Naturally Dyed Eggs

Eggs dyed with onion skinsYou have to admit that the depiction of the Easter Bunny carrying eggs in a basket is quite odd. I’d be willing to bet, however, that you don’t care that its weird, as long as he leaves you some eggs – filled with candy.

Who thought this up?

This traditional Easter legend is thought to have come to the United States via early German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They already had an Easter bunny (called Oschter Haws) who visited them in Germany, so it stands to reason that just because they moved, he would still find them in Pennsylvania. (Doesn’t Santa still find you if you move?)  Oschter Haws a.k.a. Easter Bunny “the 1st” was indeed an egg laying hare, who layed colored eggs.  However, he didn’t carry them in a basket, he layed them at your house! Oh my!  That’s why there’s an Easter basket, so that Oschter Haws has somewhere to lay the eggs that you will get when you wake up Easter morning.

And so it goes.

Well, the neighborhood kids of these early German immigrants wanted the Easter Bunny to visit them too, and the rest is history.  Through the 300 or so years between then and now, the tradition morphed into the Bunny carrying the eggs in a basket (rather than laying them on site) and the eggs miraculously turn into plastic eggs filled with candy – particularly chocolate.  A kid, I’m sure, helped to mold this tradition.

Well, a coinciding activity is to color eggs, probably to supplement the large demand.  After all, how many eggs can you expect one rabbit to lay?  In the grocery store you can buy various dyes to do this, but in my family we have a tradition of coloring eggs with a naturally found item – onion skins!  You need to start saving the dry papery outsides of onions way before Easter to have enough.  Skins from yelllow onions are most common, but skins from purple onions are better.  I use a combination of whatever I’ve used to cook with.

BoilHere are two ways to dye eggs with onion skins:

  1. Boil the onion skins in water by themselves and let cool.  Boil the eggs by themselves.  Then let the cooked eggs sit in the cooled onionskin infused liquid until they are dyed. This lets you control both the cooking of the egg and the length of time in the dye as more time = darker color. Let the eggs dry and then either rub with a little olive oil or with waxed paper.  This makes them shiny.
  2. Alternatively, you can just boil the eggs and the onion skins together.  This works too and usually makes patterns on the eggs from the various pieces of onion skin. In this method, bring the pot with onion skins, water and eggs to a boil, then cover and let steep off of the heat.  Then let the eggs dry and rub with olive oil or waxed paper for shine.

Here is a link to a previous post that has a fool proof boiled egg recipe.  For Easter eggs, increase the time to at least 9 minutes.

You should also try dying eggs with beet juice. They’re beautiful too, but don’t get the juice on your apron! – Happy Easter!



RabbitEye Farm Wedding

A wedding to remember

Wedding to rememberWe haven’t posted much since summertime, but we’ve been busy – planning a wedding!  Back in mid summer, our son and his bride-to-be asked to get married at our farm below the blueberry terraces.  Of course, we said yes, and it has been tremendous fun working to get ready ever since.  We hosted the actual ceremony, the reception was at a nearby hall facility, so there was much less stress than you are probably imagining.


Planning an outdoor wedding opens up so many possibilities for creative thinking.  However, we started with logistics.  We determined where exactly it would take place, what time of day, and where folks would park.  We briefly discussed what we would do if it rained, and although we hoped it wouldn’t, the happy couple said they really wanted to get married on that spot, rain or shine.  Since they didn’t have a problem, we didn’t have a problem either.  

It was scheduled for October and the time of day was set for 5:00 in the evening, so we got 10 flickering glass and metal lanterns that each hung on a garden shepherds hook.  We decorated with Magnolia leaves, white pumpkins and white lights.  Our son built a cedar and iron gazebo that was just perfect – natural, sturdy, and festive.  It blended in with the natural surroundings while still representing the home that the couple will build together.  They asked his dad, my husband, to officiate, for which he was greatly honored.

The actual ceremony was very down-to-earth, meaningful but simple.  Rather than the traditional wedding march, the bride walked in to a beautiful violin arrangement of the Shaker Hymn “Simple Gifts”, composed in 1848 by Joseph Brackett.  This song was in the violinist’s repertoire and immediately jumped out as being absolutely perfect for this wedding.  Everything was coming together!

