All posts tagged: small scale farming

Feathered Friends

From olive Eggers to sage eggers, from dark brown eggs to sky blue eggs. We have you covered here at Alchemist Farm.

Our Heritage chicken breeds have been carefully bred over the last nine years by us. We select not only for fun egg colors but also temperament and climate resilience so you can rest assured that your new feathered friends will be robust and healthy.

We believe there is a chicken breed for everyone, from fancy show chickens to humble homestead style birds, every chicken has a place on our farm! Thank you for your support each year and allowing us to continue to pioneer humane breeding and hatching.

alchemist_farmFeathered Friends
read more

The beauty of Imperfection

The Beauty In Imperfection
.
Everyday we collect our hatching eggs from our breeding flocks by hand. We intimately know every nest, every hen, every secret hiding spot.

The daily egg collecting trains our hands and eyes to spot eggs that would not be suitable for hatching. All of the eggs here in this photograph are the β€œoddball eggs” the eggs that are double, triple hollers, and eggs that are incorrectly shaped. Shape and size matters with fertile eggs because properly shaped eggs ensure correct bone development/ shape for the chicks. Pointy eggs can lead to spraddle leg. Tiny pullet eggs can lead to weak smaller chicks with failure to thrive.

All of our oddball eggs are set aside for eating and make their way to our breakfast table. Each one is its own delight for its unique oddness. This week I brought some of them together to share with you all.

Do you all get fun oddball eggs from your flocks? May we all look for the beauty in moments of imperfection, there is always something positive to focus on.

alchemist_farmThe beauty of Imperfection
read more

Nature Knows

Perfect Design
.
Every Tuesday during our hatching season we open our hatchers and sort/count the weeks fluffy chicks. After the chicks have been carefully moved from the hatcher we inspect the eggs that have not hatched to see if any chicks are still making a late entrance into the world.
.
This chick was quietly sitting in its shell, looking around at the world around it. It was pausing before making its final pushes to get out of the only home it has ever known.
.
We know they the chicks are quite snug in their eggs but this visual was a stunning reminder of nature’s perfect design. There is not a millimeter of extra space inside a chickens egg. The chicks grow to fill the space and then carefully, oh so carefully peck their way out.
.
Nature only takes what it needs, and uses its spaces and resources wisely. It is a powerful example for us humans to follow.

alchemist_farmNature Knows
read more

All Breeds Available For Pickup & Shipping This Month

Hey everyone!
We have ALL of our breeds available for shipping as well as pickup as early as next week February 15th and all of our website ordering issues have been worked out. Thank you to everyone for you patience as we ironed out our new system!
If you are looking for instant gratification on your chick order we can make the magic happen for you πŸ™‚
alchemist_farmAll Breeds Available For Pickup & Shipping This Month
read more

What Sets Us Apart

🌿What Sets You Apart?🌿
.
I recently had someone write and ask β€œwhat sets you apart? Why should I purchase chicks from you and not a big hatchery?”
🌿
The question made me realize that I have not listed our mission statement clearly in a post in sometime so here goes! ❀️
🌿
🐣We are different and worth supporting because we are a fully integrated farm and hatchery family business. Every chick we hatch, every egg laid comes from birds we work with and see everyday here.
🐣
We are a no kill hatchery (look up what hatcheries do to their extra male chicks). Every life is respected that we work with and hatch.
🐣
All of our chickens are free to roam on pastures, they are not in warehouses or breeding cages.
🐣
We breed for kind docile temperament and select sweet roosters year after year to break the cycle of people being afraid to go into the barnyard. Sweet roosters exist!
🐣
We breed for gorgeous egg color and season after season we develop fun new shades of color to create interesting depth to your daily egg collecting basket.
🐣
We have a strong environmental focus. We run on πŸ’― solar power generated in an array in our pasture.
🐣
We have πŸ’― plastic free compostable packaging for our eggs, chicks, and shipments/pickup boxes.
🐣
We are a zero waste farm, always making shifts to generate less and less waste. We love educating on this process and encouraging others along the way.
🐣
We donate a portion of our sales to the @childrenseternalrainforest for their reforestation efforts in connecting rainforest corridors. Boosting the lungs of our planet.
🐣
We do our own shipping/customer service so from first order placed to chicks arriving in your brooder you have help along the way.
🐣
We ship nationwide and also offer farm pickups for chicks. We are about to enter the sweet spot of weather being warm enough for us to ship to every state. From the first week of May on we will be shipping everywhere and you can order in confidence.
🐣
We offer chicken and quail keeping classes so you can work with your birds in confidence.
🐣
Why are we worth supporting? Because our hearts are in everything we do and we love introducing chickens and the lifestyle they create to the world. Less waste, self reliance, more outside time.
alchemist_farmWhat Sets Us Apart
read more

The Colors Are Coming

✨The colors are coming✨
.
This is a special time of year on the farm. The incubators have been quiet for a few months, the juvenile birds have been peacefully growing up alongside their older counterparts and the pastures are a lush green from our seasonal rain.
✨
It is a moment of anticipation, the whisperings of the first eggs laid, the new colors emerging, the beginning of a hatching cycle and offering our energy out into the world.
✨
Β 
Our family is rested, regrouped, strong and eagerly awaiting the day when our brooders will be full of the sound of peeping.
✨
Everyday we pray for ears to listen, to be shown the direction our farm needs to go to be of service. These days we begin to turn our attention outward and we think of you all, we pray for our national and global community. The air we breathe is one, the water we drink, the soil we plant in. We send prayers of peace, protection, inspiration and gratitude for you all. May we all arise to the new year of 2021 together. Stronger, wiser, more compassionate and patient from all 2020 taught us.
✨
Here’s to this years firsts, thank you for being on the journey with us and supporting our work in the world. ❀️
alchemist_farmThe Colors Are Coming
read more

