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.

Don't you love it when people say something exciting, positive, motivational and then...  add in the BUT!

We just announced last week that new episodes are on the table - here's the BUT.

Direct download: BUT.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

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

Updates around the farm and gardens:

  • How to keep cool weather crops happy when it's always over 90F,
  • Keeping broilers cool in the pasture with box fans,
  • Predators and pastured poultry,
  • Still weaning the pigs,
  • Thinking about moving the turkeys out sooner.

This weeks DOUBLE FEATURE Farmers Choice:

  • Conventional farming isn't all bad so don't treat it that way,
  • The difference between researching and just confirming your opinion.
Direct download: CoopCast026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

This week’s updates around the farm and gardens:

  • First batch of broiler chickens moved out to pasture,
  • Pig updates,
  • Turkey updates,
  • The new garden shed,
  • Summer heat in spring and its impact on the gardens and the CSA.

This weeks Rumination:

  • Stress of the "uncontrolled" world of farming,
  • How to manage the unexpected and being overwhelmed.

This week on Farm U:

  • Moving broilers to the pasture,
  • Getting the chicks comfortable in their new environment,
  • Tips and tricks to making the move to pasture easier and less stressful on the chickens.
Direct download: CoopCast025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22am EDT

This week’s updates around the farm and gardens:

  • CSA started and the veggies look great,
  • More unexpected hot weather,
  • Chicken-scaping the front pasture,
  • Preparing to move the Cornish Cross (Cornish X) out to pasture this year,
  • Weaning piglets,
  • Enjoying strawberries pasture to plate.

In the Coopcast Community:

  • A listener with guinea keets,
  • Zach processed his first birds and Chad offers a tip on ice for processing,
  • Someone listened to us and bought a geothermal system!
  • Eddie is looking for tips on getting started.

This week on Farm U:

Direct download: CoopCast024.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

This week’s updates around the farm and gardens:

  • Piglets getting porked up;
  • getting names and getting weaned,
  • New layer chickens now in coop with the rest of the flock,
  • Cornish X chicks in the brooder had some pecking issues,
  • Managing hurt chickens and turkeys,
  • New brooder for turkeys,
  • Veggies planted, seeds planted, mulching has begun - the gardens are in,
  • CSA starting this week!

In the News:

This week on Farm U:

  • Building a chicken brooder,
  • What makes a good brooder,
  • Differences between broiler chicken / egg laying chicken and turkey brooder design,
  • Some tips for managing your brooder to make life easier for you.
Direct download: CoopCast023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15am EDT

Happy Memorial Day. A special thanks goes out to all out troops both serving and retired. We appreciate your sacrifices in protecting our freedoms and liberties. This episode and the Pledge of Allegiance is dedicated to you.

This week’s updates around the farm and gardens:

  • The loss of Snow the piglet and what we did,
  • Snowflake the chick hatches,
  • Ollie moves to another farm,
  • Turkeys are growing in the brooder,
  • Broiler chicks arrived,
  • Planting the gardens now that's it's frost free time and 95 degrees and dry!

In the CoopCast Community:

  • Over 100 iTunes reviews - thanks "pickle kicker",
  • Toni asked about maintaining asparagus beds and controlling slugs with salt,
  • What are some general insect control methods we use,
  • Mendy asks "How do you introduce or change the pecking order of a chicken flock when you add / remove birds".
Direct download: CoopCast022.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:21am EDT

This week’s updates on:

  • "Limpy" the piglet is getting better, 
  • Ollie or AI discussions continue,
  •  Turkeys have arrived!, 
  • Gardens going in under row covers, 
  • Roadside stand seems to be a success!

In the Farmers Choice:

  • “What are your thoughts on alternative energy / sustainable farm solutions?”: 
    • Why we selected geothermal over solar or wind, 
    • Rain water collection systems, 
    • Making sustainable decisions for your farm - slowly.

In the CoopCast Community:

  • Shelby from TX asked about pigs and what they do to a pasture, 
  • Amber asked about controlling worms in a flock of chickens,
  • We discuss some of the fun reviews and other feedback, 
  • Melanie wanted to know if when we go out to eat, are we difficult?, 
  • And Mike was inspired by Nugget and used his own broody hen to hatch out his own clutch of 7 chicks!
Direct download: CoopCast021.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

This week’s updates on:

  • The 10 piglet cohort is doing great, 
  • Hermione gets sick, or, not, 
  • You only get one mistake and that's one too many on the farm, 
  • The farmstand is up and running.

In the Farmers Choice:

  • "How do you eat cute animals?"
  • Can you eat pork that grows from a cute piglet?
  • Do you want to look your meat in the eye?

