HEY, FOLKS! I’m Andrea (Andy) Hazzard and I started Hazzard Free Farm in 2007 to counter my frustration towards the role I was playing in the demise of the environment, it also was a way to bring my spiritual and philosophical beliefs in line with the way I live. I was suffering from cognitive dissonance, like an out of tune song my worldly work and actions were out of line with my beliefs. One of the tenets of my farm is education. I have worked with many entities to introduce, inspire and teach farming to people in our community. Seed saving plays a major role in our operation and I look forward to bringing more varieties of heirloom and ancient grains to our product line and to your table.
In the beginning…
I remember vividly as a child the wooden bins of grain in the barn and in the loft of the corn crib, the heavy, silken feeling of them as you thrust your arm in, the dust in the air as the sun streamed through the window. It’s smell I cannot quite capture for you, I guess it’s a bit beyond words. I remember stuffing my pockets full to spirit some to the horses and chew them as I made my childhood rounds about the farm.
I would go to the corn crib with my grandfather Earl Hazzard and choose a few ears of corn, we would shell them in the sunshine then trundle across the yard and down to the basement. Grandpa would get the hand crank grinder out and we would make cornmeal. Up the stairs we would go to deliver it to my grandmother, Marguerite and she would make us corn cakes on her little iron skillet and for dinner we would have cornbread. The cornbread recipe on my cornmeal was adapted from her recipe, that skillet is in my kitchen as we speak, the lessons they taught me continue on through my beliefs and my work.
Philosophy and practices
Hazzard Free Farm places sustainability first and foremost. Whether it is ecological, environmental or economical, without sustainability we fail the future. We are proud to bring you a wide variety of high-quality heirloom grains grown in the organic tradition and stone ground using age-old techniques. The beauty of the local foods movement is transparency. And as the movement continues to flourish, we encourage our customers to visit the farm with family and friends.
We do not use treated or GMO seeds ever, opting only for ancient, open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. Organic foundation seed is planted whenever available. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or fungicides are NEVER used.
We remain deeply committed to adapting ancient and heirloom grains to our soils and our farming practices. It can take three to five year or more to do this, these crops are incredibly adaptable over time and well worth the effort. Our investment in this process is a risk but it will pay off in the health and ecological benefits to our land, our products, the sustainable farming community and our customers' health.
Products, processing and food safety
Our flours, cornmeal, polenta, wheat, emmer, barley, berries, groats and rolled oats are alive and — like many naturally-grown ingredients — they are perishable. They contain the germ, bran and natural oils that nature intended. We recommend that you place them in the freezer or refrigerator for long term storage. Our products cannot be consumed, re-packed or resold as seed for sprouting or planting.
Hazzard Free Farm whole grains are always stone milled to preserve taste and quality, avoiding high-heat conditions found in many industrial mills that alter flavors and nutrients. Our flours contain the germ and bran, and are unbromated, unbleached and unaltered by the addition of additives. You'll notice our oats taste like no other, they are nutty, rich, and alive. Our rolled oats are never steamed, a process that removes nutritious flavorful natural oils in favor of longer shelf lives.
Food safety is a top priority at our processing facility, which is regularly inspected by the State of Illinois Department of Health. A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plan (HACCP) is in place. We carry full product liability and are happy to provide a certificate upon request.