Life in gardens: colored eggs

chicken fed food color, Library of Congress“Possible now to color yolks of eggs “red, white and blue” by feeding hens different feeds,” April 7, 1939, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Washington, D.C., April 7. . . . Charles A. Denton, Junior Chemist, poultry nutrition laboratory of the National Agriculture Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland, feeding a hen a certain food to produce a definite colored yolk.

— from the original Harris & Ewing caption

Blue eggs and ham?

More photos of the Department of Agriculture in action in the 1930s here and here.

. . . Yesterday the egg so fresh
it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it
to his ear. . . .
riveted to the secret of birds
caught up inside his fist. . . .

— Naomi Shihab Nye, from “Boy and Egg

Life in gardens: feeding the chickens

Feeding chickens, ca. 1899 Georgia, Library of CongressA fenced-in backyard in Georgia, ca. 1899, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

These photos were included in one of several albums depicting African American life, which were compiled by W. E. B. Du Bois for the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Feeding chickens in ca. 1899 Georgia backyard, Library of Congress

There’s a brief history of the American backyard here.  Until the 20th century, it was a space for work, not recreation.