup got into the coop as he was feeding them, and they escaped. He and Ace had to round them up to get them back into the cage. I looked at him and said, "YOU SAY WHAT!?!" He said, "Mom, they're fine! They'll probably just not give you seven eggs tomorrow." I let it go, and a couple minutes later got to thinking about how he kept mentioning how he wondered if Ace would retrieve chickens. So I asked Quinton, "Did you let the dog into the coop on purpose?" At least he was honest and admitted that he just wanted to see if Ace would make a good duck dog in the future. Thankfully no hens were injured, and I got my seven eggs the next morning anyway.
Here's to life in the country.
I hope you enjoyed meeting my chickens as much as I did. What have you always dreamed of having or doing, and what can you do today to make that dream a reality? 
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