Friday, December 02, 2016

TBF 146 :: Gifts for Farmers, Now What's Happening, and the Family

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**


Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

With Christmas coming up before we know it (and possibly putting an end to my concrete dreams) I thought it would be good to share my Top Ten Gifts for the farmer or aspiring farmer on your list. I've tried to diversify the list a bit with some tools I use on the farm, some tools that are important to the farm, a couple of my favorite books, and even some podcasting tools! One thing that I noticed as I made up the list was that it has quite a few expensive items on it. At first I was a little taken back by that realization, but then it came to me ... as I have matured in my farming adventure I have found that quality really does win the day on the farm. Quality can save time, it can save on broken tools, and most of all it can save frustration! Of course not everything on the list is expensive ... I mean I do love a good pair of sub-$10 USA made pliers! As a bonus I'm also sharing a link to the new boots I've been putting through the paces and some leftover Beginning Farmer T-shirts!

:: The Farmer's Christmas List :: (Amazon links are affiliate links)
  1. The Lean Farm by Ben Hartman
  2. Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon
  3. Dewalt LED Flashlight 20V and the Dewalt 20V Impact Wrench
  4. Green Valley Chainsaw Scabbard
  5. Tool Box for Organizing Stuff
  6. Rite in the Rain Notebook for Planning
  7. Podcasting Mic :: Mic Stand :: Foam Windscreen :: Shock Mount :: Bossjock Studio
  8. Speedrite 6000i Fence Energizer (Same as the Stafix x6i Ethan uses)
  9. TEKTON Slip Joint Pliers
  10. All American 30 Quart Pressure Canner
:: The Bonus Items ::
Do You Want to Know More about My Cool New Boots?

These days I'm rocking LaCrosse Brand Alpha Range Boots (that's the link to the LaCrosse website) ... you can even pick them up on Amazon (affiliate link)! They are by far the most comfortable mud boots that I have ever owned. I love the gusseted back because I like to tuck my insulated bibs into the boots, and did I mention the are super comfortable! Check out the links if you are looking for some good boots this winter, and I'll share more as I see how they stand up to to the life of an Iowa pig farmer.

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

TBF 145 :: Thanksgiving!, A Difficult Week, and the Family

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**



Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

This past week was "one of those weeks" on the farm! A hydraulic line exploded on the tractor, but thankfully my cousin was able to fix it. We dug in the water lines into the hoop building, but I am beginning to realize that the concrete is not going to happen this year (that is my fault). To top it all off though the tractor started acting up again, and this time it seems that the probably actually may be caused by a much larger problem! Mentally it was a daunting week to so the least. All of this is happening though right before what I consider to be my favorite holiday ... Thanksgiving. To me it seems fitting though because despite all that seems to be breaking down around me there is plenty to be thankful for on the farm. In fact, I made a list ...

:: This Beginning Farmer is Thankful ::
  • I am Thankful for the Help of Family and Friends
  • I am Thankful for the Awesome Farm Champions We Have
  • I am Thankful for Safety and Fruitfulness
  • I am Thankful for Generations of Farmers Sharing Their Knowledge
  • I am Thankful for a Farming Family
Do You Want to Know More about My Cool New Boots?

These days I'm rocking LaCrosse Brand Alpha Range Boots (that's the link to the LaCrosse website) ... you can even pick them up on Amazon (affiliate link)! They are by far the most comfortable mud boots that I have ever owned. I love the gusseted back because I like to tuck my insulated bibs into the boots, and did I mention the are super comfortable! Check out the links if you are looking for some good boots this winter, and I'll share more as I see how they stand up to to the life of an Iowa pig farmer.

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

TBF 144 :: Your Answers to My Questions, Content, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**


Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

Do you know the greatest thing about The Beginning Farmer Podcast/Blog? It is YOU of course! Two episodes ago I flipped the tables, and instead of doing my typical "question and answer" show where I attempt to answer listener questions I asked the questions. The responses you sent in and shared on concrete, turkeys, walk-in freezers, pig pastures, and show content were AWESOME and full of great knowledge. If you typically just scan the blog post and check out the links I really encourage you to take a listen to the episode this time because it is full of knowledge and experience from farmers that are out there doing it. I've also gathered together some links that helped me dig a little deeper in to the advice that came in from you, the listeners!



:: The Beginning Farmer's Research ::
And, The New Boots! (picture above)

One other thing I mentioned in this episode was the new pair of boots that I have been running through the paces that came from LaCrosse Boots. I received a pair of Alpha Range Boots (that's the link to the LaCrosse website) ... you can even pick them up on Amazon (affiliate link)! They are by far the most comfortable mud boots that I have ever owned. I love the gusseted back because I like to tuck my insulated bibs into the boots, and did I mention the are super comfortable! Check out the links if you are looking for some good boots this winter, and I'll share more as I see how they stand up to to the life of an Iowa pig farmer.

