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.

Last week we responded to a listener question with a little bit of good natured humor about a non-conventional mode of transportation - the tricycle.  We learned that 99.9% of trikers are funny people and, well, let's just say - if you are going to ask us a question and are looking for an answer...  you should expect the same humor and standards we apply to ourselves to also apply to you.

We talk about our decision regarding Katniss on the farm and why / how we got to that decision.  It's been hot and the pigs have been managing it as we head into weaning time. The broilers are enjoying the pasture more than Farmer Andy is and the chickens in the "chick wagon" are now enjoying foraging outside.  We talk a little about the electric netting use this year to "secure" the pens and how it's been working out so far. We also talk about our new tumbler composter.

In the Veggie Patch we talk about the tomato ICU we set up after the extraordinary rains caused a bunch of losses. 

Remember when we had our last farming "Remember When" segment? That's OK, we don't either. This week's remember when talks about the things listeners have asked and we keep forgetting to give updates about.  We talk about our concrete pig waterer, that chick wagon post to our blog that never got done and an update about Nugget the chicken.

Direct download: CoopCast_076.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT

In our updates this week we lament about the nedless rain on the farm, the wet pastures and the sorggy gardens.  Our pigs have even taken to finding new places to walk and eat since thing sare so muddy. On the upside we have a lot of them sold with our pre-order process. We took advantage of a break i nthe rain to get the pastured broilers out and the pens are moving across fresh (but wet) ground. In the vegetable garden the tomatoes have not been so happy about the endless rains but the greens are gowing like weeds - absloute extremes in the garden for sure.

This week we also ruminate around a great question from one of our listeners about how you know you can / should trust the quality of a local farm based on things you see on the surface.  Does a dirty farm mean a bad farm? How do you know how a farm operates? Som really good questions posed and we we talk through the question at hand.

Direct download: CoopCast_075.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

This week on the farm has been marked by more rain than we need - over 2" above average for the month.  Becasue of that we have been trying to find a time to get those Cornish X chickens out to pasture.  We also discovered an old layer hen that the weather made blue - so she started eating eggs.  On the piglet front we have noticed a big differnce in sow nursing capacity Katniss vs Hermione nursing 6vs 11.

Part of farming is then selling the good you raised - so we talk a little about the pork ordering and our approach this year.  We also talk about the gardens and the rain... and the fact we have decided to start the vegetable CSA this year (remember to check out www.chickenthistlefarm.com every Tuesday on the Farm Blog for the latest fresh in-season vegetable recipes!)

In the CoopCast Community we field an indepth question about the decisions behind our greenhouse.  We answer the questions about why we chose a dirt floor vs cement. Extra heat vs. no heat. And home built vs manufactured.

Direct download: CoopCast_074.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

Updates this week include a discussion about the new piglets and the genetics / lineage in them and what decisions we migth be making in the comming months.  We talk about the Cornish X broilers and the efforts to line up chicken helpers for the July processing day.  The heritage turkeys are doing well in the brooder and Farmer Andy loves the chick wagon - dreaming of a farm of all mobile wagons.

In the Veggie Patch segment we wander all over the gardens - from the greenhosue to the pasture to our haying operations.  We also share some of Farmer Kelli's tips and tricks; like using a whiteboard for lists, using an iPhone for lists, using scraps of papers for lists and then making lists of lists of things to put on lists on the farm!  Things like using a pencil to write on old mini-blind tags, the usage of mulching and how we are going to try and maximize our broiler fertilizer this year.

This coopcast is a little crazy - just like life on the farm!

Direct download: CoopCast_073.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

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