SPECIAL TO THE LABRADORIAN
Pearl Cobb has been teaching at Amos Comenius Memorial School in Hopedale for 28 years and is currently working with Grade 2’s. Her before- and after-school thoughts are always with her beloved laying hens and quails as well as her indoor hydroponic gardens.
It all really started five years ago when Pearl, her husband, children, two dogs and cat were back to her Fogo Island birthplace. For quite some time, a close friend had been trying to persuade Pearl to bring fertilized eggs back home to Hopedale with her.
Having no idea if the mission would be a success or not, she finally decided to give it a go with twelve hen and six quail fertilized eggs.
Next came a cross-Island adventure for the entire family, then north to St. Barbe and the Straits’ Ferry, and finally the Coastal boat trip for the last leg. Immediately after landing back home in Hopedale, Pearl placed all the eggs into an incubator and nervously waited for something to get cracking. The rest is history as these birds are for the most part all still with her and producing.
Pearl’s six quails lay one egg religiously every twenty-four hours while her twelve hens are more finicky and not so regular. Some do and some don’t. Though Licorice, her Black Americana hen is five years old and no longer a producer, she holds on to her on as a pet.
Daily water-fill-ups and feedings bring a flurry of feathers as the hens scurry to her side while the hand-feeding is an even more special bonding time. Two of the hens have real personalities and chase Pearl everywhere like children in need of attention.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Pearl’s self-proclaimed homesteading operation is one of her prides and joys while doing a little something about the whole issue of food security at the same time. Her conversation and smile reveal the contentment with not only their companionship but also the fresh eggs for the kitchen table. And those fresh hydroponic greens are delicious in her salads.
These efforts and projects are but the tip of the iceberg. Hopedale Town Council and its Food Security Network Committee continue to work with existing programs while more is in the works. Now that’s another article. Stay tuned.