We watched the weather and rain was in the forecast.  Notifications went out that it may rain and to dress accordingly because this was an outdoor ceremony.  The chairs were to be kept on a small trailer in the barn to stay dry until the very last moment.  We knew that the violinist absolutely could not be in the rain.  When she came by on the rehearsal night to discuss the music, she suggested that she could play from a nearby porch which is on our barn and be protected from the rain. How wonderful is that?  She even had a high quality amp she was willing to bring since she would be a little further away from the ceremony.

It did rain. It rained fairly heavy at 5:00, so we looked at the radar and decided to wait 30 minutes for it to clear off.  No one panicked, there was no drama.  It was raining and it really didn’t take away from the experience, it enhanced it.  Our small house somehow accommodated all of the guests.  They seemed to enjoy the time to get to know each other and were quickly chatting away. Finally, the rain slacked and everyone quickly went outside. We didn’t bother with the chairs, everyone gathered around closely. The music played, the lanterns flickered, the groom was so handsome, the bride absolutely beautiful and it was magical.  She walked in to the beautiful music with rubber boots, an entourage of umbrella holders and a dress manager that proficiently kept the entire train of her gown dry. The umbrellas made the photos pop with color and all the guests became an integral part of the ceremony itself.

Yes, it rained, but this was a really great wedding, relaxed and fun, and it is likely to be remembered as being totally perfect.



HoneyHave you ever been called “Honey”?  It is a term of endearment that is similar to “darling”, “sugar” or “sweetie” and is quite common. Often, in the South, its coupled with another word like “honey-child”, or “honey-honey!” which is used more as an exclamation rather than a name. I’ve heard it combined with other nouns to enhance their meaning like with fishing.  If you have a fishing hole, it is just a place to fish, but if you have a fishing “honey-hole” that is where you catch a lot of fish. It is in song titles and lyrics such as “sugar pie, honey bunch” – an extended term of endearment, presumably loved more than if you just called them “shug”.

The older I get, its one more way to be energy efficient. Folks use it simply to keep from having to remember everyone’s name. You can call little Billy, little Madilyn and little Dominique all “Honey” and have them be happy about it.  Consider the difference between calling someone “Honey” or calling them by a wrong name.  Much better to just go with “Hon” and save time and energy. It’s a happy term and honey is a happy substance.  It’s one of the few things in life that is both good and good-for-you.

Health Benefits

Most folks know that honey helps keep you healthy.  Allergies are just one ailment that can be helped with eating un-processed, local, honey. There is a small amount of pollen in un-processed honey.  Eating this consistently helps to desensitize your reaction to that pollen.  That is why you need to eat honey from bees that are visiting your local plants.  Local meaning within about 20 miles from your home. If you live in Pennsylvania and are trying to alleviate your allergies, eating Tupelo honey won’t help, but it still tastes good.  Did you know that surgeons are placing honey into incisions to help them heal quicker?  Also, at the diabetes and burn centers, they are using gauze and honey wraps on the most difficult wounds and ulcers.  Honey is a natural disinfectant that never goes bad.

Locally Available

If you live in the Chattahoochee River Valley, and have allergies or just enjoy honey, you are in luck!  Our 2017 honey has finally been extracted.  The weather has been wet and the winter was difficult, but surprisingly our bees produced beyond our expectations.  Of course, folks on our honey list get first dibs, but happily, honey is available.  If you would like to get on our honey list, just let us know through the “contact us” section of this website.  Honey-honey!

Two more pick days left

Two more daysHow many? Two.

There are only a few pick days left in our 2017 berry season, maybe two, maybe three.  We are predicting two, but its really up to Mother Nature.  Our next pick day is Thursday, June 29th Morning pick is 6AM-10AM and Evening pick is 5PM-9PM.  Sunday, July 2nd will be the same hours.

There will be vegetables also available from Ron and Bonnie, who are managing the garden out front.  They are calling it Ron and Bonnie’s Plot, and will have veggies for sale during our pick days and even after berry season is over.  There will be a sign next to the garden that will say open or closed, since (with this weather) their hours are irregular.  Stop by their table, next to the garden, and buy locally grown, healthy produce.

Thank you to all the beautiful people who came out last week to pick.(slideshow below) This has been the rainiest berry season we’ve ever had. The blueberries have produced so well this year, even with all the rain, that we really can’t believe it. They started early and are still ripening.  We have several varieties that mature at slightly different times, so we’ve had lots of berries this entire month. The blackberries ripened very late for some unknown reason.  They are on an opposite slope from the blueberries, so that may have something to do with it. Next will be honey season.

Here are some of the beautiful people who took the time to pick fresh healthy berries for friends, family and themselves.