New Podcast Season: Farmer Stories of Wildfire Recovery & Preparedness

CAFF’s Wildfire Resilience Program provides specialized recovery and preparedness resources for small farms and communities in California impacted by wildfire and those seeking to prepare against future threats. One of the best mediums for conducting this type of outreach and education is podcasts.

  • Farmers can download and stream episodes while doing other important tasks, so it’s a great way to get exposed to new content and resources without having to take extra time out of their already incredibly busy days.

The Farmer’s Beet is CAFF’s podcast designed specifically for family-scale farmers in California. Another perk of podcasts; they create authentic connections and keep them growing over time.

  • The success of each farmer, and the long term viability of their operation, is often the result of strong relationships and building trust and support systems that work for each unique operator.
  • California is as ecologically and topographically diverse as its farming communities, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of special topics to cover! 

 

The first two seasons were chalk full of amazing food safety tips and methods that farmers are using to keep their products compliant for a variety of market outlets.You can check out those episodes and share with your family and friends, or click here for the main program webpage for more information!

In Season 3, CAFF’s Wildfire Resilience Specialist, Amber Schat, dives deeper into understanding the impacts that wildfires in California are having on farmers, and the innovative ways they are preparing against future events.

  • We were lucky to connect with Bay Area based journalist, podcast producer, and audio consultant, Coby McDonald, for this series of episodes.
  • At the time of publishing this blog post, the first of the three episodes have been released, and the next two will launch on Wednesday November 30th, and December 14th, so be sure to check the Wildfire and Ag Media page for updates or listen and subscribe on Spotify & Apple Podcasts
Episode 1 

Visit Turkey Tail Farm in Butte County, near Yankee Hill where owner and operator, Cheetah Tchudi, walks us through his experience of direct wildfire impacts and related stressors on his diversified farm.

  • When the Camp Fire swept through the nearby town of Paradise in 2018, Cheetah and his family were deeply affected. Not only did they have to evacuate with only some of their livestock, but they lost most of the infrastructure and housing on site.
  • The recovery process was grueling, but Cheetah not only found an innovative way to treat toxic ash on his site using the power of mushrooms, but he also created Butte Remediation, a non-profit that provides that same service to underserved farmers and rural residents in his community!
  • This is an effort he hopes to expand on in the future, through workshop collaborations with CAFF and other technical assistance and conservation organizations.
Episode 2 

Follow the tour de force that is Sarah Keiser of Wild Oat Hollow, to learn about the innovative ways she is helping fire-affected communities in Sonoma County and beyond, empower each other through collaborative grazing and investments in fire ecology and soil health.

  • Join us for a detailed account of how having animals on the land with appropriate timing, duration and intensity, can help sequester carbon, improve water quality, soil health- and simultaneously- bring unlikely partners together in recovery.
  • Sarah provides consultation services for your site, but you can also take a class in her round barn at her home in Penngrove.
  • She’s a wealth of information and has the most welcoming and supportive attitude, and we are over the moon to be partnering on this important topic with her!
Episode 3

The finale of Season 3 brings us to First Rain Farm, nestled in the densely forested foothills of Nevada County.

  • We hear from jack of all trades, Tim Van Wagner, about his experience and lessons learned using prescribed burning for land management, preparation, and restoration goals.
  • Learn along with us as Tim describes how he pairs broadcast and pile burning, mechanical treatment, and targeted grazing practices to get just the right mix of ecological responses from the land pre and post wildfire. 

We hope you enjoy this season of episodes as much as we enjoyed helping create them! Let us know what you think using our Wildfire Resilience discussion forum and make sure to stay tuned for updates on future seasons in 2023! Or subscribe to CAFF’s newsletter for more amazing small farms content.