Maximizing their passions
In some respects Layne Elison's life has come full circle.
Elison was born in Blackfoot and lived here until age nine. He and his family then moved to California.
After graduating for high school in California, Elison got his education at BYU, then began teaching in Lyman, Wyo. Following two years there he and his wife Rosalinda returned to California where he taught for over 25 years.
Two years ago they returned to his Idaho roots.
Those roots included chickens so it was only natural that he began a commercial enterprise called Hatch a Batch Hatchery. It is at 377 N. 460 W. in Groveland.
"I started incubating eggs as a science project in Lyman and have continued it over the years," Layne said.
Before that, he said, "I raised chickens as a kid in my California backyard."
Elison's family farm now includes two Angora goats and four Corriedale sheep, which play a role in Rosalinda's passion for textiles and fabrics. She owns and operates Spools and Spindles.
"We have had wonderful experiences with the people in the area," the couple said.
Rosalinda, who described herself as a California girl who married an Idaho boy, teaches spinning and sells wheels and the other materials necessary to make cloth things.
She uses the wool from her animals, which also include llamas, and sells such things as camel hair and alpaca wool from other sources.
"I could never take Idaho out of him in California," she said with a laugh. "Everywhere we went, we had animals."
Of course, he could say the same about her spinning wheels and related items.
"I've always had a love for textiles," she said.
And, she has regularly shared that love by teaching others.
"She enjoys teaching classes to the young girls," Layne said.
"All ages, really," she said, noting that she has taught 80-year-olds.
The Elisons have 200 breeding chickens including golden sexlinks (Rhode Island reds (males) and whites (females), Plymouths, Chantechlers and white Americanas.
In addition to their own eggs, which they hatch in a commercial incubator, they custom-hatch such birds as ducks, turkeys and Guinea hens for individual customers.
They participate in the National Poultry Improvement Plan, which ensures that their birds are salmonella-free.
When their customers discover the couple has two different businesses related to self-sufficiency, they often cross over and buy from both.
As one with a love of teaching, Layne returned to the classroom as a substitute last year. He took a fulltime position teaching fourth grade at Stoddard Elementary this year.
For more information about their businesses, call the Elisons at 208-680-5652 or click on www.hatchabatch-hatchery.com.