Barncast 114 — Rehydration

Welcome back! This show has 2 great farm phone calls, and we look at how we managed to do with our dehydration last year. Or, more to the point how well different things rehydrated. Since my computer is back I also put together a video extra. The audio is terrible, but I think it’s just amazing to watch the dogs work the sheep. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  1. Liza in New York & sometimes in New Jersey’s avatar

    Did you see this article in Time about prime merino fleece being raised in New Zealand?,28804,1717144_1730267_1730231,00.html

    And, I loved the video extra of the sheep dog demonstration. I love the demonstrations they do at Rhinebeck but as you say, Misty, one does wonder sometimes whether it’s the dogs or the sheep that are trained.



  2. Violet’s avatar

    Why do we love Geek Farm Life? Its not to hear about political affairs, national news,debates. I can turn on any channel and get plenty of the worlds stressful affairs and political debates. I tune into Geek Farm Life to hear about a simple country farm, good folks learning as they go and passing along the knowledge. Topics that make me forget for just a little while about all the stressful world affairs. I was disappointed when I heard Andrew say you plan to start a section of political topics. Not really looking forward to it, but I will still tune in, just the same. Who cares about political topics, at the end of the day I just want to know about your farm, milking, knitting and whats new with the farm animals. Oh course its always nice to hear about our favorite podcast couple! Just wanted to drop you a friendly comment to tell you what I really like about Geek Farm Life and thank you for a wonderful podcast. Can’t wait to see whats happening at the farm next week! Farm Phone Rocks!


  3. andrew’s avatar

    Thanks Liza! That looks like a great article. I talked to the guy in the video afterwards and they rotate stock through to avoid the sheep becoming too trained. So it certainly is a valid concern! :)

    Thanks for your comments Violet. The idea is to avoid every day to day politics and bring up issues that maybe pertinent to rural people. I really don’t want to do a lot of talking, but if people have thoughts or ideas it would be interesting to see how calls to the farm phone play out. We already talked about sustainability a bit, which may seem pretty irrelevant till you think about $4 gas and driving 50 miles into town or work. We talked about rural internet service back in show 20 or something, but how do our rural listeners get broadband? Do they? Are rural locations being left behind?

    But that’s also the great thing about podcasts, you’re free to hit “next” and skip sections you don’t like as well.



  4. misty’s avatar

    Thanks for the article, Liza! I’ll have to look at it later today. I haven’t spun very much of my Merino from NZ yet.

    Violet, I think Andrew said it well. Our idea was not to do a political section. People seemed to really enjoy the discussions on sustainability, and we thought there might be more good discussions in the same ilk. Some things do affect us differently as small-time farmers rather than just consumers or large producers. It’s also interesting to discuss things like hybrid vehicles, corn prices, alternative power from a more rural perspective, instead of the city view that we are inundated with by all of the other sources. Our intent would not be to put forth specific views, even political ones, but to spark discussions and provoke thought.


  5. sixbadboys’s avatar

    You guys amaze me. I lived in IA for 2 years, in a small town, and couldn’t stand having to drive 45 minutes to get to a “city”. Then we lived in Mesa, AZ, a hugs city. Loved it. Now we’re on the outskirts of Reading PA, in Amish country almost. It’s somewhere in between city and country, you can go either way here. I am a closet farmer, just found your show a couple of weeks ago and am listening to all the back episodes. I have to say that the politics thing wouldn’t interest me, but the two of you are living a unique life d politics must play a part in it. I listen because I like the pace of how you live. My husband is definately a suburban guy, I have shocked him by owning rabbits, ducks and once a laying hen that would sit on the deck and pack the sliding glass door and scare the children at night! None of these animals are technically allowed in our complex, but I was never confronted. I am a knitter and you were recommended on Ravelry in the Podcast Junkies group. Anyway, I know sometimes you feel like there must be something different you could do to spice things up, like the politics idea. I have that quandry about my blog. But I vote you do everything you have been doing. You are like neighbors I check in on once a week. Thank you for entertaining me and dening more.


  6. Jen’s avatar

    First I apologize if you have already covered this topic. I am so out of touch right now it is hilarious!
    Have you ever made kefir? I just met a lady that was talking about making it and I remember that you’ve done yogurt in the past. Do you know anything about kefir is it harder/easier to make?

    I do love the podcast, video extras, and reading what Misty is up to on her blog. Keep up the excellent work!
    Friends from my “back home” have started a blog about their life, farm, and activities.

