Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

If only you knew just how hard Svetlana and Marty Simon — and their few hundred chickens — worked for each egg they harvest, you’d never look at breakfast the same way.

The Boynton Beach farmers are up at 4 a.m. to feed the animals at their Heritage Hen Farms, change their water, chase the goats to the pasture, clean out the coops, collect eggs, find rogue egg layers, scrub the duck tubs, check the bees, check the fences. Then they go to their day jobs, only to return later for more farm work.

“To produce nutritious food like this takes so much labor,” Svetlana says.

Yes, but it’s paradise for the chickens. The Heritage hens (and geese and ducks and guinea hens and one lone turkey named Thomas) live a truly free-range lifestyle. (Photos by Libby Volgyes)

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

A sign welcomes visitors to the coop, where families can see firsthand where the eggs come from.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana Simon packs an herbal tonic into donated dried fruits and nuts early in the morning to feed the animals. The tonic is a mixture of Buffalo Herb, Coltsfoot, Corlander Seed, Elder Flower, Fennel Seed, Irish Moss, Juniper Berry, Mullen Leaves, Sunflower Seed and Yarrow Herb.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana sifts Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth around the farm early one morning. It is an organic feed additive that can make the poultry healthier.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Chickens and roosters peck at a watermelon for dinner one night.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty Simon carries in water dispensers filled with fresh water early one morning.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty cuts off lettuce for the chickens. Publix Greenwise donates their produce for the animals.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Hailey Grumbar, right, 10, collects eggs in the hen house.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach
Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach
Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach
Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Some of the poultry that calls Heritage Hen home.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

The eggs at Heritage Hen, freshly collected.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty Simon carefully places one of his goats on the shoulder of a young visitor at the farm on Saturday morning. The Simons believe that direct contact with animals and the foods they produce can make a lasting, positive impact on children.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty balances one of their goats on his shoulder and shows a Saturday morning crowd how goats graze upwards.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Hailey Grumbar, 10, picks up Thomas the turkey. “She loves the turkey and the turkey loves her,” said Svetlana. Hailey is a volunteer at the farm, helping with the care of the animals.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

This sign is posted in the farmhouse where people buy the products.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana Simon sells her goods on a Saturday morning.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Inside the farmhouse where Svetlana sells the eggs are bins of chicken feed nestled on the table.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana, left, sells her goods on Saturday morning.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

A curious goat eyes a young child Saturday morning at the farm. JoJo Milano from Goodness Gracious Acres visited to show the children how she milks her goats.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Sophia Yaralli, 2, of Boca Raton interacts with a goat as she explores the farm on a Saturday morning.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

JoJo Milano from Goodness Gracious Acres in Loxahatchee demonstrates to a large crowd of visitors how she milks her goats at Heritage Hen.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty Simon closes the gate as he drives his truck to compost the leftover produce.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Marty cuts up produce for the goats early one morning. The previous night, they had slow-baked the potatoes on the table for the goats.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana carries one of the goats out to graze in a different part of the farm as she tries to encourage the other goats to follow. They rotate grazing areas all around the farm.

Paradise for the Chickens: Heritage Hen Farms in Boynton Beach

Svetlana and Marty Simon pose for a picture with the volunteers who help out around the farm.

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