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Hawthorn Meets Hogwarts

Roger can talk me into almost any farm equipment. He used to farm, and has a variety of interesting implements decorating his office. I managed to turn down the 1940s tractor, but I was a sucker for the enormous copper essential oil extractor. With a graceful Arabic shape, coils of pipe, and the promise of all the lavender oil I wanted, I was sold from the minute I saw pictures. I don’t know exactly how this fits into the business plan. Daniel is willing to humor me on this, and hardly even asks where I am going to get the huge barrels of lavender required to get any meaningful amount of oil.

Polka Dot Poultry

“They’re terrorizing my chickens,” said our neighbor. His tone was pleasant and mild. “If you need them to run away and join the circus, we can do that for you,” I replied. So 6 Guinea fowl joined the farm menagerie. Bob and I decided to test their flavor before we decided what to do with the others. I approached their crate with murderous intent. The flighty fowl panicked, flapping wildly in their filthy crates. “Well, I can’t blame you,” I said as I wiped Guinea poop off my eyelashes. The farm lunch consensus was that Guinea fowl are delicious. The remaining four got a stay of execution because I needed to make cheese on Thursday. I’m not the most hygiene-conscious person in the worl

Down With Petrol, Up With Ponies

"Never pay for ponies," says Dr. Laura as she gets back into her truck. My sensible vet sees neglected backyard ponies all around the area. "If you just keep your eye out, the right ponies will come along." There is no shortage of backyard ponies and donkeys. But well-trained teams to pull a cart and farm implements... I spotted a team on Craigslist and got in touch with the seller. Craig grew up with draft horses, then switched to driving Shetland ponies instead. "Just as much fun, a lot less feed," he explained as we hitched up the team for sale. I felt nervous. Was I really going to take on a pony team? I agonized about it for days. I wanted Daniel's enthusiastic approval. Danie

February News

NEWS ON THE FARM Winter pares away the farm's non-essentials. Do we really need every roll of chicken wire? That cracked rain barrel? Spring cleaning makes way for fresh dreams. Previous experience suggests that summer will take more time and energy than we can imagine right now. Along those lines, I'm happy to give some maple taps and tubing to anyone who wants to tap their local trees. I've got 15 taps and 50 feet of tubing, and would love to see us getting sweets from our trees instead of shipping sugar around the world. My trip to Guyana included a hard look at the history of the sugar industry, and I didn't like it. This cold weather is a perfect chance to try some tapping! Ho

Who Gets Voted Off The Island?

One of my greatest frustrations is against my own human limitations. Jenn in Hawaii patiently listens to my over-the-phone complaints. "But I am grateful for my problems," I conclude. "I wouldn't trade them for anyone else's." Truly, my main dilemmas seem to be about having too many wonderful things to do. How many hours in a day? Days in a life? Life is too short for clutter, says Daniel. And if we add something new to the farm, then something has to go... I've spent the morning trying to sell dear friends. My old milking machine, a lively flock of heritage turkeys, and sweet Honey the goat. These are all projects I said YES to. Now it's time to say NO. Or rather, YES to a life t




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Woodinville, WA 98072, USA

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