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.

With 100 episodes behind us we thought it was appropriate to look back at the thoughts and opinions of our farming podcast (farmcast)? and spend most of the episode focusing on the reason why we do what we do - it's all for the listeners!

We talk a bit about some listener favorite topics and some recent ones like Monsanto's decision to use some conventional crossbreeding techniques.

While this isn't a giant 100th episode extravaganza, it's a fun look at the whys behind why we do what we do and why we live pasture to plate.

Direct download: CoopCast_100.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

The Updates around the Farm this week focus on the big event of artificial insemination and the unexpected surprise we had with the "scheduled" standing heat. We also share our thoughts on FreshBooks as an accounting tool for farming (short version - run away).  We discuss out first free range Cornish birg from last years day ranging experiment and share the experience thus far with the tax related agricultural assessment.

In the Veggie Patch it's seed ordering time.  We continue the discussion from Facebook with those veggies we can't live without.  The best of the best on the Rowboat of Goodness (better than the silly Ark of Taste)

In our Farmers Choice segment this week the Annual farm meeting part 1 - CSA plans and how we are not doing a CSA like in the past...  this year will be different!

Direct download: CoopCast_099.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT

We are back at the coopcast in 2014.  We enjoyed our break but are glad to be back.  While we were gone we had the coldest weather we have ever had while farming as the polar vortex descended on NY. We also had our annual farm meeting and other fun events.  Tune into this farm fresh coopcast for the latest news from the homestead!

In the Veggie Patch (which is frozen over) we are going to talk a bit about some seed starting tips and techniques as people are looking towards spring already.

Farm Fresh Recipes in our food segment include two new dishes we made over Christmas and thought were delicious:

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad - http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad

Mario Batali's Arista alla Porchetta - http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/Arista-alla-Porchetta-Mario-Batali

Direct download: CoopCast_098.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT

This is the last CoopCast of the year!  We expect to be back with another episode January 8th, 2014.  So on with the farming updates and the bitter cold and endless snow here on the farm. We talk a little about how the pigs and chickens are doing in this brutal cold. If you haven't checked it out - visit our Facebook page and see the story of the #elfonafarm... https://www.facebook.com/chickenthistlefarm

To celebrate the holidays we have a community segment where we talk about:

  • The recent FDA and antibiotic use ruling brought up by Daniel- http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378100.htm
  • We pick on Nancy (again) for calling Andy, Randy
  • Pam asked us about reusable canning lids that we discussed in episode 030
  • Tori has a question about electric fencing, goats, moose and bear
  • Kyle asked a good thinking question about predator control

In our last segment we discuss all the people and businesses who make what we do possiable.

A special thanks to Pine Creek Feeds, Joe's Meat Market, Welp Hatchery and of course Farmtek (if you listen to the episode you will get a coupon code good for $25 off $75 or more!)...  and of course we thank our customers!

Finally - it's that time of the year to nomiate your favorite podcasts - so please take moment to give us your vode on Sticher Radio here - http://stitcher.promotw.com/

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Direct download: CoopCast_097.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

The Farming Updates this week are few and far between.  We do celebrate the fact we got our 1st Easter egg just in time for Christmas.  We talk about Belle standing or not and the challenges of a new gilt in heat as well as Kelli's plans for the farm undergoing an agricultural assessment.  We also discuss some simple online accounting packages for managing our farm - from Quickbooks (bad) to Freshbooks (great).

In the Farmers Choice segment brought to you by FarmTek (check out the segment for a coupon code to save you $25 off any order of $75 or more!) - we talk a few Christmas gift ideas as well as recipies and how we approach getting things from the pasture onto the plate.

Direct download: CoopCast_096.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

This weeks updates talke a bit about the winter weather and the snow we had here on the farm and the impact on thep igs.  We move them to the winter paddock - finally!  We talk about Tahnksgiving turkeys and why we love ours so much.  One farmer is getting tired of deer season so we give an update there and close with some thoughts on our pork sales.

