Ep 131: Sweet Thistle Farms

Have you ever been to a flower farm? I sure haven’t! It’s an often overlooked part of the agriculture industry, but flowers are a huge part of horticulture and account for billions of dollars every ear across the US. Today on the show, I’m interviewing Sarah Shoffner with Sweet Thistle Farms, a cut flower and pumpkin farm in the Central Valley in California. In our interview, Sarah and I chat about her background, how she grows flowers and pumpkins, the fall rush with customers, and a loooot more!

Sweet Thistle Farms Website

Sweet Thistle on Instagram

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Click here to subsrcibe to the show

Show Notes

  • Sarah’s Background
  • Growing pumpkins and flowers
  • Goat dairy
  • central valley California, Fresno
  • Growing flowers from plugs

Question from a listeners:

  • Mildew control in pumpkins…
  • Best way to market flowers besides a farmer’s market?
  • What kind of soil do pumpkins grow well in?

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Call to Action

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

Transcript

Ep 130: Is the Food Supply Chain broken?

Can we fix our food supply chain? Yes, we can! And companies like SIMPLi are going to be at the front of that fight. Today, I’m joined with Matt Cohen, co-founder of a company called SIMPLi that is revolutionizing the food supply chain. Learn more how Matt and everyone at SIMPLi are working directly with farmers to bring better products to consumers while also helping those farmers as much as possible.

SIMPLi, an ingredients company whose mission is to bring the best, most nutritious and delicious single-origin ingredients (quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, beans, etc.) from around the world to your kitchen.

Matt and co-founder Sarela Herrada

EatSimpli.com

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Show Notes

  • Matt’s Background
  • Entreprenuers
  • Metaverse
  • Start of Simpli
  • Normal Supply Chain vs SIMPLi
  • Fraudulent food activity?
  • How has Covid impacted these small farmers?

SIMPLi, an ingredients company whose mission is to bring the best, most nutritious, and delicious single-origin ingredients (quinoa, extra virgin olive oil, beans, etc.) from around the world to your kitchen.

  • Eliminate fraudulent activity in the supply chain + create sourcing transparency on a global level. Food fraud is estimated to cost the industry between $30-40 billion per year. By working directly with growing communities in Peru and Greece to consolidate all the middle parties (co-ops, broker, exporter, importer, distributor, etc.), they have been able to create a fully vertical supply chain for getting products from farms to consumers, preventing 100% fraudulent supply chain activity.
  • Combat climate change. Agriculture emits an estimated 10.5% of greenhouse gases. SIMPLi’s partners use regenerative organic farming in order to grow the most nutritious ingredients possible and to minimize the harmful effects that conventional agriculture has on our environment. Simpli has helped 560 farmers and 1,060 acres transition from traditional to regenerative organic working farms.
  • Supporting global farming communities. After harvest, ingredients will touch about seven steps in the supply chain before landing in the hands of a business or consumers. These middle players can trigger a number of transaction fees, taking money directly away from farmers. Because of SIMPLi’s simple supply chain of “Farmer – SIMPLi – You”, they are able to pay above market price and improve the livelihoods of their farmers.

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Call to Action

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

Transcript

Ep 123: Can Regenerative Farming Feed the World? – The Ecology Center

Can agriculture and the environment FINALLY live in harmony? I believe they can and so do many experts. One such way is by agroecology which is combining the knowledge of ecology with the science of agriculture. Our guest today is Evan Marks from The Ecology Center in California. Evan has an expansive background in agroecology and permaculture and he has spent time working in California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Nigeria in learning and developing agroecology practices. In our interview, Evan explains the background of agroecology, how regenerative agriculture is the future, and how farming can build better relationships with farmers, consumers, chefs, and communities.

