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 the farrowing behind us this week we can talk about the 17 piglets running around the pasture and the mayhem that ensues!  Mama pigs are doing great and we also share the final castration update for the season as we finish off that chore.  We also talk about the broiler chickens that are here.  Our Cornish X chicks arrived early and we're not ready!!

In the CoopCast Community we give a nice thank you to our listeners who helped us by sharing their experience and letting us know we were not alone.  It was a cool feeling!  We also mention a great comment from a US Veteran on our Memorial Day post on Facebook. Ohh, Andy shares a gun range story about some not so savvy pistol shooting (smack talk - the shooting was great!).

Finally we tour the veggie patch and talk about row covers and hoops.  Kelli shares some of the pros: Protect from cold sun and bugs, Better growth on some stuff and some of the cons: Hard to see in-Need to check in on plants, Blowing off, Getting torn

Direct download: CoopCast_072.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT

This has been a week of extreme conditions on the farm physically as well as one of the most emotionally challenging weeks of farming yet.  The vegetables have had to deal with a freeze of 28F one day and 90+ a few days later... any way you look at that, it's a challenge.  On top of the wild weather we had to navigate piglet castration when the mama wants nothing to do with humans and icing on the cake was a proven sow who has issues while farrowing and needed help delivering 8 more piglets!

While we try and keep it clean it's been exhausting and the description of farrowing a castration topics made us thing the "use caution around small children" label was appropriate for the "more sensitive" listeners.
One resource we mention in this episode is the Perdue livestock "Difficult pig farrowing" guide here -
Anyone who ever said farming was easy should live a week like this then come back and see us :)
Direct download: CoopCast_071.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

This was a busy week on the farm.  In fact, we don't even have time to talk about the vegetable gardening this week!  Our gilt, Katniss, farrowed her first litter of pigs and we take you through the experience from noticing her first signs of farrowing all the way through dealing with mom and piglets post-farrowing.  We reflect on this farrowing experience versus our first farrowing with our sow last year - and there's quite a difference!   Share in our joy and disappointment as we deal with an aggressively protective mom and how that behavior is affecting our ability to care for the animals.  We await the next farrowing coming later in the week.  We also briefly touch on the arrival of turkey poults and egg layer chicks this week as well.

Direct download: CoopCast_070.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

This week we talk about our new YouTube series we will be publishing over the next several months called "Five Minutes on the Farm".  We set up some new fencing for the pigs and Andy longs for more permanent fences on the farm. We are getting ready for piglet farrowing in the next week and we talk a little about the new pig waterer we built. We briefly stop by the veggie patch to talk gardening and asparagus and raspberry plants.

The CoopCast Community has a followup on the "Milk Rant" from CoopCast 067 and the listener response in CoopCast 068.  We also respond to a suggestion from a listener regarding farm tours and interns.

This weeks concludes with a Rumination about GMO's.  We challenge the listener to consider that the concept of a GMO is not categorically bad - there are some really good things that come from GMO's in the world and we touch on a few of them.

Direct download: CoopCast_069.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

Things around the farm have been getting busy as the vegetable gardening season is off to is start.  Finally we have the peas planted - sugar snap and snow so far.  We have also been picking from the asparagus patch and enjoying some fresh spring vegetables. We talk about a trip to the Amish greenhouse and Amish WalMart.  At the same time we have been fighting rats in the barn with increasing urgency as we are just a few weeks away from chicks and poults brooding in the barn.

Then in the CoopCast Community we tease a little bit about the fact we are building something that we hope will really help out on the farm...  to see what it is check out our Facebook page.  We talk about some "quiet criticism" our last CoopCast received and rant a little.  We also answer Luke's question about owning vs buying pigs for meat production.

Finally we conclude with a Farm U all about GMO's and the testing of food for the presence of genetically modified organisms.  This segment is not opinion or discussion based noise about GMO's rather a factual "from the lab" discussion of how Dr. Farmer Kelli is actually testing foods for GMO corn and soy.

Direct download: CoopCast_068.mp3
Category:farming podcast -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT