Sharing our small farm stories and skills along our farming, gardening and homesteading journey. Visit the farm for an informative and sometimes irreverent tour through our garden, livestock pastures, chicken coop and greenhouse as we live - pasture to plate. Farming topics free range around pastured heritage pigs, broiler chickens and pastured eggs, heritage breed turkeys, an heirloom vegetable CSA and garden, high tunnel / hoop house / green houses, organic and traditional gardening, farm infrastructure, tractors, sustainable energy, permaculture, food preservation and even fence mending.

Farming stories and skills from our small farm, gardening and homesteading journey -

pasture to plate.

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We start by setting the record straight after last weeks April Fools episode.  After we clean up the misinformation we move on to talking about seed starting, soil blocks, plans for the vegetable garden and greenhouse and seeding the pasture behind the chickens.  We also talk a bit about a chronic infection that may be plaguing our swine herd.

Then we move to the Front Porch to discuss the "real" farm meeting for 2015 and what changes and plans we have in store for the farm.  This leads into a discussion about the work / life balance that is a real challenge when working a full time job and trying to run a full time farm.
Direct download: CoopCast_141.mp3
Category:what is a coopcast -- posted at: 11:03 PM

Recorded on April 1st 2015 - this episod of the CHicken Thistle Farm Coopcast focuses on some lofty farm plans for 2015 that have all come together today.  Check out the episode all the way to the end to get all the details about the vegetable CSA and pig operations (and so much more) @ Chicken Thistle Farm.

Direct download: CoopCast_140.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:07 PM

Back from vacation in Florida, Farmer And puts his pants back on and sits down to talk with Farmer Kelli about the long list of springtime tasks ahead.  We refer to our community and how great almost all our listeners are...  and how cool it is to watch them smack down the weeds that crop up!

Still waiting for the snow to melt we talk a little about beekeeping and a local supplier we came up with for our frames, gear and starter hive (Nuc).

In the Community we share our thoughts on a small farm in NY that has been in the news for some not so positive reasons.  We also talk about how changing the food system is achievable when you vote with your wallet.

Direct download: CoopCast_139.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:26 PM

This week spring appears to have made an appearance and the snows are slowly receeding!  Still things are slow on the farm and in the vegetable gardens so we talk a little about the tough decisions of a small business when it comes to firing a customer.  We also celebrated the fact that our AI was successful and our gilt is with pigs!

Then in the community we talk about the farms newset adventure - raising bees.  Beekeeping was somethign we had thought about but the kind gift from a listener of ours has started us down the path to our first hive (and likely trip to the ER).  So we talk a little about the process we are taking to start up bees on the farm.  We are also excited about the impact on the vegetable gardens the added polenators should have!

Finally in the community we talk about a great question a listener posted on our Facebook page about treated seeds and what that means and what our thoughts and practices are on using treated seeds in our vegetable gardens.

Direct download: CoopCast_138.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:23 PM

In this episode we discuss the crazy weather around the world and give our hopefull update on the AI situation with our gilt.

In the Coopcast Community we discuss a new tractor and what implemnts we reccomend for that tractor.  Frontend loader, tiller and rotarty mower come to the top of the list...  but that's not it.

In the Veggie Patch we circle back around to the Rowboat of Goodness from our listeners and list off some of the explicit varites we have selected.

Direct download: CoopCast_137.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:37 PM

This weeks episode shares our issues with a trio of cottontail rabbits that have been terrorizing our landscape and what we did to solve the issue.  We also complain about the snow and the cold on the farm.... because...  it feels good to complain.  We quickly throw in a mention of wood shavings and the chicken coop as well.

Then in the Veggie Patch we talk about some of the notable varieties of seeds that we purchased this year and where we got them from.
Finally in a the prototype hunting / fishing / land management / rural  lifestyle segment...  Farmer Andy talks a bit about a new part discovery that lets you move a scope and rings between different rifles a lot easier!
Direct download: CoopCast_136.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:30 PM

The updates this week are short as the cold weather has mostly kept the farming inside.  It's also hard to do much with over 3 feet (that's a meter for our international listeners) of snow on the ground.  We do take some time ot tell the story of Farmer Andy and his boxed wine tho!

In this episodes Farm U we talk about the hard and factual science behind vaccines and the debate about vaccination.  We look at the mechanisms of the immune system and the research behind the methodology.  Farmer Andy and Dr. Kelli have a round table discussion clarifying the real science of vaccines.

Finally we wind up on the front porch to share some of our closing opinions about the vaccine "debate" that's out there from our perspective.

Direct download: CoopCast_135.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 1:47 AM

This weeks updates include our struggles with a new gilt and artificial insemination this winter.  We also talk about the other challenges of the deep snow and our chickens.

We then look forward to warmer days in the Veggie Patch segment where we talk about the process we go through ordering seeds for the vegetable garden.  Who we have ordered seeds from before and what we look for in a seed company.

Direct download: CoopCast_134.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:53 PM

** There's one bad word - so for the kids ears this is marked "EXPLICIT" **

This weeks episode was a tough one as we talked about the loss of one of our first pigs ever - our favorite sow Hermione.  We talk about the stuff that led up to her passing and then how we managed things after she was gone.  That includes how our one lone pig Snow White is doing this winter.

Then we have some Ruminations about the farms online that don't share the lows of farming and only seem to like to share the positives.  We talk a bit about the following article - http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/picture-imperfect-the-side-of-farming-you-wont-see-on-facebook/

Direct download: CoopCast_133.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:16 PM

In this episode we review the happenings on the farm (and gardens) over the last few weeks. We talk about the chickens finally starting to lay eggs again (and the impact of extending their days with lights). We talk about some of the food we ate and made of the holidays and we discuss the missed opportunity with artificial insemination and our pigs.  Andy complains about the cold weather and then warms up while telling a hunting store from last deer season.

Direct download: CoopCast_132.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 12:36 AM