Friday, January 15, 2021

Welcome to 2021!

Hi all!

What a whirlwind of 2021 so far, right?! Every January, Homestead Phil and I host a Rent The Chicken Owners Conference for each of our Affiliate farm partners to be able to focus on growing their business, chat with other Affiliates, and enjoy a weekend away. We've hosted it in Myrtle Beach, Western Pennsylvania, and last year was our favorite - a luxury vacation home near Orlando, Florida! This year, with Covid, and Canada / USA borders closed, we had to make some changes like most other conferences and move to a virtual option. We started our weekend with special guests like Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily, the publisher of the Fresh Eggs Daily book - Paul Kelly of St Lynns Press, the Head Hen of Cutest Coops - Kathy, and Brad from Coop Dreams. Signe Langford who wrote Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs which is a book we provide in Canada made a video for us to share as she was unable to attend virtually. Oh my goodness, we did this fun activity to recreate the "American Gothic" image. We for sure had some good ones. Take a look:

We dove into "why" we each provide Rent The Chicken and Hatch The Chicken. It was moving as each of us have a different perspective on why we are in this crazy business. Stay tuned as I'm sure we'll be sharing some of the videos on our Facebook page as time continues. We covered parts of a book called Eat That Frog and ways to help reach each of you so you know what we have to offer through Rent The Chicken and Hatch The Chicken! Our friend and business coach, Wendy, joined us for a session as well! Check out the Group Photo!

Looking forward to hugging necks and seeing our attendees in person in 2022!

Friday, December 18, 2020


We were warned about a big snow storm and we were ready! Or ready enough anyway! Then it happened: in about 20 hours, 14-16" of snow fell. Even for us seasoned winter participants, that's still a lot of snow and it came fast!

For about a half of one second, I considered suggesting that we go sledding. Then I remembered how much my body ached after the last time. haha! My least favorite part of sledding? Walking back up the hill and in our case in 14-16" of snow. EEK!

Homestead Phil did the majority of the shoveling (whew), dug a path for the UPS & FedEx delivery guys, and a path around the vehicles.

For perspective on how much snow fell, Homestead Phil snapped this photo of our rental coops. There are not any hens in these coops! If so, we would have shoveled around and put some plastic around 3/4 of the sides to help block the wind and on the top of the run extension to keep the snow out.

It was warm enough to take time for a selfie next to one of our Omlet Cube coops to show off the mass amount of snow on top of it (and the rental coops in the background!). These photos are from yesterday. Some of the snow has melted since then but there's still A LOT of snow out there! :)

To continue the trend of wearing my Christmas shirts around the house, I prrresent to you one of my favorites!

We just finished writing our annual Christmas Letter - yes! We are *those* people! :) I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!

-Homestead Jenn

Friday, December 11, 2020

Merry & Bright?


I've been pondering what to write about for this week since I turned over my new blogging leaf last week. I thought I'd keep the new leaf turned over for at least two weeks :)

As you likely know (from last week's entry), I've been baking like crazy over here! Finished up some mini muffins of the Friendship Bread I posted about and these delish Peanut Butter / Oatmeal / Chocolate Chip cookies, too!
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we host our Annual Holiday Dinner. 50+ people come and go for an open house style party with loads of buffet style food. It is one of my FAVORITE days of the year. I love having our house company ready and decorated for Christmas. I LOVE making LOADS of food - a big turkey, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, "baked corn", gravy, stuffing, oh my! Clearly, this is 2020, so we are not hosting our Annual Holiday Dinner this year as we know it. This is the 20th year for it! So basically, I've been hosting these longer than I've had Homestead Phil around :) (This picture is from last year as our tree is not yet up! haha)

We considered two options for our 20th Annual Holiday Dinner. 1. Zoom - I think most people are zoomed out though, right? 2. Ask which friends within reasonable driving distance are interested in a social distance outdoor visit at their home where we can drop off some of these delicious cookies that I've been baking and Homestead Phil has been tasting! We snap a selfie, enjoy a quick visit, and move on to the next stop! If you know anything about us, we're kinda of "Go Big or Stay Home" kind of people. So we opted for option #2! Sounds more Merry & Bright! (Homestead Phil hasn't said it but I'm sure he would have preferred option #1!)

In addition to this revamped Annual Holiday Dinner, I've tried to brain storm as to how I/we can be an extra blessing to others to help bring them joy or provide some extra "Merry & Bright" in the midst of this bizarre season of life. I put up outside Christmas lights this year. Some years, I do it. Some years, Homestead Phil does it. Some years, we don't put up outside lights. Not many people see them but I wanted to see them and bring a smile to who ever may see them. I've also decided to wear my Christmas shirts around the house even if I'm not going anywhere. Usually I save them to wear them out for parties or shopping, etc. So when I wear them, I'm going to post to my FB wall so I can share my joy with others :)

At the same time, our state just mandated another shut down but they didn't outright say that it's a stay at home order. This announcement just came out yesterday to be in effect as of today. Even more reason to spread some holiday cheer, right?! Some friends are all in to participate in our Holiday Dinner - Revamped! Many, whether they are in or not have expressed out thoughtful, sweet, and generous this is of us. This is about bringing joy to our friends and family but golly... I just LOVE feeding people even if it's just a small box of cookies! Since the announcement by the state yesterday, at least two of my Facebook friends have posted offering help to provide Christmas to a local family to help lessen their burdens this year. Not just some copy and paste post but true heartfelt offer to help especially knowing that restaurants are no longer operating with dine in service which means less or no hours, barely any tips if any, and right at the time when restaurants are usually the busiest.

I don't share this for credit but to remember how this year has been very different and how we can each make some slight changes in our paths to bring some extra joy to others - help it be more Merry & Bright! I'm still brain storming on what else I/we can do and I still have a few things up my sleeve not just for the holidays but beyond! How about you?