This weeks Farmers Choice segment is sponsored by FarmTek.com.  Check out the segment for a coupon code to save $25 off orders over $75!!!

We also talk about farming and farmers use of social media. There's a lot to using social media correctly and we just scratch the surface and share some examples of how it has and has not worked for our farm and others.

Then we put our feet up and head to some Close Encounters with Free Ranging Farmers on the Front Porch to discuss - raw milk.  Mind you - these are our opinoons about raw milk...  because so many of you have asked. Take them or leave them will all the discussion out there on this hot topic.

Direct download: CoopCast_095.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

This weeks's CoopCast is a batch of updates and a bit of community.  We talk about getting ready to move the pigs to their winter area and the fencing preparations that gointo that move. We give an update on deer hunting and pork sales (whihc are unrelated). We also are looking forward already to spring farrowing...  and figuring out when our new gilt is in standing heat has been a challenge.

In the community we just answer a bunch of questiosn for our Facebook page!

Direct download: CoopCast_094.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 8:30am EDT

This is a coopcast unlike any other... it's our first foray into an immersive multimedia experience.  We play the video "Modern Trends in Swine Production" from 1961 produced by US Steel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcqxI7a6wSM).  It's really cool to look back over 50 years to how pigs were produced and how we stack up today. So join us as we walk the fields with a true swine specialist!

From there we free range over to some more contemporary farming topics like "how do I get started" and "I know how to farm better than you". There's a lot of people out there who think they are the person to change the way the world grows food... meaning they think they are smarter than all the people in agriculture over the last 10,000 years. Beware of them!

Then we talk about deposit based farming. We explore the why's and how's of what we do. This was a great question by Tyler and we do our best to explain the risks and rewards of this approach.

Finally we respond to listeners that asked us about the legal world around small scale farming. Don't you think we all need some common sense laws around agriculture, food production and direct to consumer farms? Who doesn't think that some common sense controls around things like,  ohh, raw milk make us all safer?

Join in on the discussion on our Facebook page @ facebook.com/chickenthistlefarm or hit us up on Twitter @chickenthistle and let us know your thoughts!

Direct download: CoopCast_093.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

In the CoopCast Updates we talk about the big smoked pork pickup and the fact the second batch of pigs did not have the USDA inspectors reject their livers.

On a nice night out on the town at a super fancy resturant the farmers ordered a dish called "pork two ways" where they were served pork loin medailons and laquered pork belly.  While the meal was delicious somethign very interesting happened... Farmer Andy confirmed that he is deffinately sensitive to the "mythical" boar taint. There is no doubt that it exists and that it was in the pork belly... Farmer Kelli was grateful and ate it all!

On the Front Porch we talk about our listeners a LOT.  We talk a bit about our UK following with Trevor and Robert.  We share the "comment" from Tilda the Swede living in Argentina... she was astonished that anyone with our accent would have anything interesting to say... A rather awkward compliment, ya think?!  We also respond to the questions from Steve and others asking if we a preppers or not. And what exacly is a prepper? Farmer Kelli redefines it to us as "being a responsible adult".

Direct download: CoopCast_092.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

The updates this week include our last major on farm pork pickup by our customers. It's always nice to see customers and experience the coolness of local foods through their eyes. We share some of the challenges in delivering pork to customers as well. This week was also the consolidation of laying birds and the culling of the old flock.

In Questions, Conversations & Ruminations we talk openly and honestly about pigs and worms. We learned the hard way that we need to be more proactive in deworming the pigs as we had the first batch of livers rejected due to worms. We also saw a decrease in expected hanging weight... although there were no signs of worms in the pigs, we had them and share the experience.

In Farm U, Dr. Farmer Kelli talks about hand sanitizer here on the farm and how it's used in our day to day farming activites. Farmer Andy is generally full of bad humor and sci-fi puns.

Direct download: CoopCast_091.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT