Episode Information

CMS: Going Organic
Aired:
03/02/2010
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In this episode:

From raising your own chickens to caring for your lawn, how can you live organic?

 

Episode Audio

49:27 minutes (23.74 MB)
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I keep thinking we'd all feel a little saner if we produced a little more of our own food. You're never gong to get the supermarkets out of your life, but I've been looking at my own scrubby little quarter acre of God's green earth and wondering why I don't grow a little bit more to eat on it, maybe have a few chickens walking around. And why not a dairy goat? Well, for one thing, chickens are completely illegal where I live. So is hanging your clothes out to dry, but that's another story. One thing at a time.

The thaw is coming soon and it's time to start thinking about what to plant and how to get a little bit more out of our New England soil. The state's organic farmers are thinking about the same thing. What kind of spring is it going to be. How green is your thumb? Do you feel like doing a little more this year -- maybe with a little less of the chemicals. That's what we're talkin about today.

You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, email [email protected] or Tweet @wnprcolin.


 
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chickkens, vegetables, sheep and more

Great show and a great topic. Things are a changing. Fresh locally grown vegetables are becoming more and more available for those of us who grew up thinking food grew in supermarkets. Remember when they were called grocery stores? The Groton Family Farm is right smack in the middle of the town of Groton. I am fortunate enough to have just enough land so I can supply folks with pasture reised, free range eggs collected the same day. And of course vegtables and fruits picked the same day. Things are a changing.

Listener E-mail from Wanda

Thanks for this broadcast.  I, too, keep a small potted garden on my sunny porch overlooking a temperature cooling brook.  Have been successful with tomatoes, large and small, and herbs.  But, my preference now is the farmer's markets in Litchfield County where I find grass feed meats, heirloom tomatoes, luscious Wave bread, salsa, unique vegetables and a temptation of hardy tomato plants.
 
Emily is wonderful.  She provided a fantastic 'book club' at the Gunn Library in Washington where once a month for four months we read about food and pot lucked on the food of the period written about.  The men were the most creative.
 
At the Silo in New Milford, I recently took a four week class sponsored by the American Cancer Research organization affiliated with the New Milford Hospital.  Incredible!  Not only learned a great deal (as how to store a lowly bag of potatoes so they don't sprout) to the pleasure of watching and tasting the creations of two mighty chefs, one head of the hospital cuisine and the other Anne Gallagher who runs a program introducing kids to skilled cooking and the possibility of become a professional.  This is very much part of the Plow to Plate movement.  The hospital even has it own garden (and expanding this year) and fabulous resources close by with input from the farmers at these sessions.
 
Our world has a wonderful potential of eating fresh and local.  But, there's also local stores who are providing the healthier products from whole grain pasta to a growing array of yogurt.

 

Listener E-mail from Ina

Can you address the idea of Farm Shares. A farm in Windsor is opening that up (now that we have a Farmer's Market). I like the idea of supporting a local farm business - what do you think of those? Do they work well? How do you balance this against shopping weekly at a Farmer's Market - speaking of only so much food in the stream?
   And hello to Nancy from Ina and Jack from the good ole days of volleyball in Madison!!

Listener E-mail from Cynthia

Love the show today! Sounds like we just missed you in Coventry last Sunday.
 
We are a gardening / composting family thinking about adding chickens to the scene. Husband is a little apprehensive . Kids are thrilled (in fact they've already picked out their names).
 
What breeds are best as a backyard pet / food producer? Are there local sources for pre-fab coops or folks who build them?

 

coops

Hi, Cynthia... Erica from Hurricane Farm sells, and delivers, adorable, functional chicken coops! You can email me and I'll get you her contact info!  Check out the sturdy old breeds like Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.  Lots of the feeds stores (Mackey's) will have them soon!

Listener E-mail Alex

I'm listening to your show now and I'm a farm intern, local food advocate, as well as an avid organic gardener.
 
I've been experimenting with seed saving, and one book I can recommend to novice and experienced gardeners is "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth. It's a comprehensive guide to any vegetable you can imagine, and it's definitely a lifesaver in understanding growing patterns when you start to plant your own garden.
 
Great show. Thanks!

Listener E-mail from Michele

Could you ask: Do we have to worry about that “late blight” fungus this year. That ruined all of our tomato plants?

Is there a way to avoid it?  Without chemicals, of course.