fresh eggs.

the other day i came home & a friend handed me a couple of fresh eggs from the farm upstate… there is just something about eggs from chickens that were not bought in some store.

this past fall i learned that if the eggs that are laid are unwashed they do not need to be refrigerated as the icky looking coating protects the egg.. it is only when that is washed off ( like the super clean eggs you find in a store ) that the egg will spoil if left unrefrigerated… so stop washing those freshly laid eggs!

here’s a bit about ”unwashed eggs” from the site ‘seeds of nutrition’ :

You want to be sure that the “Bloom” is left on. What is the “Bloom”? It is a natural antibacterial protective covering that the hen deposits on the egg as she is laying it.
That protective coating protects the egg until it is used. Bacteria has a hard time penetrating a dry shell, but will have a much easier time if the shell is wet because the shell is porous.

Commercially grown eggs are washed and bleached. Not only that; the chickens are cage confined and never see the day of light. And because of these conditions their feed is loaded with antibiotics to keep the chicken healthy. These chickens also have a very short life span.

“Unwashed Eggs” are eggs that are gathered, brought into the house and lightly wiped off with a dry cloth, paper towel, a loofa pad, or scrubby. Absolutely no water comes in contact. If the hens laying box is kept clean and egg gathering is frequent for the most part the eggs will be clean and no need to deal with feathers, hay stuck on, or chicken poop.

ready. set… go!

 

planting arugula…

full sun/part shade
germination 5-7 days
40 days to harvest

 

Starting seeds on your sunny windowsill gives the hope that spring is just around the corner.

Make sure to check your seed packets for instructions but keep in mind you may need to make adjustments given your situation. In Brooklyn we have itty bitty windowsills, although some people are lucky to have a slice o’ backyard land or a plot in a community garden… if you can make an outdoor hoop tent to start some heartier veggies outside rock on! Get to it! We want to see what you’re up to!

Now back to our itty-bitty windowsill and the arugula…

When starting seeds it is best to work with a wet soil mixture that is almost a dry mud consistency – this makes filling your peat pots and seed handling go much smoother – and alleviates the settling that would occur with the first watering…I highly recommend this.  Once the seeds are in and soaking up some warm sunny late winter rays of vitamin D you will start to see some sprouting action… this is where it gets ugly.

Survival of the fittest… this IS important:

Once your seeds are all germinating and sprouting and doing their thing along comes the thinning of the herd… I know, no one ever wants to and almost always tries to avoid the slaughter but you really want to keep the strongest seedlings to plant in your containers, pots, raised beds… (as mentioned yesterday, more on that soon enough.. all in due time!) Another thing to keep in mind…we are in Brooklyn, not Kansas & we are not planting rows of corn… real estate is a hot commodity so planting seedlings closer than the recommended 6” apart, well is just necessary and really won’t do too much harm to your harvest.

Reseed your Arugula patch every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest right up until a month before your frost date – here in Brooklyn we usually get a frost the week of Thanksgiving.

Arugula is ready to harvest in about 40 days. Harvest leaves from the outside in to the center of the plant. The flowers are edible and have a spicy radish like taste to them.  Stay tuned to watch our lettuce patch take shape… we’ll keep you updated along the way!