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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This week's update is really an episode discussion around the end of the pork season for us - the moving of the pigs to the USDA processor.  We talk through what we did to get the pigs comfortable wit hthe trailer, how we use sorting borads to move the pigs on pasture into the trailer, our holding pen strategy, fencing and dropoff.

It's really a retelling of the stories and some of hte skills we used to get this little piggie to market! 

Direct download: CoopCast_126.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:59 PM

In this episode the Updates include Farmer Andy's pants free romp becasue of the warm weather, Hermione moving back to pasture with the piglets and preparations for taking the pigs for processing.

Then in the Veggie Patch we discuss an overview of our tomato varieties for 2014- what will stay on the rowboat of goodness and what gets tossed overboard!

Varieties discussed:

Juliet

BHN624 cherry

Sungold cherry

Piriform

Valencia

Pink Beauty

Cherokee Green

New Girl

Brandywine

Cherokee Purple

Defiant

Celebrity

Martha Washington

San Marzano

Direct download: CoopCast_125.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 12:57 AM

This week's updates include our prep work in getting ready to move the pigs to the processor this year. We also put the vegetable garden to bed for the season and talk about the process and some of the suprise veggiesthis year. And of course, we have to talk about hunting season.

In the Coopcast Community we respond to questions about black fly farming (maggots!), starting a CSA and the callenges involved and how some of our listeners have used our content at some very emotional and powerful moments in their lives.  It's insane to hear people listeing to us with a spouse on their death bed, recovering from cancer or training to defuse a bomb.

Direct download: CoopCast_124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27 PM

This week the CoopCast becomes a HoopCast! We spend the episode looking at photos of our greenhouse / hoophouse / high tunnel and talk through the design and the how nad the why.  We both share our thoughts and opinions on the evolution of our enclosed vegetable garden area and what we like about gardening inside a controlled structure.

If you are following along all the images can be found on our Flickr page in the album How We Do It : Hoophouse

Also an indepth discussion when we built it is on our farm blog as well.

Direct download: CoopCast_123.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 12:24 AM

This week our farm updates are simple as the season is slowing down to just the basics.  We talk about the plantings in the gardens in the greenhouse since frost is now in our area.  We are hoping to extend the season and keep harvesting vegetables and herbs for several more months.  There's also updates about pigs in pasture as well.

In the Ruminations discussion this week we talk about businesses and how so many let opportunity slip through their fingers.  We share the details of a cheese making class we took at a local winery and the missed opportunities that were everywhere.  There's lessons to be learned in bad expereinces and this one was rife with them.  Although - making your own cheese is cool!

We also talk about a business that asked us for input and HOPED we might mention them - FlexTrailers.  It's a cool concept on modular trailers.  It's a much better approach to a business than the first one (they asked us clearly for feedback and hoped we would mention them).  There are still some lessons to be learned here as well.

The final business we talk about is Adams Holsters - the makers of the BEST leather holsters you have ever seen - Adams Holsters - and one of the best gifts we have ever received from a coopcast listener!

Direct download: CoopCast_122.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:23 PM

Back from a break we talk aboutthe pigs in the pasture and how well they are growing, the late blight that got the tomatoes, the success we had with straw based potatoes and a whole lot more.

We also go over the 500th iTunes review and answer some listener feedback on topics ranging from keeping stock tanks fresh to predators to game cameras.

Direct download: CoopCast_121.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:55 PM

This weeks updates start with the pigs scheduled for butcher, their pasture and their rapid weight gains after worming.  We moved the chicken netting fencing for the layers and have been busy in the vegetable gardens and kitchen.  Farmer Kelli has been canning and freezing all sorts of fresh veggies as well as baked, roasted, blanched and parboiled treats!

The vegetable garden is producing and we are expecting be offer an end of summer share full of goodness - including a pasture raised chicken.

The Farm U is part of a series we are starting called How We Do It - where we take things that have had lots of questions from listeners and do our best to show with pictures and explanations how we do things around the farm.

This weeks episode is all about "Containment" - our fencing setup and why we made the decisions we did.

To follow along with the images we are discussing - visit our flicker page and the album How We Do It : Containment

Good ole Flickr link - https://www.flickr.com/photos/chickenthistlefarm/

We are off for 2 weeks over Labor Day - so enjoy your celebrations and be safe.

Direct download: CoopCast_120.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:24 PM

After taking a week off for a trip to Empire Farm Days, we return with an update from the farm show.  We also share the story of a sick pig on the farm who contracted weaning swine meningitis and what we did to get Mr Green Beans back to health.

We tour the Veggie Patch to talk about all the harvested and put up foods Kelli has been making / freezing / canning as she's enjoying a greate vegetable garden season this year.  The homestead is certainly going to be prepared for the polar vortex this winter!

There's also a bit of fun discussions around the farm this week too!

Direct download: CoopCast_119.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:15 PM

This episode won't go down as one of the most exciting or passionate - but we do talk about the status of things mid-summer around the farm.  We continue to prep the pasture for the piglet weaning, the layers are laying and the vegetable garden and green house is producing LOTS of fresh produce this time of year.

In the We Eat Good segment Farmer Kelli talks about some of her favorite recipes for the fresh veggies that are piled on the counters this time of year.  They are all paper printed recipes so no links - but pay attention and she tells you where to find them or what to Google.

You might find some things here:

http://www.chickenthistlefarm.com/blog/tag/recipe

or here

http://www.chickenthistlefarm.com/blog/category/recipes

Direct download: CoopCast_118.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:14 PM

This weeks farming updatesinclude our experience this week processing chickens on anotehr farm as helpers.  We also moved the pigs to fresh pasture and are getting ready for weaning.  Finally the vegetable garden and the greenhouse are producing all sorts of fresh veggies...  so Farmer Kelli takes us through what they are and what she has been doing with them.

In the Coopcast Community segment we catch up on the listener backlog of emails, posts, tweets and all sorts of other forms of questions.  From a solider in Afgahanastan to listeners in Europe to the ever popular Doctor Who and Star Trek questions - we try and answer them all.

In a Coopcast produced and directed by Farmer Andy...  things in this episode don't follow any stinkin agenda! 

Direct download: CoopCast_117.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 11:18 PM