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5:OO-5:3O /// Cutting the Curd
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Metropolitan Ave
Summer of Food
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This episode of The Whole Shebang, hosted by John Wilkes: Growing The Flock – America’s Sheep/Goat Entrepreneurs. Guests include Robert Irwin, Brittany Cole Bush and Emily Chamlin.

Robert Irwin is based in Lake County, CA. From an early age sheep played a big part in his life. He’s a third generation shepherd and his innovative business provides a sustainable sought-after service for the vineyards in the area. The 1,000 + head Kaos Sheep Outfit works the vineyards, orchards and alfalfa fields of Lake County. Using sheep for leaf picking of the vines pre-harvest brings proven biodynamic benefits. His flock also clears unwanted grass and weeds – turning it into organic fertilizer that measurably improves soil organic matter and water retention in the process. Along with his wife Jaime’s help The Kaos Sheep Outfit is blazing a trail for the sustainably inclined wine producers like Bonterra Organic Vineyards and Fetzer Wines.

–“We’re doing the same thing nature did back before we showed up to control craziness. That’s what chaos is.”

A blazing trail is just what Brittany Cole Bush is helping to prevent. She’s a modern day shepherdess and an integral part of Star Creek Land Stewards who since 2013 have been in big demand using sheep and goats in Bay Area near SF, to clear combustible brush and undergrowth from terrain often inaccessible to conventional methods whilst at the same time both improving soil fertility and vegetation. Growing numbers of solar energy installations are also employing sheep for site maintenance. Goats also provide a natural answer in eradicating invasive weeds, readily tucking in to unwanted invasive plants often toxic for other forms of livestock. This season Brittany has had 9 separate herds of mixed sheep and goats totaling some 2,400 head under her watchful eye. Public agencies and energy companies are queuing up for this sustainable method to help remove fire hazard and problem weeds.

– “The fire services love us.”

Emily Chamlin shears sheep and she’s very good at it. She’s one of only a handful of full-time female shearers in the U.S. Raised on an east coast dairy farm; it proved hard to find someone to shear her own small flock of sheep so she took to doing it herself. Determined to improve her skills, style and technique at just 15 years of age she enrolled at the Maryland shearing school…the instructor’s reticence in allowing her onto the course was soon dispelled. Now 15 years later she clips sheep all day – often competing in competition with fellow male shearers. Her season starts in Maryland/VA in April/May before heading way out west to the bigger rangeland flocks from where she joins us on the show today. It’s tough, hard work both physically and mentally – with some animals weighing nearly 400lbs it’s not for the faint hearted or unfit either.

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Ever consider goats as backyard pets? You will after today's episode of Animal Instinct, as host Celia Kutcher chats with Dr. Tatiana Stanton, a member of the Cornell University Sheep and Goat Extension Program. In her spare time, Tatiana maintains a small, pasture-based herd of 40 meat goat does. She has worked as a goat/hair sheep consultant for various nonprofit organizations in the Caribbean and Central America training both new and experienced farmers in sheep and goat management. Within the United States, Tatiana has also worked as a herdsperson for commercial goat dairies and the International Dairy Goat Research Center at Prairie View, Texas. She gives an A-Z breakdown of what it means to keep a goat as a pet - from breeding to behavior. Today's program was brought to you by Brooklyn Cares Vet.

"Unlike us, goats get most of their carbohydrate energy from fibers. It's the most important feed for them." [10:00]

"If you choose a really rare breed of goat and you want to keep that breed pure you might have a lot of difficulty finding a male goat that's unrelated." [21:00]

--Tatiana Stanton on Animal Instinct

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Re-live the Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival on a special episode of Cutting the Curd, as host Greg Blais is joined by Lisa Battilana, the Executive Chef of the Woodstock Farmer's Market in Vermont and cheesemonger Perry Soulos for a re-cap. The 6th Annual Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival, sponsored by the Vermont Cheese Council took place July 20th at the Coach Barn at Shelbourne Farm in Vermont and featured over 200 cheeses from more than 40 cheese makers, as well as dozens of artisan food producers and local wine, beer and spirit producers. The festival provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life to connect with farmers and cheesemakers. On the line we also have She has been the cheesemonger for about 10 years, and is the only retail member on the Vermont Cheese Council. Tune in and get the inside scoop on the festival and the world of artisan cheese. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.

"It's a rare opportunity for everybody to meet and literally talk to the people making the cheese." [04:00]

"Food is pretty egalitarian. Everybody eats." [15:00]

--Lisa Battilana on Cutting the Curd

"I felt nothing but comfortable and welcome the whole time in Vermont. It has it's charm - Vermont is Vermont!" [31:00]

"The great thing about goats is that children can handle them so easily. It's an animal the whole family can participate in raising." [37:00]

--Perry Soulos on Cutting the Curd

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