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It’s that time of year again. Spring, the time when the gentleman farmer looks around on a fresh, sunny morning at the newly greening fields bathed in the clear, liquid sunshine of Earth’s new day, dotted with fresh, delicate wildflower blooms, and turns to his beautiful wife and perfect daughters and cries out, in the spirit of rebirth and renewal that embodies the season, “What’s that smell?”

Yes, gentle readers, farm life is not all daffodils and crocuses (croci?). In the long, frigid winter, many a beastie dies and freezes under a bush somewhere, and it is only during the first prolonged thaw that they make their presence known.

Of course these little corpse-sicles are like deep-fried Snickers bars (or edamame, depending on your culinary polarity) to the Worthless Ones, who are working up to their midsummer level of stench after a long, bleak, sweet-smelling winter.

The past couple of days, with the temperature even at night well above freezing, the morning dog walk has turned into an exercise in dog management, with stern primate tones applied at too-frequent intervals to call them out of the woods and off some semi-liquid horror.

Zeke actually sneaked a partially flensed bone inside the other day, leading to a Spanish Inquisition-like search of the premises until the miasma-producing object was located and ejected.

The other somewhat problematic thing about spring is that chickens do their best egg-laying in the lead-up to Easter. I don’t mean to overstate the hardship here. Of course fresh eggs are better than the supermarket variety and are a fraction of the price.

But going from zero to two dozen eggs a day is a bit of an adjustment.

We’ve started selling the eggs (to finance the goats to keep Cooper occupied and stop him from trying to kill the chickens: The Circle of Life), and our friends appreciate it, though I feel a bit sneaky for priming the pump with a free dozen.

I was kind of surprised when we originally got into the egg business that people are a little wary of food that hasn’t been through a grocery store before it hits their plate.

When I was coming up (during, it must be said, the height of the hippie movement) everyone I knew (well, not my dad) was convinced that the big agriculture/big food cartel was just as much a threat to the world as the military/industrial complex or disco music, and that fresh food you grew yourself not only conveyed nutrition, but Virtue itself.

Luckily, there’s a simple cure for the wariness: Give them a free dozen eggs!

The difference is amazing, like the difference between a middle-aged Elvis impersonator and Elvis himself at 19 or 20, when he was truly a demigod of rock ‘n’ roll.

Morally, this is questionable. I feel like the guy who passes out free rocks of crack cocaine at the neighborhood playground, knowing that these hapless people will start small, thinking they can stop at a scramble or two. Then they make their first omelet, and pretty soon, they’re freebasing souffles and hanging out around the coop, elbowing the hens aside and fighting over the warm eggs.

I try to warn them, but it’s no use. They’re hooked. Remember kids, don’t start. It’s not worth it. Fresh eggs: Not even once.

‘Our Town’ auditions announced

The Black Box Theatre announces auditions for Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” directed by Bill Graves at 10 a.m. March 16 and 7 p.m. March 19 at the Indian Head Theatre for the Arts Black Box Theatre at 4185 Indian Head Highway in Indian Head.

All roles are available for males and females ages 11 and older. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Performance dates are June 7 to 9, 14 to 16 and 21 to 23.

Contact the theater at 301-743-3040, or

Crime Solvers schedules trap shooting fundraiser

Charles County Crime Solvers will host the Blaine Lessard Memorial Trap Shoot at 10 a.m. May 5 at the Metro Gun Club on Poplar Hill Road in Waldorf.

Registration and practice will be 10 to 11 a.m. Shooting will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served noon to 2 p.m. Awards will be given at the conclusion of shooting.

Five-member teams are $375, and individuals are $75, and include 50 targets, ammunition and lunch. Save $10 per shooter before April 15. Individual winner gets $750 in cash or a Benelli Super Vinci model 12-gauge shotgun.

Contact Mike Seman at 301-399-6058 or, or Saverio Adams at 301-399-4523 or