Check them out at the links below:

The Ecology Center Website

Click here to subsrcibe to the show

Show Notes

  • Mark’s background
  • Taking classes on marine biology in high school
  • Studying agroecology
  • Working extensively in permaculture and agroecology in California, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Ghana, and Nigeria
  • What are Permaculture and Agroecology?
  • Ecological experiences: berry picking classes, farm stand and CSA program (which also donates 100 CSA boxes per week to food-insecure folks in the area), as well as a new six-month Apprentice Program for young adults to learn about regenerative agriculture.
  • Current food systems and policy, and his vision for
  • How to expand regenerative farming on a mass scale
  • How do we minimize our industrialization and harm to the planet, and therefore take better care of each other, either as farmers or as consumers?
  • How to implement regenerative agriculture practices
  • What about your biggest win?
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship.

Be sure to follow us on social media!

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https://www.facebook.com/TheFarmTraveler

https://www.youtube.com/farmtraveler

Subscribe here:

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Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

Transcript

coming soon!

Podcast Episode 80: Behind the Scenes of a Family Orchard

Let’s learn about how fruits are grown and harvested. Specifically, apples, pears, peaches, and much more from McMullin Orchards in Utah.  Angie McMullin from McMullin Orchards will give us a glimpse of what it’s liking working for a family owned and operated orchard.  Angie will explain how the orchard was started, managing multiple harvest times, educating consumers, and much more!  

 

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out McMullin Orchard at the links below: 

McMullin Website

McMullin Orchard on Instagram

Show Notes:

  • History of McMullin Orchard
  • Process of growing apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and many other fruits
  • Planting fruit trees and planning out crops
  • Organic vs conventional
  • Harvesting fruits
  • Processing and Shipping to stores or consumers
  • Education consumers
  • Utah agriculture
  • Common misconceptions

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

Podcast Episode 79: Investing in Farmland

I’ve just started to invest in actual stocks and man, is there a lot to learn!  But, I didn’t know that investing in farmland is a thing and sometimes sees higher returns than traditional stocks.  One such company helping both investors and farmers is Acre Trader.  Today on the show, we sit down with Ben Maddox to learn about AcreTrader, their mission, and how investment platforms like this help farmers as well as investors.  Check it out if you want to learn more about how stuff like this works!

 

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out ACre Trader at the links below: 

acretrader.com

Show Notes:

  • Ben Maddox’s background
  • Start of AcreTrader
  • Bear and Bull markets
  • Investing 101
  • How investing in farmland differs than investing in stocks
  • Returns and investment rates
  • Long-term crops vs short term crop investments
  • How this helps first-time farmers
  • Investing in sustainable agriculture?
  • Can you invest in organic crops?

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

instagram.com/ludwigfarms_tessa

Podcast Episode 78: Milk, Cheese, and Showing Dairy Cattle

Tessa Pacion works at Ludwig Farmstead Creamery that produces great milk and even some cheeses.  In our interview today, Tessa will talk about how her animal science degree and working with dairy cattle in college.  Tessa will also address many misconceptions consumers have about milk production like the frequency milk is tested before consumption and why dairy calves are separated from their mothers.  This is a full episode of great information on all things dairy, as well as what showing dairy cattle is all about.

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Tessa at the links below: 

Tessa on Instagram

Ludwig Farmstead Website

Show Notes:

  • Tessa’s background.
  • Animal Science degree and working with dairy cows in college
  • What is homogenization and pasteurization
  • How many times milk is tested before it gets to the consumer
  • Cheese production
  • Misconceptions with dairy cattle
  • Why dairy calves are separated from their moms
  • Cow comfort
  • Showing dairy cattle
  • COVID-19’s impact
  • Switching production from restaurant to grocery stores
  • Experience with farm tours and showing consumers how milk is produced

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

instagram.com/ludwigfarms_tessa

Podcast Episode 77: Seed Salesman and Seminole Indian Reenactor

Matt Griffin and I met during our time at the University of Florida, pretty much everyone in the college of agriculture knew everyone.  While we never shared any of the same classes, we both were active in various student organizations and share a love for all things Florida agriculture.  Matt is a seed product development manager by day and a Seminole war reenactor by night.  Our interview will cover a wide variety of topics, like how Matt develops certain plant varieties for his customers, some Florida agriculture history, as well as why he portrays a Black Seminole Indian for various war reenactments.   This is a great one!  Be sure to check out Matt at the links below as well as another podcast interview he was on, The Millennial Salesman.

