From Backyard to Kitchen

On Saturday, October 19, I will be doing a program as part of the Concord Festival of Authors. The event that I’m in will take place at Verrill Farm. It’s a gem of a farmstand, so if you’re thinking about taking a drive out into the country to leaf peek and pumpkin buy, do make it a destination. Come on the 19th, and stay for the program. It’s free, it’s open the public, and I hope to see you there!

Our panel of three writers is titled, From Your Backyard to Kitchen. The two other authors will be talking about their cookbooks. I’m going to be discussing the backyard chicken movement of today, as it compares to what people used to do. I’ll be illustrating my talk with photographs from my vintage photograph books.



It begins at 11 am, and each author is talking for only about ten minutes apiece. But, we’ll be there until 1 pm, the idea being that folks will drop in and chat with us. These sort of programs can be so awkward, as people hesitate to approach the author’s table. So I’ve offered to bring a hen along. People can be shy about saying hello, and sometimes they avoid authors thinking that if they speak to us that they’ll have to buy a book (not true!) but I’ve found that a chicken always attracts a happy crowd.

I don’t know which hen I’ll bring but I do know who I won’t. I won’t bring a molting hen, as people are sure to think that something is wrong with her. Onyx is a mishmash of feathers. Some of growing in and some falling out.



In two weeks she won’t look much better, and the rest of the Gems will be about the same. So, I’ll have to bring one of the young Ladies. Who would you like to meet?


  1. Half my flock looks like Onyx as well.
    My coop looks like a fox got in or a chicken exploded either way the result is the same lots and lots of feathers.

    I think Owly will be a bird to draw the crowd in.

  2. Beatrix or Owly please. Too bad about Onyx as her feathers are gorgeous even when molting. But you are right about a non-molting hen as you would be distracted spending your time explaining how perfectly normal molting is.

  3. My first choice would be Twiggy…she would stand out against all the fall colours! I am intrigued by my Hens first moult. The most interesting feather loss was by my Golden Campine, Barbie. She looked wretched for awhile especially after loosing her tail feathers. She is tiny and there wasn`t much left of her….She looked rather ridiculous.They have grown back in now, and Barbie is once again cute and sassy looking, and hopefully will resume laying soon.The other girls are not as obvious in their feather loss. In fact I was wondering if some Hens do not moult? My Jersey Giant is as beautiful as feather loss at all.

  4. My EE, Henny Penny, molted when she was 8 months old and started again last month at 17 months old. She looks frouzy like Opal but I love seeing all of her new feathers coming in. Her BR flockmates haven’t started molting yet but I’m hoping that they will start soon so they can take a break from their 1 egg a day habit. One of them has been laying shell-less eggs every other egg and I just want her to recharge her system. If I could jump on a jet plane and come over to see you, I’d love to see Beatrix or Veronica.

  5. I was just going to ask for Veronica! Isn’t she the extrovert who likes to photobomb your pictures?

  6. oh do, please, take owly. she is so funny just to look at her that everybody will fall into happy love just upon seeing her.

  7. I can’t come, but either Twiggy or Veronica would be the ones I’d want to meet!

  8. I can’t make it being in Md but I think Beatrix or Veronica.

  9. Owly or Beatrix, both so enchanting to look at! No matter who gets the call for the close up…..they will be a lucky crowd at the festival.

  10. I think Owly or Beatrix would be interesting for everyone to see.We entered our americaunas in a fall fair and it made it more interesting for people to see .