Daily Life

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!



Heavy Bucket of Berries, no problem!

Heavy BucketPick Blueberries and Blackberries on Thursday June 22, 2017. Morning 6AM-10AM and evening 5PM-9PM

The berries may be heavy, but you will be able to carry them easily in our buckets.  When you finish picking, you keep the liner to carry the berries home gently and conveniently.

The season will not last very much longer, so get them while you can!  Blueberries and Blackberries are ripe and provide a high nutritional value.  Remember you can buy produce grown in the garden while you are here.  We also have fresh brown eggs $4/doz. Check out these handsome people (slideshow below) who got loads of berries on Fathers Day.

The weather was perfect for picking and eating fruit and veggies and just being in the great outdoors. We had a special Rope and Harness tree climbing event that we sponsored for the GrayHill School Farm, and those that participated had a blast. Thank you to everyone who came out.

What Makes You Happy?

SmilesShare the joy

Being with your favorite people in the great outdoors and eating delicious berries might be just the ticket to make you smile.  (We’ve seen some terrific smiles recently).

We are open for Father’s Day!

Make Dad happy with a great dessert that includes fresh picked berries. Nothing says “love” like a home made treat, especially when time was taken to pick the fruit! You can just bring Dad on out to help pick and share in the fun. Blueberries and blackberries are ripe.

Sunday June 18, 2017
Morning 6AM-10AM

Evening 5PM-9PM

During the evening pick (5PM-9PM), the GrayHill School Farm will be having a special rope and harness tree climbing activity. This is to help fund their mission of connecting growers with gardens. If you want to learn more about this farm school, visit their website at http://www.grayhillschoolfarm.org.  Rope and harness tree climbing is a really cool way to have fun in the trees safely and at any height.  It uses arborist techniques and gear. Several folks can climb at once, so it is really fun and it might be something you want to do with Dad. An hour is $30, Half hour is $20 and Quarter hour is $15. All proceeds go toward their mission of connecting growers with gardens and teaching the community to easily grow healthy food.  Help support the local farming effort.

Thursday had some wild weather, but before it hit, several folks got some berries picked.  We are happy to hear from repeat visitors and find that picking berries has become a tradition. It’s also great to see how much kids have grown from one year to the next. One family from California said this is a highlight of their visit each year, which was very heart warming to hear.  We recently had a visitor from the Ukraine celebrate their second day in the United States by picking berries at our farm. She definitely wins for traveling the farthest!

Here are some photos of a few of the terrific folks from Thursday.