A World of Speckles

🌿Breeders Choice🌿
.
When we first began breeding and selecting for egg color it was speckles and texture that captured my interest. Every breeder throughout history has selected traits in an animals that they thought were unique, valuable and beautiful. We are carrying on they tradition by selecting for what is most pleasing to our eyes and senses. The result is a whole world of interesting speckle patterns through us ❀️

🌿
A speckle is like a hens unique finger print. A hen that throws speckles on her eggs will do so in a similar pattern every time she lays an egg.
🌿
Speckles, just like egg color can be selected and bred for. It is something that we are constantly tinkering with.
🌿
Sometimes the speckles have a raised texture which is really fun! I am not a big wine drinker but being in wine country here in Northern California I hear a lot of folks talk about β€œmouth feel” of wine. Well, I guess I have lots of β€œegg feel” practice 🀣. I could close my eyes and tell you which breed lays what egg based on texture. Smooth, slick, matte, raised, heavy and light bloom powdery-ness.

🌿
Do you all notice a difference in the way your ladies eggs feel?
🌿
From top to bottom our breeds that laid these eggs are:
πŸ“Heritage welsummer
πŸ“Azure Egger
πŸ“Marans
πŸ“Sage Egger
πŸ“MossΒ Egger
πŸ“Azure Egger
πŸ“ Heritage Welsummer
🌿

alchemist_farmA World of Speckles
read more

A Diary Of Color

🌿A Diary Of Color🌿
.
Every season our rainbow shifts as we work with new generations of our various lines of birds. Speckles change shape, saturation of blues and greens deepen or lighten and sometimes even the size of eggs can shift.
🌿
Currently our largest eggs are laid by our Olive Eggers. Their eggs are so big and round they barely fit in our incubation trays!
🌿
Taking one large photograph like this is a fun project. It captures the current colors we produce. A similar photo taken at the end of the season will look different. Egg colors will change slightly with the seasons and some breeds will slow down production. This is a sweet moment in time to be grateful for.
🌿
We do a lot of heavy lifting on the ecological front. We donate a lot of time and spend a great deal of mental energy on problem solving waste issues that come up. Getting to have a spot of time to make art with natures palate in this way is a deep fulfilling joy.
🌿
There are issues in this world for sure, some days it can feel overwhelming. Having chickens to care for takes us out of our heads and into our hearts. The birds and our food garden bring us back to the earth, back to the connection with the natural world. This connection is so valuable for mental and emotional health. When the world feels like it is in a weird place there is great hope and joy in planting a garden and collecting eggs daily.
🌿
May we all give ourselves permission to create beauty in our lives as we do our work we are called to do!

alchemist_farmA Diary Of Color
read more

The Most Patient Chicken

🌿The Most Patient Chicken🌿
.
Over the next few weeks here I am going to be highlighting each of the 13 breeds we work with on our farm. There are hundreds of types of chickens out there in the world. Large, small, robust, demure. We believe that there is a chicken breed for everyone just like there is a dog/cat breed for every human personality.
🌿
We have selected the 13 breeds we work with because each one has something unique to offer folks. From large scale homesteads to apartments – we have you covered!
🌿
For this week we are highlighting our silkies. ❀️ There is no chicken breed more patent and docile on the planet than a Silkie. They will happily sit in a basket as a child carries them around the yard. They are flightless so they do not escape from their designated area of your yard and they make EXCELLENT mothers, adopting any young chick when they are broody. If you have fertile eggs they will also hatch them for you, they are an off the grid homesteaders dream because they will keep a flock replenished year after year without the use of electricity and incubator if you have a rooster keeping the eggs fertile.
🌿
They are suited to all climates but they would love some extra comforts in a coop during the winter if it snows in your area because they are all down without the covering of smooth feathers that other chickens enjoy. They do well in the rain and enjoy running around on pastures.
🌿
Dutiful layers of smooth 3/4 sized cream eggs, they have won their place on our farm for the sweet personalities they bring. I used to think they were nothing more than a designer chicken but I have been shown that they are far more versatile than most chicken breeds!
🌿
Their amazing head feathers make it challenging for them to see predators from above. To remedy this, we give them a little hairdo (second image below)Β 
this way they can see any dangers lurking from above.

 


alchemist_farmThe Most Patient Chicken
read more

The Beauty In-between

🌿The Beauty In-between🌿
.
In a world obsessed with uniformity and perfection it is the β€œimperfection” that catches my eye.Β 
🌿
The in-between sizes, the different colors and textures are all opportunities to create something new. For years I wished I could paint, sketch or draw. I longed to create art but did not have the skills within the conventional artistic box. As I age I now see that I canΒ create with natures palate through her awe inspiring eggs. It took 30 years, but here we are – creating something beautiful and useful everyday. ❀️
🌿
If you are one of those folks who feel like they are in-between and not quite on the conventional track, know that we appreciate you. There is great possibility when we can see and live outside of the box. Have faith, keep working toward your dreams because you never know where your heart will lead you!
🌿
These are all quail eggs, #coturnixquail and #alchemistbluequail both varieties are lovely additions to any homestead large or small. We ship chicks and fertile hatching eggs of them nation wide. ❀️
🌿

alchemist_farmThe Beauty In-between
read more