From Popcorn to Provincial Paradise
I have a soft spot in my heart and admiration in my soul for those who reinvent themselves. Whether it’s someone who has left a career to transition into another for transformative reasons, or an individual that has quit a high-end job to pursue a less lucrative passion – it takes courage. Too often, we allow ourselves to be chained to a predictable paycheck out of comfort and complacency. And, in the end, many of us wish that we’d taken that chance, that plunge into the unknown, and to have found a career that leads to a better life from an emotional standpoint.
Grant Jones is one such individual who has taken that risk, had that courage and followed his dreams of reinventing Hungry Hollow Farm. Located in Shelton, Washington, the farm was once owned by his Great-Grandfather in 1888 and has since been passed on from generation to generation now firmly landing in Jones’ lap. After spending years building the largest gourmet popcorn purveyor in Seattle, Kukuruza, Jones left city life to follow a new passion – raising chickens.
Puget Sound Pastures
After receiving an enthusiastic note in early January from Grant regarding his recent purchase of three cows and his enthusiastic response to my story about butchering beef on the Olympic Peninsula – we agreed to meet out at the farm later that month. My friend Tracy and I made the journey on a typically cold, wet, rainy day – first by ferry from Seattle to Bremerton with a pit stop at the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon before heading to Hungry Hollow Farm near Harstine Island.
There we met an enthusiastic Farmer Grant and three beautiful turkeys (which he admitted he didn’t have the heart to slaughter just yet) in the twilight on the farm.
Though modest, the farm has great potential. You can see the grassy pasture is healthy and vibrant green, wet from our winter weather. We checked out the first prototype chicken ‘tractor’ which will allow the hens to graze in peace and eat tasty bugs 100 square feet at a time.
Grant’s primary interest at this stage is both in restoring the farm and maximizing its potential. And while his family has raised a variety of crops on the farm over the past century, his plan is to raise quality, healthy livestock and poultry. In addition, he plans on cultivating the large garden plots next to the farmhouse with a variety of produce suited to the climate of the region. And for Jones, it’s all about quality over quantity. His strong desire is to help people eat better food. And not only better tasting and better for you – but also better for the animals and for the planet.
Subscribing to a Better Diet
By now, you’re hopefully wondering how and where to buy Hungry Hollow Farm’s chicken. And this may be the best part of the deal for the consumer – it comes to you. Beginning in May, subscribers in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston counties can get their chicken and eggs delivered to their door. Jones will be raising a slower growing hen called the “Freedom Ranger” which has better flavor and makes for happier chickens, too!
Subscription levels range from 54.99 up to 109.99 per month and are designed to provide you with plenty of pasture raised chicken and eggs for you and your family. There’s no long term commitment necessary and you can cancel at any time – though I bet you won’t once you get to experience what a pasture raised chicken tastes like. You can check out plans and order at the following link.
Give a Rooster a Rest!
As we toured the current chicken coop we noticed that there was only a single rooster tasked with servicing over 30 hens. While that may sound like a dream job, you can probably assume that it’s one tired rooster. Forget cock-a-doodle-doo. It’s more like cock-a-doodle…whew I’m tired!
Tracy casually asked Grant about the idea of adopting another rooster to give the current hombre a chance to rest and a deal was struck! The new resident rooster Ham will be born in March and will take his place alongside his new lady friends soon thereafter. Happily providing for their every need.
Money Isn’t Everything
We all know the saying ‘Money isn’t everything’. Though I’d argue that it certainly helps to a degree. But in life, I believe there are three kinds of money – not enough, enough and too much. Where each person’s threshold lies is an independent decision based on a number of individually defined factors. Small-scale chicken farming is not a lucrative business, but can be a satisfying one if done the right way.
Perhaps having just enough, with a pastoral field chock full of a flock of hens, ruminants and a peaceful vision is quite satisfactory. Grant Jones has found that. And, in the process, resurrected Hungry Hollow Farm in such a way that will bring benefit to his own family as well as many others in the process. Oh, and to a few chickens too!