Matt’s interview on the Millennial Salesman

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Matt at the links below: 

Matt’s Instagram

OmniPresentBeauty – Matt’s photography page

Show Notes:

  • Matt’s Background
  • United Genetics Seed Company
  • Selling seeds
  • Marketing different varieties
  • Researching best growing varieties
  • Working with seed companies vs working with farmers
  • History of Florida Agriculture
  • Importance of remembering our history
  • Seminole Indian Reenactments

Call to Action:

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Podcast Episode 76: 4th Generation Michigan Farm

Imagine the pressure of carrying on your family business.  Or better yet, imagine being the 4th generation to work on the family farm, which one day, will be yours.  That’s the challenge and course taken by our guest today, Derek Thom from D & D Thom Farms in Michigan.  Derek will cover the history of his family farm as well as what they grow including wheat, soybeans, cattle, and much more.  

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out D&D Thom Farms at the link below:

Thom Farms on Instagram

Show Notes:

  • Derek’s Background –
  • D&D Thom Farms – soybean, wheat, corn, sugar beets, hay, 120 cows, beef steers,
  • Pressures of a 4th generation
  • Michigan Agriculture
  • Crops production methods (organic or conventional)
  • Difference between cash crops and cover crops
  • Beef side of the farm, what type of cattle, daily care, etc.
  • Thoughts on the farmer/consumer relationships
  • What are some misconceptions you think consumers have of farmers.
  • Organic vs Conventional
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

Podcast Episode 74: What is A2 Milk?

Eileen Warburton is a dairy farmer at Sunset Ridge Warburton Farm in Pennsylvania. Her son has a health condition where he can’t drink regular milk without having severe side effects. Determined to find a solution for her son, Eileen found that some of her dairy cows can produce A2 milk, which her son can enjoy with no side effects. So what exactly is A2 milk? You’ll find out in this episode.

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out sunset Ridge at the links below:

Sunset Ridge Farms

Show Notes:

  • Eileen’s background
  • Her sons need for A2milk
  • Difference between lactose free milk and A2 milk
  • What type of cows produce A2 milk?
  • Alternative forms of milk
  • Misconceptions consumers have of milk
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

Podcast Episode 73: What Makes Coffee “Fair Trade”?

 

Do you like coffee? I love coffee. Today, my guest is Ben Weiner of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers a specialty coffee farming group that is aimed to connect coffee roasters with coffee farmers. Ben is going to educate us on the coffee trade, why coffee has risen in popularity, and how Gold Mountain Coffee Growers is working to bring high quality coffee to coffee lovers everywhere.

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Gold Mountain Coffee Growers at the links below:

Gold Mountain Coffee Growers Website

Gold Mountain Coffee on Instagram

Show Notes:

  • Ben’s background
  • Why so many types of coffee
  • What is “Fair Trade” coffee?
  • Why has coffee gained in popularity?
  • COVID-19’s impact
  • Misconceptions of coffee
  • Best brewing methods

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

Podcast Episode 72: The Humanity Behind Farming

 

Dillon Hancoop is the host of the Real People, Real Food podcast, aimed at discovering real stories of the people behind our food. Today, Dillon and I talk about his podcast, Washington state agriculture, and why animal rights groups are actually really nuts.

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Dillon and his podcast at the links below:

Real People, Real Food Podcast

Show Notes:

  • Real People, Real Food Podcast
  • Humanity behind farming
  • Radio backgrounds
  • Washington agriculture
  • False Narratives
  • Activist groups
  • How to support farmers
  • Building an interview
  • Podcast interviews

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

Podcast Episode 71: The future of buying meat.

 

Home meal kits are on the rage, especially now during COVID-19.  One company is making a dent in the meat delivery services and offers products like beef and lobster to even the most famous beef out there, wagyu.  Joe Heitzeberg, co-founder of Crowdcow is our guest today on the podcast.  Joe and I will talk about the history of Crowdcow, how they strive to be different by working with farmers to bring tasty and sustainably raised beef and other meat products straight to your door.  

