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Hazelnut Pastures: Raising a family, running a farm, and restoring the land

Join Grice Connect intern Ainslie Smith on a visit to Hazelnut Pastures in Brooklet. This photostory is a glimpse into the daily life of a family behind just one of the small farms in our community. The Hazels welcome anyone to join their work towards practicing sustainable agriculture, by inviting you to their farm where you can learn how to do the same.

Hazelnut Pastures is a first generation family farm operated by Jeremy and Claudia Hazel. The couple and their young daughter returned to Georgia from a mission trip in Africa, where they lived amongst the Ju’hoansi and Digo people from 2015-2022. 

At this Brooklet, Georgia, homestead they raise sheep, pigs, rabbits and chickens, and grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The family is passionate about growing their own food, taking care of the land, and sharing the abundance provided by their farm with the community.

Jeremy Hazel and his daughter Anastasia gave me a tour of the farm while he completed some of the daily tasks that keep the farm running. He described the natural approaches that the family has taken to grow livestock and produce, as well as to restore the pasture land that he says had been damaged by commercial agriculture practices.

The animals have a big role to play in grazing, fertilizing, and ultimately restoring the top soil on the pasture, and so do the farm's cultivation practices. They do not till or disturb the farmland because the water and carbon retention in the soil is important to the health of the land and providing nutrients to the crops. These benefits are lost when the layers of soil are disturbed; lower layers are moved into direct sunlight, exposing them to higher heat, killing the essential microbes and harming water retention, and the nutrients of the topsoil are not able to be utilized by plants with roots only a few inches deep.

This photostory is a glimpse into the daily life of a family behind just one of the small farms in our community. The Hazels welcome anyone to join their work towards practicing sustainable agriculture, by inviting you to their farm where you can learn how to do the same.


Jeremy Hazel starts the daily chores around 8AM most days, usually with the help of his wife Claudia, who, on this day, was in town for the morning. This is the front pasture on the farm where a flock of laying hens, sheep, and a livestock dog spend their days.


Jeremy Hazel feeds the chickens and steps out of the coop onto a wobbly stool. The animals' electric fencing pens are moved every two to three days to deter parasites so they do not need vaccinations.


Katahdin sheep and their lambs huddle near the edge of their pen waiting to be fed. After storms the previous night, this newer pastures soil was extremely damp compared to the older pasture on the property, which Hazel says is because the regenerative practices have not taken hold yet but that it is an excellent representation of the improvements in the land.


Jeremy Hazel walks and holds a month old sheep after feeding hay to the flock. To the right of the picture is the neighboring property, which most recently farmed commercial corn crops.


Anastasia Hazel learns life lessons helping her dad on the farm. Farm dogs Toby and Charlotte are also an important part of the crew.


The sun shines down as Jeremy feeds the pigs.


Jeremy Hazel crouches to pet the winter coat of the female pig. He says they will be much more hairless when warmer weather arrives.


Bacon and Sunshine eat breakfast in their pen. They are being raised for their meat.


Jeremy and Anastasia Hazel feed rabbits in the "Rabbitat". Hens also live in this enclosure and eat the waste of the rabbits, helping to keep it clean.


Anastasia Hazel smiles and cuddles Snowball. While some rabbits are raised for their meat, others are more like companions.


Chicks huddle in the corner of the brooder box under the garage. These birds will be butchered in about 6 weeks.


Jeremy Hazel picks up and holds one of the chicks. He says that this variety is bred to be a meat bird and produce more meat.


Jeremy Hazel feeds another flock of laying hens in the back pasture near the pig pen, while Anastasia Hazel corrals loose birds. This flock is getting older and producing less eggs than they used to.


Anastasia Hazel runs towards the chicken pen trying to lead the birds back to the coop. Even if the pen is left unplugged and the birds get out, they do not leave because this is their home and where they get their food.


Jeremy Hazel pets the farm's dog named Toby, in front of the pig pen. Hazel is also a school bus driver but hopes that the farms production will be enough to sustain the family in the near future.


Jeremy Hazel pets Toby while Anastasia Hazel leans on the dog. The family invites anyone that wants to spend time on the farm and learn about the regenerative practices to make a visit because, "Our Farm is Your Farm."


Jeremy and Anastasia Hazel walk between rows of green produce inside of the green house. Here they grow different varieties of kale, lettuce, and other vegetables.


Jeremy Hazel looks over the growing micro greens. This shed serves as a plant nursery and egg washing station. 


Roma tomato plants in the nursery shed receive artificial light. You can buy these tomatoes, peppers, and herb plants at the farm's plant sale on March 23.


Greens (and purples) growing in the bed of the back pasture's garden. You can pickup these Bulloch county grown veggies at local eco-conscious stores Kindred Endeavors and the Herb Shop and Organic Food Store.

For more information on Hazelnut Pastures, please visit