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.

We return with pig, chicken, bee and vegetable garden updates.  We then talk a bit about a discovery about the stiffness of your arrow and the placement of a broadhead shot (yeah - giggle if you want) as it pertains to archery / bowhunting.  And the nwe conclude with some listener emails and a discussion about a sugar free diet.

Direct download: CoopCast_153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

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: 7:27pm EDT

Farm updates this week include:

  • More AI talk- gator sound needed
  • Katniss heat check this week
  • Day 12
  • Cold weather continues
  • Super Bowl = good food from the farm
  • Chicken sitting-new chick wagon & lil eggs

Veggie patch, our vegetable gardening segment we talk:

  • New varieties we're trying this year
  • Seed organization
  • CSA email out to old members- did raise price

Farmers choice segment talks abous our value (or lack there of) in the natural food movement:

  • Our role/value in the food movement
  • Not big, not trying to grow big, not trying to make a living solely from farming- so what value can we bring?
  • Advice on farming abounds and can be annoying.
Direct download: CoopCast057.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45pm EDT

Farm updates this week include:

  • Hermione AI
  • Seed order in
  • CSA - email to current customers
  • Chicken trailer update
  • Bogs boots update

In the "Extended" CoopCast Community"

  • Song used last episode
  • The Facebook discussion of the picture of Hermione w/ Andy and Katniss in back
  • Questions about fencing
  • Feeding pigs "bad" milk
  • Patti and others - how to know if AI worked
  • Heather and Danielle - couples listening



Direct download: CoopCast056.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am EDT

This weeks updates include:

  • Hermione's move to the pasture reuniting her with her piglets,
  • Club station cool (what is it)... a shade cloth shelter for pigs when there is no other shade around,
  • We are sold out of pork and share some lessons on ordering / selling pork halves,
  • Chicken processing coming up next weekend,
  • Weather has been hot and dry and the rain has come with a price,
  • Shattered window and shredded turkey shelter.

A new segment called The Veggie Patch focuses on the vegetable gardens and gardening techniques we use (because you, the listeners asked for it!)

  • Tomato planting, labels and harvesting,
  • Basil planting techniques in northern climates

Farm U inspired by a listener comment on the use of antibiotics on the farm.

  • Is the meat tainted?
  • Why don't you want antibiotics used in livestock
  • What constitutes safe or good use of antibiotics on a farm?
Direct download: CoopCast032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26pm EDT

  • It finally rained some,
  • Turkeys enjoying life on the lawn / pasture,
  • A successful pig move
    • Building a holding paddock / corral in pasture,
    • using the livestock trailer correctly,
    • ready with food to distract and lure, 
    • singing the praises of homemade sorting boards!

In the CoopCast Community:

  • Dive_wombat - emailed a very interesting article along from down under about chicken prices as a result of the US drought
  • Email and package from Steve in VA with a nifty system to monitor water bucket levels buckets
  • The Stewart Homestead had a bit of their homesteading inspired by our talk of Cornish X chickens and pigs.

The Farmers Choice - We had a pig with a problem.  What do we do?

  • What is it the issue when a pig hold it's head to the side and shakes it and what to do and when to do it?
  • Judging and transparency in the natural farm community leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Hear our discussions about what our choices was and why, as well as the details about how we managed the situation and administered antibiotics orally to a pig.
Direct download: CoopCast031.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

  • Fertilizing the lawn with pastured turkeys,
  • We have the barn back and are busy drying garlic,
  • 9 weeks and less than .25" of rain, TOTAL,
  • Nugget, Snowflake and nameless are growing up,
  • Hermione is in heat again and piglets are ready for a move,
  • We eat good: Bruschetta recipe
    • 1 loaf fresh baguette or Italian bread
    • 2-3 different fresh picked tomatoes
    • 2-3 T good olive oil
    • 2-3 cloves garlic (mashed)
    • 3-4 springs each of fresh oregano, basil and parsley all chopped fine
    • Fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste
    • (optional) fresh grated hard Italian cheese (your choice)

In a bowl combine all ingredients and stir together. Cut bread into slices. Spray with olive oil and place on a medium hot grill until grill marks appear. Spray exposed side of bread with more olive oil and flip.  Immediately place heaping spoonfuls of tomato mixture on the bread and close the grill cover for about 2-3 minutes.  Remove and consume with beer, wine or cold ice tea!

In the CoopCast community:

  • Lisa asks about managing problems with raccoons in corn,
  • Austin is interested in our methods of marketing and growing our small farm,
  • Melanie has a BUNCH of farm business questions which we touch on but will cover more of in the future,
  • Another question about starting a CSA.

On this episodes Farm U:

  • Building your very own root cellar is a lot easier than you think
    • Building
    • Location, location, location
    • Humidity
    • Temperature
    • Storage Options
Direct download: CoopCast030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am EDT

This weeks Farm Updates:

  • Endless heat and no rain at all,
    • What's the impact of this weather on our gardens, our animals and the nations food supply.
  • Pigs and turkeys,
  • Kelli loves the greenhouse (and all the garden spiders)
  • We had one of our big chicken processing days

Questions, Conversations and Ruminations

  • Although it's one of the days of hardest work on the farm we find chicken processing days very rewarding.  In this segment we share some of our thoughts as we reflect back on the first chicken processing day of 2012
Direct download: CoopCast029.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am EDT

Around the farm and gardens:
  • Hermione's standing heat and hormones,
  • Piglets are bigger than piglets now,
  • Predator attack on the Cornish X birds in the pasture,
    • Lost 3 birds and now the defense plan
  • Preparing for 1st chicken processing event next weekend

Coopcast Community / Farm U:

  • Susan I. asked: why wean piglets and not just let mama do it?
  • Holly wanted to know what we feed our pigs?
  • Scout wants to know about the low tunnels we use in the garden: Which type of Agribon do you use? Are you primarily using it for pest control or do you have the type that provides frost protection as well? Do you use the manufactured hoops to support it above your plants or are you using some other method? 
Direct download: CoopCast028.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am EDT

A very Happy 4th of July to all our listeners (or Canada Day), folks listening in the UK...  sorry :)

Around the farm:

  • Not normal weather for sure.
    • Very hot but the gardens are surviving
    • Rabbits under hoop the hoop
  • Chickens on pasture get processed in 2 weeks
  • Chicks and turkeys in the brooders are doing well

Pigs - a very special weaning story

  • What we did that was wrong in terms of setup, planning and moving large animals
  • What we did that was right and that we would do again when weaning piglets
  • What we did that was desperate and stupid
  • What we would never do again because being smarter would let us avoid that


CoopCast Community:

  • An iTunes review where a listener is going to make some simple changes for healthier chicks and pigs
  • Stewart Homestead likes Andy's humor (and thinks this should be a comedy podcast, ok, not really, Andy added that) but they ARE going to try Cornish chickens and their own pigs
  • Plants between the rocks said this podcast is a "Skillful blending of planning implementing and evaluating", and we decided they are listening to another podcast and accidentally commented on us!
  • MikeE on Facebook posed a question about a rooster when his neighbors are not fans.
  • A plea to remind us of topics we said we would talk about but have forgotten about!
Direct download: CoopCast027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT