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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

HOMEGROWN Life: Farmer Bryce’s Hoeing Playlist

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

 

HOMEGROWN-life-bryce-logo-150x150Toil. The word strikes fear in some. It makes others run for the hills. But toil is something that farmers like me must embrace.

Beneath the romantic vision of farming and agriculture lies a lot of monotonous and repetitive labor: hard, physical work. It’s not sexy or interesting much of the time. It’s just something you have to do. This is not unique to farmers. Construction workers, waitresses, factory workers, postal workers, and a lot other professions know the routine. Just do your job and try not to develop anger or resentment or destructive thoughts. Find a coping strategy and deal with it because there are things that need to get done.

HOMEGROWN-life-farmer-playlist

Hoeing, for instance, is one of those farming tasks I’d rather not have to deal with. But it’s 2014. We have something in our toolboxes our parents and grandparents never had. We have podcasts.

So, in honor of hoeing season and my attempts to hold back the growth of early summer weeds that might eventually overtake the vegetable patch, I present my go-to soundtrack. This farming playlist is designed to help you make it through a hard day of otherwise toilsome labor, particularly when you’re not starting out in the morning with all cylinders firing. Here goes.

PODCAST EPISODES

• File under “funny and smart”: For his podcast “By the Way,” Jeff Garlin sits down with fellow comedians. This installment, with Zach Galifianakis, is hilarious at times, intelligent at others.

• File under “still the champ”: Wendell Berry. The man deserves his own category. It doesn’t get any better than Berry chatting it up with Bill Moyers in an old country church for “Moyers & Company.”

• File under “I’d rather be fishing”: I get annoyed by the host of “On Being,” from American Public Media, but she has some great shows. This one’s a sure-fire pick, and it involves three of my favorite subjects: coming of age, fishing, and the joys of humility.

• File under “blow your mind”: Here’s a thought experiment. Try killing time performing a toilsome agricultural task while listening to a lecture on life before European agriculture conquered the continent/s where we live.

BACK TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING

(AKA shows from which I inevitably learn something and smile)

Good Food”: This radio program from KCRW in Santa Monica sometimes focuses on Southern California but often provides a much broader look at food and cooking.

Living on Earth”: Environmental coverage, from Public Radio International.

To the Best of Our Knowledge”: Wisconsin Public Radio produces this national weekend program for liberal arts nerds.

Men in Blazers”: I’ve become a pretty committed soccer fan (Go, Sporting KC!), and this is my favorite wide-angle soccer broadcast.

Dave Damashek Football Program”: A great look at the NFL. Yes, I’m a bit of a jock. Football is a huge spectacle and something I get re-addicted to every autumn.

There you have it. A peek into the mind of a mad farmer trying to prevent the fescue, orchardgrass, and crabgrass from smothering his seedlings. Sometimes music is not enough and you need something a little more substantive. Or ridiculous. Or trivial. Happy hoeing.

HOMEGROWN-bryce-oates-150x150Bryce Oates is a farmer, father, writer, and conservationist in West Missouri. He lives and works on his family’s multigenerational farm, tending cattle, sheep, goats, and organic vegetables. His goals in life are simple: to wake up before the sun, catch a couple of fish, turn the compost pile, dig potatoes, and sit by the fire in the evening, watching the fireflies mimic the stars.

PHOTO: MANDY LACKEY/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Sneak Peek! HOMEGROWN Skills Tent Workshops at Farm Aid 2013

Friday, September 6th, 2013

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-workshops


Farm Aid 2013
is right around the corner: September 21 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. And while Willie, Neil, John, and Dave will headline the main stage, Christina, Sheila, Thor, and more will appear live in the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent.

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-seedsWhat’s the Skills Tent, you ask? And who’s this Christina? On concert day from noon to 6 p.m., the Skills Tent will host hands-on workshops in the agrarian arts, similar to the sort of how-tos you’ll find in the HOMEGROWN 101 library. The Skills Tent is just one part of the HOMEGROWN Village, a county-fair-style hoedown on the concert grounds that’s jam-packed with interactive food and farming exhibits from groups across the country, as well as a HOMEGROWN stage featuring live music. Not bad, huh?

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-mushroomsBut back to the Skills Tent: HOMEGROWN is thrilled to have had the help of our barn-raising tentmate and partner in can-do, the Capital Region’s own From Scratch Club, in putting together this year’s workshop lineup. If you’re not familiar with From Scratch Club, it’s sort of like a food swap/book club/cooking school/food blog times one hundred. In other words: AWESOME. We love you, From Scratch Club! Now, without further ado, this year’s HOMEGROWN Skills Tent lineup:

ALL-DAY ACTIVITIES

» Make Your Mark!

Make your mark on Farm Aid 2013! Share what HOMEGROWN means to you in a potato stamp group art project, presented by HOMEGROWN.org.

» Kitchen DIY: Can-Do Projects

Learn how to make your own butter and lemon vinegar! Get the dirt on cold storage! Christina Davis and Co. of From Scratch Club share tips all day in between Skills Tent workshops.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

12:30 to 1 p.m.
Mushrooms 101: Grow Your Own

Thinking of starting your own shiitake crop? Bobby Chandler of Mariaville Mushroom Men shows you how.

1:30 to 2 p.m.
Makin’ Bacon 101: Cure It Yourself

Curing your own bacon is easier than you think! Erika Tebbens of From Scratch Club demonstrates, using pork bellies from New York’s West Wind Acres.

2:30 to 3 p.m.
Pancakes 101: From Field to Griddle

What’s the story behind your breakfast? Amy Halloran of From Scratch Club and Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms and Farmer Ground Flour connect the dots between grain grown and milled in New York State and your plate.

3:30 to 4 p.m.
Cheesemaking 101: Happy Animals Mean Happy Cheese

Good food starts with healthy goats and sheep! Learn the basics of home cheesemaking and goat care with the dairy farmers of New York’s own Nettle Meadow.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Fiber 101: Making Friendship Bracelets from Llama Wool

Where does wool come from? Find out, see a spinning demo, and make your own friendship bracelet from llama wool under the tutelage of Saratoga Llamas’ Linda Woods.

MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Farm Aid 2013 is sold out, but there are still plenty of ways to join the party! Visit farmaid.org/events for details on farm tours, a free screening of the new urban-farming documentary Growing Cities, and more. And stay tuned to Farm Aid’s About the Concert page for news and updates. See you there!

Join Us on the Road to Farm Aid

Friday, August 30th, 2013

 

Hello, HOMEGROWN flock! As many of you know, HOMEGROWN is the little sibling of Farm Aid, whose annual benefit concert is coming up fast. Farm Aid 2013 will take place at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, on September 21, 2013.

HOMEGROWN-HQ-lunch

Fueling up for the month ahead at    Farm Aid/HOMEGROWN HQ, thanks to our friend and feeder Seta

We’re in full swing here, getting ready for the big day—and we know that many of you are, too. We’re thrilled that so many of you will be attending this year’s concert! In fact, we want to share all of the energy, planning, and good will that goes into the big day, and we want to show everyone the part you’re playing. From artists to family farmers to volunteers to HOMEGROWN Skills Tent presenters to music fans, we’re asking everyone to be part of the Road to Farm Aid!

The #Road2FarmAid will tell the stories of all of the different people working towards a greater vision for our farm and food system. There are lots of ways you can join us on the road:

  • Visit farmaid.org/road2farmaid to download official #Road2FarmAid digital swag likesocial media banners, cover images, web badges, and more!
  • Share your own blog posts, photos, videos, status updates, and anything else you can think of using the hashtag #Road2FarmAid. Don’t forget to share your swag to show your friends that you’re on the #Road2FarmAid.
  • Learn how others are celebrating family agriculture by checking out the official #Road2FarmAid feed at farmaid.org/road2farmaid. You can also explore the hashtag on your favorite social media site to see what’s happening across the country.
  • Connect with others throughout your journey. Make new friends, share what you have learned and learn from others as they cruise along their #Road2FarmAid.

Need some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing? A few ideas:

  • Tweet about your preparations. (“The cooler’s packed full of HOMEGROWN kombucha. Ready for tailgating! #Road2FarmAid”)
  • Share on Facebook the song you hope your favorite Farm Aid artist will play on Sept. 21.
  • Post photos on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter from your road trip to Farm Aid. (Did you stop at a farm stand? See a beautiful barn on the way? Pass a tractor?)

Be sure to use the hashtag #Road2FarmAid so we (and others) can find all of your creative posts and share them with fellow travelers. Farm Aid will be sharing spotlighted content at farmaid.org/road2farmaid. And be sure to keep an eye on Farm Aid’s About the Concert page for the latest concert news.