In this weeks Farm U:

  • Piglet castration - what's involved and why do you do it, 
  • Boar taint - what is it and how do you deal with it, 
  • Unexpected events in the best planning.
Direct download: CoopCast020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44pm EDT

This week's brief updates on:

  • New sign for the farm, 
  • Chickens and chicks, 
  • Planting for the CSA has begun (love those soil blocks). 

Instead of doing the CoopCast Community this week we are asking our listeners to post something about us on THEIR sites and social haunts. Post a review on your web site or blog of the coopcast, link back to our Facebook page, share anything to help us grow the CoopCast Community!

In the Farmers Choice:

  • We retell the story of how the week unfolded including the signs and steps of farrowing. 
  • Share some of the magical moments that make being part of raising food so powerful. 
  • The most unexpected event of the entire farrowing process!
Direct download: CoopCast019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EDT

This week:

  • Chickens and chicks (chooks) are all doing fine, 
  • Pigs ready to farrow, 
  • Late spring snow storm, 
  • The hoophouse is filling up with seedlings. 

In the The Coopcast Community:

  • Global reviews on iTunes - how cool!, 
  • The Urban Farmer for a Green Sustainable Living Community, 
  • Guineas, guns and Doug from the Michigan DNR. 

On Farm U:

  • Planning the sequence and timings of starting seeds for production, 
  • Planning the frequency and quantity of CSA harvests, 
  • Tips, tricks and tools for starting seeds and know when to harvest the plants.
Direct download: CoopCast018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

This week:

  • An aerial assault by a Harrier Hawk on the chickens, 
  • Moving pigs to new pasture, 
  • Gardening update in the greenhouse, 
  • A system for planting the right seeds, 
  • Observations about what engages people with regards to farming. 

In the The Coopcast Community:

  • Preventing foxes and other predators from getting into a chicken pasture pen, 
  • Growing your own pineapple, 
  • Listener recommendations for great movies to watch about the food movement, 
  • When it comes to food, "Does voting with my wallet work?". 

On Farm U:

  • Moving livestock and chute design, 
    • What NOT to do, 
  • Types of chutes and materials for construction.
Direct download: CoopCast017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

This week:

  • Locally acquired chickens (support a local business), 
  • Around the farm updates, 
  • Preparations for pig farrowing, 
  • Limping Andy and animals on concrete, 
  • Pasture to Plate simple dishes.

 In the The Coopcast Community:

  • Chicks in a brooder - Use a red bulb in your brooder, 
  • What is the best breed of pig? 
  • A gift book and visit, 
  • A listener "uses" his broody hen. 

This Week, In The News:

  • The FDA decided to "recommend" that no on farm antibiotics be used without a vets prescription. 
  • While this sounds like a great thing, with less than 10000 large animal vets in the country, what's the real impact to small farms? (CoopCast 002 discusses antibiotic resistance in the Farm U segment)
Direct download: CoopCast016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Listener feedback on YOUR farming projects (cool!), 
  • Chicken coop chicks updates, 
  • Pastured chicken pre-orders have started, 
  • Status of the gardens and seeds, 
  • The peas are in - must mean spring in NY, 
  • Knitted farm animals (Indigo Moon's Chicken Thistle Farm Collection), 
  • Sugar Mountain Farm's Kickstarter Project - here, 
  • Prepping for piglets in 21 days! 

On Farm U:

  • What is High Tensile fencing, 
  • Basic fencing design, 
  • Electric fence energizer basics. 

Other notes: Up until now we have been publishing the coopcast/farmcast/podcast every week in both m4a (Apple's format) and mp3 (the worlds format). The challenge is only one version can be included in the "feed" and recently we have had several requests for the mp3 to be in the feed. Given that, we are switching to mp3 and unless anyone speaks up we will be dropping m4a altogether starting with this coopcast.

Direct download: CoopCast015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:27am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • 5 on farm hatched chicks in the coop now,
  • Soil blocks and seeding in the hoophouse,
  • The new farmstand,
  • some general small farm / farming updates.

A new segment called The Coopcast Community:

  • What is that picture on Facebook?, 
  • Do you know the breed of your chickens?, 
  • What do coop hatched chicks eat?, 
  • A Small Farm Kickstarter Project worth supporting. 

Questions, Conversations and Rumination:

  • Visiting a pasture pig farm, 
  • Managing our pig herd in the future, 
  • Analysis Paralysis by "Expert" Input, 
  • A plan for farm fencing.
Direct download: CoopCast014.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

On this coopcast:

  • An update of Nugget and other incubating eggs, 
  • Managing pigs in unexpected heat, 
  • Warm spring and it's effects on the gardens, 
  • Soil block frustrations (again)! 