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

TBF 143 :: Net Fence for Sheep, The Farm Crawl, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**



Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

We physically survived The Farm Crawl, but it was a bit mentally taxing. The day was beautiful, the farm was in great shape, we had a good selection of pork for sale, and the people were awesome! There was one down part though and it is what made me a bit mentally taxing ... the numbers were down (both from a sales and attendance standpoint). I am extremely thankful for everyone that was able to show up, but was a bit thrown by the differences we had seen from years past. That's what sort of threw me off a bit ... well that and hustling to get my spring projects (yes I really mean spring) done before winter sets in! Thankfully though I had a lot of great questions in the hopper so I'll do my best to answer them ...

:: What Questions Are We Tackling This Week ::
  1. What do you do if an animal needs to be put down?
  2. What do farmers need to know about taxes?
  3. Have you used sheep netting?
  4. Rotational grazing with sheep, but not cattle. Does it work?
  5. How about pigs ... apple cider vinegar, loading/sorting pens, and getting them on the cart?
Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TBF 142 :: This Farmer Has Questions, Cattle Sold, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**



Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

Our farm has been a farm for eight years now, which I suppose means I have been a farmer for eight years as well. But, I don't want anyone to think that I'm still not "The Beginning Farmer" ... sometimes it seems the more I learn about this farming art the more I feel like a beginner! With that in mind I've always tried my best to share the ups and downs because I know that I learn from my mistakes, so hopefully someone else can learn from them as well. Along the way (over almost 10 years of blogging/podcasting) you all have come along side and shared your experiences as well! That is why I knew that I could turn the tables a little bit and ask you the questions ...

:: Five Questions From a Beginning Farmer ::
  1. I want some concrete! Should I feel bad about that as a grass-based farmer?
  2. What can I plant this fall for my pig pastures next spring?
  3. Maybe it is finally time for turkey. How can I raise them without losing my mind?
  4. Should we invest in a walk-in freezer?
  5. What would you like to see from "The Beginning Farmer Show"?

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TBF 141 :: Quit Buying Herefords, Meat Chicks, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**



Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

In many ways our farm began before the farm even began. I was reading books, talking to farmers, dreaming dreams, and making plans. All of that lead to me thinking I had it all together before I even stepped foot onto what would eventually become Crooked Gap Farm. If you've heard me talk about the beginnings of the farm before you will know that in my mind the centerpiece was going to be Dexter Cattle raised for beef. It should be noted though that when I was thinking that I had never even tasted Dexter beef! What I have not talked a lot about before though is that when I was in that planning stage I thought the other main enterprise on the farm would be our Tamworth hogs.

Now, if you are familiar with the farm you will be thinking to yourself, "Tamworth hogs? What about the Herefords?" The reality is that in my reading and planning stages I had completely settled on Tamworths being the perfect breed for us. When I couldn't find enough Tamworths I moved on to the Gloucestershire Old Spots, but I never found any of them either. So, I just got pigs and I learned how to raise those pigs. It was sometime after that first couple of batches of pigs that I ended up with the Herefords and now that is what we love and what we are known for. That is why I say today, "Quit buying Hereford hogs!" It's not that  I don't think they are a great breed with lots of positive points, but rather I don't think it is the only direction to go.

In the end I think there are three pieces of advice I wish I would have followed when I was selecting livestock for my beginning farm:
  1. Do What Works on Your Farm!
  2. Start With What is Readily Available in Your Area!
  3. Raise Your Livestock with Care and Husbandry and in an Exceptional Way!
Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TBF 140 :: Applying Farm Knowledge, Farm News, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to www.TheBeginningFarmer.com I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**



Subscribe to "The Beginning Farmer" YouTube Channel!

Earlier this month I was able to take a long drive to northwestern Iowa and visit Seven W Farm during their Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day. This was the second field day at the Wilson's farm that I have been able to attend (along with watching their Niche Pork Webinar from 2009) and I am very thankful they are willing to open their farm, and share their experiences! Seven W Farm consists of 660 acres, seven Wilsons (plus kids), organic grains, hogs, organic dairy, pastured poultry, grassfed beef, and grassfed lamb. To say that there is a lot going on would be an understatement for sure. Behind the diversity of enterprises though is a great wealth of knowledge that comes from multi-generational family farm. In fact Dan has been pasture farrowing hogs for 50 years now!

What I'm trying to say with all of that background information is that I learned a lot. I mean I really learned A LOT!!! And, the great thing about some of the knowledge I picked up from their experiences is that it is stuff I think that I can still apply to this growing season. Here are four things that I hope to apply in the coming weeks and of course a bunch of links that I mention in the episode:

What I learned and will be (hopefully applying soon) ...
  1. Burst Proof Water Line for Pastured Pigs
  2. A-Fram Farrowing Sheds are the Bomb
  3. Premier1 Pig Fence is Worth a Try
  4. Three Words ... Apple. Cider. Vinegar.
The pile of links mentioned in this episode ...

:: Practical Farmers of Iowa Recap of 2016 Field Day ::

If you are interested in having a grassfed Dexter Cattle Herd of your own shoot me an e-mail because we have cows, heifers, and cow/calf pairs available right now!

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...
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