 

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out crowdcow at the links below:

Crowd Cow Website

Show Notes:

  • Joe Heitzeberg’s background
  • Starting Crowdcow
  • At home food deliveries
  • Working with farmers
  • Improving quality of beef and quality of production
  • The story behind wagyu beef
  • No unnecessary antibiotics?
  • How COVID-19 has impacted sales

Interview on YouTube:

 

Call to Action:

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Podcast Episode 70: Colorado Aquaponics and Supporting Student’s Mental Health

 

Blooming Health 2

Ryan Smith and Sean Short are the co-founders of Blooming Health Farms, a Colorado-based business focused on educating students on STEM as well as supporting mental health. On today’s show, I talk with Ryan and Sean about the programs offered at Blooming Health Farms, what their aquaponic system is like, and how they are helping kids focus on positive mental health.

 

 

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Blooming Health Farms at the links below:

Blooming Health Farms Website

Show Notes:

  • Ryan and Sean’s backgrounds
  • Starting an Aquaponic business in Colorado
  • Aquaponic basics
  • Nonprofit
  • Training job skills while working with mental health
  • Getting at-risk students out of the streets and learning about STEM
  • Working with restaurants
  • Fitting a niche
  • COVID-19’s impacts on students mental health

 

Call to Action:

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Podcast Episode 69: Why do cranberries grow in a pond?

 

Amber

I LOVE cranberry juice.  Growing up, my dad always rationed his supply of cran-grape juice and would call us out anytime we drank more than we should have.  Fast forward to my first day out on my own as a college student, I bought a gallon of cranberry juice.  I called him bragged that I have a gallon all to myself.  It really is all about the little things in life.

Today on the show, we have Amber Bristow, a 5th generation cranberry grower in Wisconsin.  Amber will talk to us about the growing and harvesting behind cranberries, which is a lot more difficult that I originally thought, and what it’s like working with OceanSpray, the leading cranberry growers co-op.  She’ll also answer a burning question, why do farmers flood cranberry fields and how do they prevent frost damage on their crops.  Be sure to check out Amber over on Instagram as well as her new podcast, Forward Farming Podcast with co-host Becca.

 

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Amber at the links below:

Amber on Instagram

Forward Farming Podcast

Forward Farming Podcast Instagram

 

Show Notes:

  • 5th generation cranberry farmer
  • Working in sports to working on the farm
  • Basics of cranberry production
  • Soil/Sand requirements for growing cranberries
  • Why they flood cranberry beds
  • Growing, Draining, and Dams
  • Harvest times in Septemer to November
  • Frezing crops to protect from frost
  • Adding sand and ice to protect the berries
  • Working with Oceanspray
  • Starting a podcast: Forward Farming

 

Call to Action:

Want to stay up to date on the show, consider following our newsletter.  As a thank you for signing up, you’ll receive a FREE guide on 5 simple steps you can do to support farmers.  Sign Up HERE!

 

Podcast Episode 68: Onions don’t grow on trees?!

 

Shay

 

Shay Myers, a 3rd generation farmer, is our guest today on Farm Traveler. Maybe you’ve seen Shay on Instagram or even on TikTok as her creates quick but super educational videos on farming, specifically on onion production. Today on the show, Shay will talk more about why he started his videos, why it’s important to get the message out there, and how the industry is battling COVID-19. Be sure to follow Shay at the link below to see his awesome videos!

Listen to the episode on the apps below:

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Don’t forget to check out Shay at the links below:

Shay on TikTok

Shay on Instagram

Owyhee Produce

Show Notes:

  • Shay’s background
  • 3rd generation farmer
  • Growing onions and potatoes
  • Working with buyers and distributors
  • Onions DO NOT grow on trees
  • COVID-19’s impact on onion production
  • Farmers adapting to COVID
  • Importance of farmers sharing their stories
  • The power of social media
  • Instagram and TikTok
  • Flying
  • Crop worth
  • Mexico cartels affecting US agriculture?
  • The importance of the American dollar
  • Thoughts on farmer consumer relationship

 

Call to Action:

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