A new segment called Questions, Conversations and Rumination:

  • What is a farm? 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Portable pasture netting for poultry, 
  • Management of netting, 
  • Energizing the netting, 
  • Where to find the netting.
Direct download: CoopCast013.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Managing a farm while you are on vacation, 
  • Buying produce from the store (gross), 
  • General farm updates, 
  • The adventures of "Nugget". 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Buying / selling meat chickens, 
  • The importance of good "forms", 
  • Pricing of chickens.
Direct download: CoopCast012.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Updates on the coop hatched chicken named "Nugget", 
  • Grade School Science Fair, 
  • Some good listener questions. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Small farm tractors, 
  • Brands and dealers that matter, 
  • Types of tractor tires, 
  • Size and selection.
Direct download: CoopCast011.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Thanks for all the reviews and feedback - keep it coming - a great community of listeners, 
  • Andy is losing the guinea discussions, 
  • A soil block love affair, 
  • Good eats with pork steak and preserved vegetable stir-fry, 
  • A new firearm comes to live with us, 
  • Hatched in the coop chickens. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Final part of our Cornish Cross (Cornish X) chicken discussion, 
  • Putting the birds on pasture (tricks and tips), 
  • Pasture pens, Water, feed and other considerations for the pastured Cornish X birds, 
  • A consumer's perspective on pastured chicken.
Direct download: CoopCast010.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Kelli managing the farm and Andy's business trip, 
  • Crazy weather (really, it never ends), 
  • General animal updates (pregnant pig and broody hen). 

In our Listener Feedback/Questions discussion:

  • Great feedback and reviews this week, 
  • Questions about feed, 
  • Other discussions. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Second part of our Cornish Cross (Cornish X) chicken discussion including; 
    • Where to get the chicks (hatcheries and strains), 
    • Food, feed and feed restrictions for Cornish Cross chickens, 
    • Managing the chicks in the brooder.
Direct download: CoopCast009.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • A Bourbon Red Turkey in the oven, 
  • Soil block germination rates, 
  • Managing mice in the greenhouse, 
  • Broody hen update. 

In our Listener Feedback discussion:

  • A plea for feedback and ratings on iTunes, 
  • Bucket waterer tips for chickens, 
  • Egg prices around the states, 
  • Breeds of chickens in our laying flock. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • First part of our Cornish Cross (Cornish X) chicken discussion including; 
    • How do they breed a Cornish Cross broiler, 
    • A little history, 
    • Consumer demand for the Cornish Cross carcass.
Direct download: CoopCast008.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:33am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Soil block update, 
  • CSA status, 
  • Upcoming farm stand, 
  • Our plans for a broody hen. 

In our Chicken Talk discussion:

  • How we set up our chicken coop for our climate, 
  • How we pasture (range) our birds. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Chicken manure management, 
  • Carbon to Nitrogen in manure management (deep litter), 
  • Coop cleaning.
Direct download: CoopCast007.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • What's with this winter weather, 
  • A Pig-noucement, 
  • Super Bowl (big game) foods, 
  • Seed orders and annoying birds in the coop. 

In the Farmers Choice:

  • More memorable turkey moments. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Seed starting suplies, 
  • Lighting considerations for seed starting, 
  • Soil blocking.
Direct download: CoopCast006.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • A thank you to all the listeners and fans around the world (you are the best!),
  • The FIRST geothermal heating bill, 
  • A pig with "the runs", 
  • Seed orders and annoying birds in the coop.

In the Farmers Choice:

  • Stories of our first experience with turkeys. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Alternatives to fossil fuels for heat in the country,
  • Wood vs corn vs geothermal,
  • Sustainable energy as an investment.
Direct download: CoopCast005.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Winter weather has arrived with a big windstorm,
  • Managing a winter hoophouse, 
  • Ordering seeds (where, what and how). 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • Eggsactly what does egg labeling mean; 
  • Brown eggs vs white eggs; 
  • What would you buy or how should you label if you sell eggs.
Direct download: CoopCast004.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34am EDT

On this coopcast:

  • A followup on “Wheezy” the chicken; 
  • An excited boar and lessons learned; 
  • Being prepared on the farm. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • What products do we keep handy on the farm; 
  • Best ways to be prepared on the farm for the unexpected.
Direct download: CoopCast003.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

On this coopcast:

  • Discuss the latest happening on the 'frigid' farm,
  • 'Weazy' the chicken,
  • A rehashing of the annual Farm Meeting. 

And in this episodes Farm U segment:

  • How to check a chickens health, 
  • Discussion about antibiotic resistance
Direct download: CoopCast002.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT