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Our guest writer this week is Mary Creech, a former contributing writer to South Carolina Homes & Gardens Magazine, a Master Gardener, and a lifelong resident of South Carolina. She is a proponent of backyard chickens and their eggs. She reveals to us her views on free-range poultry eggs and why she believes they are more nutritious than store-bought eggs. She shares her husband’s Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble, good for anyone needing a quick breakfast.

Anne K Moore



Mary Creech, Freelance Writer
Photograph Anne K Moore

In our quest for the perfect food, how far do we need to go beyond the lowly egg?

When I was a little girl, my mom was scornful of “those shipped eggs,” which were the eggs from the grocery store. The last eggs I bought from the grocery store were shipped from Pennsylvania. Now, how long did it take those eggs to reach us?

Free-range chickens seem to be the best way to grow eggs and keep bugs out of a garden at the same time. Mother Earth News Magazine states that eggs from free-range chickens have 39% less cholesterol than other eggs. You can see the difference when you crack these eggs; the yolks are so much richer, a deep golden orange color.

In my neighborhood, we are allowed to have four hens. I toyed with the idea of keeping chickens in my own backyard, until my neighbor, who has chickens, agreed to sell me a dozen per week. Her eggs are so beautiful. They are laid by Araucana hens, sometimes called Easter Egg Chickens, in shades of light blue, green, and brown. She feeds them well; kitchen scraps and just the right grains, plus they get to walk through her yard some days and keep it clean of insects.

I challenge you to seek out some free-range eggs and taste the difference.

Mary & Charles Creech

My husband, who is not a cook, discovered this recipe. He enjoys fixing it for himself some mornings before I get up.

Prep Time: 1 minute.
Cook Time: 45-60 seconds. (Microwaves vary, so use a shorter time for more powerful ovens.)
Serving Size: 1 serving.

2 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons shredded cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Coat a microwave safe cup with cooking spray, add the eggs and milk, and blend with a fork. Microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds; stir and continue cooking for 30 to 45 seconds longer. Microwaves vary, so use a shorter time for more powerful ovens. Serve topped with salt, pepper, and cheese.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heather Rhoades,, Photographs courtesy of

Cover crops are an often-overlooked way to improve the vegetable garden. Oftentimes, people consider the time between late fall to winter to early spring to be a time where the vegetable garden space is wasted. We think our gardens rest during this time, but this is not the case at all. Read more...

Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.

This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.

Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!

To register call: Alki Tours at 800-895-2554

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