The Real Sign of Spring

I vowed that I wouldn’t write a cliched post about spring. No photos of an emerging crocus or apple blossom here! Well, spring is here, and I couldn’t do such an overworked topic, even if I wanted to. The mornings still sparkle from a hard frost,


and there’s nary a crocus in sight.

But, there is incontrovertible proof that spring has arrived. This:

eggs for sale

This week I collected enough eggs to sell 3 dozen! It makes me happy to think that my neighbors are enjoying the good eggs from my flock. I also admit to like having the bills that my customers leave in the jar. There’s something about “egg money.” It’s only a few dollars but it makes me feel rich. I can only imagine how a farm wife felt about the money she brought in from her own flock. Often, it was the only money that she had. Even more importantly, it was her money. In an economy where there was little cash, and the main farm income came in seasonally, with long gaps between earnings, having that saved away jar of egg money was often, literally, a life saver.

My egg money goes in my wallet. I’m having coffee with a friend later this week. When I spend $4.00 for a latte, I’ll thank the girls. It’ll make the coffee that much more special.


  1. A friend just the other day told me an ‘egg money’ story about their grandmother. She sold eggs from her flock on the side without her husband knowing it. She kept putting the egg money away in a jar or can. After a time she had enough to buy a bigger place down the street from where they were living. She mentioned to her husband that they should buy the place and move there. Of course he could not understand where they were going to get the money until she mentioned her egg money. Well he lowered his pride and accepted the idea—they bought the place. They raised many a child and chicken there. After they passed the family sold the old place for a very tidy sum. The egg money really paid off in more ways then one.

    I know when we were growing up egg money paid for a lot of our extras. Many a day we thanked God, the hens, and the people who bought the eggs.

    • I call my “pet sitting” dollars my “pocket money” and it is empowering! :)

  2. Boy…You hit home with this one Terry! I cannot tell you how I feel about my egg money…I work a full time job and that money means nothing to me (on a personal level, that is a “have to” thing!) but my stash of egg money means something I cannot explain. I don’t tell my husband how much I have, I have it hidden in a special place, in a special container, and the joy I have just knowing it is there if I want to buy those cute red shoes with ankle straps..well…I just make sure I prance outside and thank the girls!

    • Linda- I love this story! Farm income is erratic, and times between harvests were lean. That constant bit of egg money often made all the difference. It also gave women independence that they didn’t have through society and laws. Often, the daily money economy in small communities were all through women!

      Donna- for awhile my husband was “under-employed.” We were by no means destitute, but I we didn’t have the sort of easy cash flow that we were used to. I decided to avoid the ATM. All of my spending money came from eggs and the crafts I sold at the local farmers market. By no means did that money pay the bills, but somehow it made me feel accomplished and successful when I knew the dollar bills came from that work. It says something about our relationships to our paychecks. Anyone want to do a PhD thesis on this? :)

  3. I sold 3 half dozen boxes last night – to the girls at Pilates. Apart from buying a few bags of feed, the egg money gets put in a collection box for EACH ( the local children’s hospices. Up to last Christmas the ‘Eggs for EACH team’ has donated £300. Yay! for the egg team! How much will the collect this year?


  4. I would like to buy the eggs from his flock …. surely!
    And Happy Spring…!

      • Thank God the temperature is down. The trees are losing leaves. In my town (Santos – São Paulo) the heat is too great. Do not get used to it! I really like is cold.

  5. I like your sales method. I’m going to try this in my neighborhood, too. I usually let neighbors know by word of mouth when I have an egg surplus, but it would work just as well to put the eggs in a cooler at the end of the driveway!

  6. Funny. I’m the bread winner, but I never see the checks. I have a weekly budget for my gas and lunch, and I occasionally try to squirrel away a few bucks by eating from the dollar menu instead of finer dining. Then, something always seems to come up that I have to spend my little savings on something needed rather than myself. Doesn’t seem fair to me. But I guess that’s life. Bills gotta be paid, things gotta work, life has to go on.

  7. Glad you shared this perspective on “egg money” that I hadn’t thought about. I look forward to cherishing my “egg money” and also the joy I will get from giving fresh eggs to my parents. Ordered my chicks today!! My adventure begins! :D

    • Sharon, one of the fun parts is designing an egg carton label for your flock. You can use recycled (clean, please!) cartons, or buy new ones. They can be expensive – upwards of 40 cents a carton, but it is fun to use them.

      • Hmmm, that should be fun! Hadn’t thought of that. I’ve already got my youngest, (12yr old), son choosing a name for “his” hen. I’ll have to get his input on our flock name. Glad he’s getting involved. Of course he says we have to have a rabbit, just like you! He has always had a soft spot for animals.

  8. Growing up our neighbors mother/mother-in (lived with them) sold eggs from the chickens she kept. She sold them for 50 cents a dozen and did a pretty good business.
    We had chickens as well and I mentioned to my dad that we should put a sign at the end of the drive and sell our eggs that way and he wouldn’t have to drag them tow work. My day said no he couldn’t do that because it might take some of Mrs. Klien’s egg money and that was her beer and bingo money for her Saturday nights out on the town and that was her fun and he didn’t want to take a dime of her fun away. It’s funny how you remember certain things, I think I remember that because in the back of my mind I was seeing the 50 cents going into my pocket ;-)

  9. Terry, Thank you for providing the forum for such wonderful stories and glimpses of lives that are more settled and “real”! I felt better today just following along!

    • I got an email this morning from someone who lives up the street. She bought my eggs yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed eating them. I’ve never met this person, but it makes me feel so tied to this community. Nice.

  10. Terry — I loved reading your post AND loved reading everyone else’s stories about egg-money…. Could there be a book in this…?

  11. Funny that these are the stories of the day because today I sold my first dozen eggs. Up until today we have been giving them away and a friend said we should sell them to help pay for the chickens. We are new with chickens and I just never thought of it. Duh. And now I look forward to filling up a jar with “egg money” I see wonderful treats in order for our little flock with the money they earn!

  12. Hi Terry! I just wanted to let you know that the children of Roudenbush loved your visit! My class (the youngest) talked about you and Tillie for the rest of the day! As you suggested, our afternoon activity was coloring pictures of different chickens and naming them! They loved it! They also loved finding their stickers in their cubbies. Thank you again!

  13. Terry, If it’s not too nosey. Do you have a set price or is it what the person feels they are worth and that is what they leave in the jar?
    Also, I see you have a magnolia, I have one that is about 30 feet tall you can have!!!! I hate that tree and the only reason it has not been cut down is because it’s the only tree that shades my back patio.

  14. I have a small Tupperware container in my sock drawer with Egg Money written across it. I love to pull out a few dollars here and there. Mostly, though, I make the girls buy their own feed.

    • I love that it’s in the sock drawer. Can I confess that my egg money is in the underwear drawer? Why do we do this? It couldn’t be in plain sight on top of the dresser? No! We hide it and hoard it. Stash it. Don’t you just love the sound of the word “stash” ?

      For the first time ever – in fourteen years of hen keeping – I’m keeping track of exactly how much it costs to keep my chickens. Down to the last cabbage! I don’t encourage anyone else to do this as it might be discouraging… so I’ll do it for you. I’m also keeping track, again, for the first time, of how much I bring in in egg money. I’ll keep you informed!