    Take care!


  7. Husted’s avatar

    Just saying Hey from a fellow Geek “farmer”. One Jersey milk cow (giving us about a gallon a day. . .and giving us a new calf in July), three “full size” chickens, six Barred Rock chicks, six Easter Egger chicks, one horse, five hives of bees, and a wonderfully large garden.

    Enjoyed listening to podcasts today. . .nice diversion from multi-threading a webservice.


  8. Jeannine from Pittsburgh’s avatar

    Hi Misty and Andrew,

    I for one love the idea of “philosophical discussions”. I don’t think they need to lead into political discussions, despite the fact that the topics may be politically charged. I look at it as a way to give people a bit more information on these topics than what is typically available by the sound bites that even NPR offers. I plan to give the farm phone a call this weekend to offer my philosophy on a couple of your topics.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch all of your latest video, but those dogs are amazing! I used to work at a zoo in Syracuse many years ago and they had a border collie that they used for herding demonstrations. I also got to see them first-hand in Ireland. Amazing! So much of their training is just putting their own stalking instincts to work. And the dogs truly seem to love their “jobs”. In fact, the border collies in Ireland tried to herd our car when we went to visit a farm, which was a bit disconcerting for us, with half a dozen border collies nipping at our tires. This leads me to another perhaps future philosophical discussion, which is the fact that certain breeds of dogs have traits that have been bred into them that reflect their original “purpose”. For example, hunting dogs like beagles are extremely vocal since they were bred to flush out prey. Likewise dogs like shelties are barkers because they were bred to be farm dogs that barked to scare away predators or to alert the farmers to the fact that something wasn’t right. Jack Russell terriers were used to hunt small vermin like rats and the like, and for their size they are extremely aggressive. Nowadays people adopt these dogs as house pets simply because they are cute or popular, without researching what these dogs were actually bred to do. Traits like excessive barking or aggressiveness that come with the dog can become serious nuisances in a neighborhood situation. My sister adopted a mixed breed dog, who she quickly found out had a lot of border collie in her. She incessantly “herds” the house cats, whether they want to be herded or not. Her obedience trainer quickly recognized the dominant type of dog that she is, and said “She needs a job.” Well, my sister has no desire to raise sheep at her suburban home, but decided to try agility training for her dog. She LOVES it, and is getting really good at it. It’s a great outlet for her high energy and intelligence level. Anyway, my point is, if you’re planning to adopt a pure-breed dog, it might be a good idea to first research the history of these dogs to see whether they will really fit in with your lifestyle.

    Love the podcast–I’ve recommended it to a couple of gardening friends, one of whom is exploring urban bee-keeping! Enjoyed Tom’s latest contribution! Keep up the great work guys!



  9. andrew’s avatar

    Hey everyone, I’m sorry for the delay in replying to everyone.

    Hi Jen!

    I used to make kefir all the time, but that was a couple of years ago. I even sold the grains on ebay. It’s very easy to make, much easier than yoghurt, but it takes daily maintenance. It’s only a few minutes worth, but it must be taken care of.

    The output from it is more like “milk beer” than yoghurt. It’s an interesting drink, and I really like it best blended with some fruit and a little honey.

    Hi Husted!

    That’s an fun collection of animals. If you get us a chance, could you tell us more about the cow? Since we’re goat people it would be interesting to hear how often you have her bred, do you hand milk her? etc.

    Hey Jeannie!

    That’s a great topic. Dogs are amazing, and how they are now mostly pets yet, yet many breeds really don’t fit into that mold very well. We’ll have to talk about in the near future.



  10. Anne W’s avatar

    Just heard your latest show. Thank you for not being afraid to tackle so called “political” topics(biofuels and their hidden costs, feeding the world, etc). I fear that soon America is going to lose its protective coating and be hit “head on” when those downer topics force their realites on our way of life.
    My feeling is that if we see what’s coming we might have a chase to dodge the bullet by changing our ways.

    You brought up Gov. subsidies and I wanted to share a podcast I just listened to on that subject…it might make your hair curl. Check out PBS, Bill Moyers podcast.Dated 4/11/08 Titled, “Cash cows and Cowboy Starter Kits” The podcast makes me wonder if some of Texas’s more famous residents are on the dole also…it would be an interesting research project.

    Thank you again for all your work…and your very topical disscussions.
    Anne W.



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