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Stories from the heart of Hawthorn Farm.

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How Much I Love Daniel

“I could really use a beer right now,” says Daniel. I’ve heard this many times during our food challenge year, often after tough day at a program. Our rule is that we can’t have homebrew unless the brewer hand-harvested the grain. So even well-meaning brewer friends have been stumped on how to get us beer. Saskia to the rescue—or at least, she provided a quart of barley seeds gleaned from a field on Lopez Island. With their tough hulls, these seeds are a pain to eat. But they are brewable. They were kind of gray and washed out—not the best quality for malting, but they were what we had and I am not going to look a gift barley in the hull. I soaked the seeds, then rinsed them twice a da

Life is a Jar of Chicken Fat

Steam billows out of the big enamel pot as I lift the lid. It’s a gray autumn morning, I’m wearing my blood-stained apron, and my brown is furrowed in concentration as I dunk a dead chicken into the hot water. “Welcome to spa day at Hawthorn Farm,” I tell her as I slosh her up and down. My farmwife humor belies the gratitude I feel for these birds. My husband and I have spent a year of eating only food that we or friends have harvested by hand. This experiment brings history alive. It opens up a world of inquiry. It highlights my bonds with the rest of the living world. And so I ended the life of one of our old laying hens. Right or wrong, I wrapped her in my apron and let her blood ru




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Woodinville, WA 98072, USA

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