by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Wayne Newton hired Jamie Phillips, after her equine apprenticeship program, to run his Arabian Horse Farms. Jamie says Wayne is a nice, generous man. She still sends him pictures of her kids at Christmas time.
Wayne's made his wedding gift to her Ali Design, an Arab horse. Ali, like most Arabs, is friendly and would love to come in the house and sleep at the end of their bed. Bedouins raise their horses to live inside their tents.
That was fifteen years ago now, before her two children and the 'girls' arrived in her life.
Jamie and her husband bought a farm in Rock Creek so Ali would have room to run. It is located at 3948 State Route 45.
The 'girls' entered Jamie's life as an alternative to a day job.
Even early a few chickens were running around the yard. Folks would stop and ask if they could buy eggs. From this grew Phillips Egg Company.
The Girls are Golden Comets, and each can lay 360 brown eggs a year. Jamie's chickens, who she calls, 'her girls,' go out a lot when the garden is not yielding. If it is, they have to stay in their yard, as the garden is a real magnet for them. So you could say the 'girls' are a combination of 'pasture raised,' and 'free range.' They are always 'cage-free.'
The girls chase and catch frogs and whatever they can find. In the summer they peck at the toes of visitors, too, being especially attracted to painted toe-nails, especially red ones.
Raising chickens and eggs commercially was easy to do, Jamie says. The inspection to be certified was free. The food inspector man came out, looked around and signed off. Jamie rigorously follows the rules, labeling instructions on the cartons of eggs, typed and printed out on recycled cartons. The only other requirement is having a thermometer in her refrigerator.
Jamie has also had Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rocks but prefers the Comets. The flock is not as pretty but their personalities are friendly and they are very, very brave. When she goes out to clean the coop as many as four chickens will try to ride on her because she appears to be roost-able.
The business is growing. They are branching out with their garden, cut flowers, and meat chickens. And every day has its little adventures with the 'girls.'