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Stories from the heart of Hawthorn Farm.

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Friends, Goaties, Countrymen...

Lend me your ears! My dad, who has provided valuable editorial advice my whole life, noticed that I wrote in my last post about the incomparable virtues of our new goat's ears. And yet I provided no pictures that showed them to best advantage. So here is a slideshow of Blueberry's ears, though their true adorableness is best experienced through direct nuzzling rather than mere pictures. You'll notice that several pictures are from when I left the goat's gate AND the front door open. After they did some unsupervised pruning on the grapevines, they strolled in, saying, "Nice place you got here."

I Got Them July Blues

Some of my favorite color schemes appear this month. Chief among them: ripening blueberries. We ate an enormous blueberry crisp last night. Next up, purely aesthetic rather than caloric: our shifting hydrangeas. Years ago, they used to bloom sky blue, but now their color has deepened. This change is probably due to a steady diet of duck poo. Our last blue is the baby goat who endeared herself to us by virtue of her adorable ears. Pictures don't do them justice. We have struggled to find a name for her. Mochi? Skeletor? Li'l Miss Airhorn? I suggest Blueberry. Farm Grandma Jenn approves, so it might stick. What do you think?

Oh, A Little Garden-Variety Destruction

I was reluctant to do it, but I hitched the ponies up to the moldboard plow again to rip through the tough pasture grass. Here's what it looked like when we were done. Not winning any plowing matches anytime soon. At least I had the good sense to stop before I did any more harm. Pretty lumpy. At least the follow-up work with the cultivator has been successful, and we may yet get buckwheat planted before crimson clover in the fall! Out at the rented acreage, Duke got a chance to cultivate the vegetables since Dolly has a sore hoof or two. Dolly knows to walk steadily along the row of plants, ripping up weeds as she goes. Duke has a tendency to drift, and ripped up half a bushel of onions

Free the Rabbit From the Marble

I get to play Michelangelo every 90 days, when Murphy needs a haircut. The Renaissance sculptor removed extraneous marble to reveal the beauty of the figure within. I'm not sure what I reveal, but I am getting better at distinguishing what is rabbit skin, what is rabbit fur, and whether that lump under his chin is a dreadlock or a leg.

Why? Why?

It's an old idea in psychology. Humans contain impulses towards death, and impulses towards life. The world's pretty much made out of life and death, so no surprise there. When the impulse towards death predominates, though, illness and violence result. In recent months, I've asked myself why we run this Hawthorn Farm experiment. Why spend the long hours scraping chicken poo off nest boxes, fielding well-intentioned but not-always-helpful visitors, weeding and pruning and washing? Here's why: Among all the people I've known who have died, the most common cause of death is suicide. I can't speak to anyone's personal motives, but to me it seems a symptom of a big cultural story lacking in




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