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Farm Blog

Stories from the heart of Hawthorn Farm.

January 26, 2020

My transition from urban to rural has illuminated many English phrases I grew up with.  I'm not even sure the current generations of kids is familiar with this agricultural heritage.  But more on that in a moment. 

Think of the metaphors that come from a time...

January 14, 2020

Duke and Dolly are old horses.  I don't know how old, or what kind of horses they are.  They came to me as "Amish ponies from Iowa" and they follow the voice commands used by Amish teamsters.  Marks and scars on their bodies tell the story of hard work.  A lot of hard...

December 31, 2019

In the years since our hand-harvested food challenge, I notice that I don't have to work as hard to feed myself.  I also don't enjoy feeding myself as much as I did when the garden was the only grocery store.  I remember my grateful tears at the first strawberry of the...

December 23, 2019

Daniel and I have taken a mountain trip together every year since 2011.  We backpacked on our first trips.  Then we went out from a basecamp with only the clothes we wore.  Then we made our own clothes from wool and buckskin.  

So far, we've survived.  In...

December 14, 2019

Yesterday, Jenn walked out of a chicken house gingerly holding a rat trap.  A large rat scurried back and forth inside as I took the cage from Jenn for the next necessary step.  "Don't drown it in my bathtub!" called Kevin.  He has reason to clarify; we discovered too...

December 3, 2019

In October of 2009, I walked into the north pasture and sat next to a four-year-old European chestnut tree.  I've been back every day since.  I watched this sapling reach towards the sky, skew east to avoid the shade of a short-lived alder, shed leaves, and accumulate...

November 23, 2019

2019 has been a year of humility.  My wild idea of adding horse power to the farm has been one setback after another.  Big Blue the truck proved unreliable, leaving us stranded out in a rainy field.  My volunteer on that day never came back.  My regular stalwart volunt...

November 16, 2019

"You have a child, it just happens to be a farm," said a wise auntie of mine.  I've never had a strong urge to produce offspring out of my own body.  My mother, despite dropping subtle hints about grandchildren, had to concede that I always played more with my Lego far...

November 9, 2019

"Ag worker housing.  Better zoning.  A local USDA processing plant, and a commercial canning facility."  The wishes flew around the farmer's roundtable meeting at the local Grange tonight.

For the most part, I kept my mouth shut.  Much of what I want to sell i...

October 30, 2019

Whenever someone else milks the goats, the goats hold milk back.  The substitute milker wrings out the last drop, then I go take a turn.  Figgy senses my familiar warmth against her side.  I sing the milking-time song I have sung for years, and all of a sudden her teat...

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