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Hatchet Lit Study and Axe Casting Workshop: Casting Day on the Farm

  • Hills of Milk and Honey 2434 Martin Road Dripping Springs, Texas 78620 (map)

Literature Study Spring 2019



Farm Educator, Amy Milliron, invites you to register for this unique book study she is leading during the spring 2019 semester on the book, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In this story, 13 year-old Brian Robeson courageously maneuvers through a harrowing experience of survival. His mother gifted him an axe right before he found himself in this situation. This tool proves useful in helping Brian navigate through inner struggles, as well as endure the hourly challenges of meeting his basic needs while stranded alone. (Read the full story summary here.)

Participants registered for this one-of-a-kind book study will receive a paperback copy of the book, Hatchet, mailed to your home in advance. Each week, Amy will post new reading assignments, discussion questions, and activity links that will bring the story to life on a password protected site. You will have the opportunity to improve your skills in reading, writing, communication and more through this study that provides a final project like none other.

On May 11th, participants will meet for a day on the farm to engage in a group book discussion led by Amy. This is a great way to share your thoughts on the book, whether you enjoyed it or not, and give others new perspectives to think about from your point of view. We learn so much by sharing with each other. But, that’s not even the best part.

While spending the day at the farm, you will be making your very own bronze axe to take home and keep! Mr. Greg Wenderski, also known as The Sword Casting Guy, has partnered with the farm to create this first-of-its-kind culminating activity to the Hatchet book study. The Mesopotamian duckbill axe is over 4,000 years old and incorporates beauty, ingenuity, and careful conservation of materials in its design.  In this very hands-on workshop, you’ll learn to solve complex design challenges to cast the axe head from 2000° molten bronze and finish by sanding it smooth & carving a wood handle for it. You’ll leave with an artifact you’ll be talking about for years to come!

Not only is an axe a useful tool in a survival situation like Brian’s, but it is also useful on a farm. Throughout the day on the farm, we will share all of the different uses of an axe, so bring your ideas to share too.

We are looking forward to launching this new book study program this semester. We have plans to offer a book study each semester that ends with a fabulous hands-on activity, like this, at the end. Please note all deadlines and fine details for this program. Contact us if you have questions please and be sure to register by the deadline!

Registration Deadline: Friday, January 4, 2019

Book Delivery: January 7-13, 2019

Virtual Book Study Start Date: Monday, January 14, 2019 First assignment will be released on password protected site and again every Monday thereafter.

On Farm Literature Discussion and Hands-On Axe Casting Workshop: Saturday, May 11, 2019 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Literature Discussion, Juice and Pastries 9:00 AM - Approximately 2:30 PM Axe Casting Workshop (Bring lunch from home.)

Cost: $149 per person

Age: 8 years old +


  • May I attend the on farm day with my child?

    • Yes, you may. Only one axe may me made per registration, but parents are welcome to attend the on farm day with their child and assist in the axe making if desired and this is encouraged.

  • Are non-registered siblings able to attend the on farm day?

    • Only registered children and their parents are able to attend the on farm day. The axe making workshop involves molten bronze that heats to 2000°. For the safety of all participants, we ask that you consider this a special parent/child day with the child registered for this program.

  • Will the farm have tours available on this day?

    • Participants and their parents will be able to see farm animals and the gardens while on site, but no formal farm tours will take place on this day. Everyone will be very busy participating in the literature discussion as well as the axe making workshop.

  • What information do I need about the lunch break?

    • Participants and parents wishing to attend will need to bring all lunches from home. The lunch break is not set for a specific time quite yet. There will be a pause in the axe-making after certain steps have been completed, and at that time folks will be guided to the picnic area on the farm to enjoy a picnic lunch brought from home. After the lunch break, the axe making will resume. At this time, it is estimated that the workshop will end at approximately 2:30 PM. However, we ask for your flexibility in this end time as this will be the first workshop of it’s kind, and we may need a bit more time to complete all of the steps with everyone.

  • What else do I need to know or bring?

    • Participants and parents will need to bring bottles of water. Refills available on the farm. Also, it will be warm, and could be rainy, so please dress accordingly. Close-toed shoes are always required on the farm, but on rainy days we also encourage wearing boots. Any events on the farm provide a good chance of getting dirty, so please consider not wearing your favorite clothes to the farm.

  • What is required?

    • A signed liability waiver by all participants and close-toed shoes. Also, it is necessary for everyone to understand and agree to the safety rules on the farm as well as the rules pertaining to Mr. Wenderski’s use of 2000° molten bronze during the workshop.

  • If I am interested in registering for the Sword Casting Workshop on the farm, too, where do I sign up?

  • Who do I contact if I have questions?

    • Please email or call 512-829-1003.