Brief diversion from the bees as the rain poured down!
Since the coronavirus outbreak, I have been selling my eggs directly to people and I reuse old egg boxes. I was given some brush pens for my birthday, and a book on modern calligraphy and lettering:
The pens are a make called BAOKE and I presume they came from Amazon. I had a bit of a practise although the paper of the book is quite thin so the ink bled through, so I moved straight on to the egg boxes as the card is very absorbent, so perfect for these pens.
I found it was more a question of drawing the letters, and joining them up afterwards rather than trying to link the letters as you would in handwriting. It’s also one of those things that if you think too much you start going wrong! However, I think it gives a professional look to the boxes, which I realise may not be much of a priority for many…to be honest, I’ve been meaning to try lettering and calligraphy for ages so this is the perfect excuse. It means I can also add my website and socials details; I am proud that I provide clean fresh eggs – fresher by far than anything you can buy in the supermarket – and I have had so many compliments from people who buy them. Another advantage of selling direct is that I can make sure the eggs are sold on a fair rotation, and I’ve hopefully secured some ongoing customers once the restrictions are lifted. I don’t often have a surfeit of eggs, but it’s nice to know they are going to local, appreciative people!
I have sold 3 of my young hens as I couldn’t breed from them (they are daughters of my RIR rooster) and the Barnevelder bantam cockerels were getting a bit feisty, so Tweedledum has gone off with his young wives to a new home with a lady who has had my chickens before so I know they will have a wonderful time in her large garden and extensive vegetable patch. Another of my hens has gone broody so I should have chicks later in the month.
This does mean I’ve basically halved the egg output as the remaining hens are a bit older, but I am still able to keep people supplied as well as have the odd one for me and provide emergency eggs for my neighbours. I have 6 new young pullets reserved for the beginning of June but they won’t be laying until the autumn.
Having mastered the lettering for the eggs, I moved on to plant labels. I sell divisions and self-seeded perennials in peat-free compost in recycled pots as I think it’s absolutely the best way to establish a pollinator garden. Buying local means the plants are adapted, and of course, peat-free is essential. I use Dalefoot Compost which is a combination of wool and bracken, and mix it with wormery compost and some soil (thank you moles!) to make my own ‘blend’. I have all sorts of plants pop up: see here for a garden tour.