Episode 3: Miller Farms: Make the World a Better Place
In this episode Nate and Kim talk with Joe and Chris Miller from Miller Farms in Platteville, Colorado. They talk all about the business of farming from growing, selling, water rights and farm events. Hear funny stories from decades of farming and get some great advice.
1:05- Podcast start and intro Joe and Chris Miller of Miller Farms in Platteville, Colorado.
2:11- Miller Farms backstory. Joe and Chris talk about the farm, when it started and how it started. Joe talks about his dad starting it after World War II, buying the farm in 1948 and then starting a family. He talks about how in 1949 there were 80 acres and then buying another 80 acres to make it 160 acres. He talks about his parents struggles during his childhood and the hard life they had trying to keep the farm alive.
4:25- Joe talks about only knowing farming since he was a kid and some of his favorite memories. He talked specifically about driving a tractor when he was five to pick sweetcorn.
5:34- Joe and Chris talk about what they farm now or don’t farm for that matter. They don’t farm okra or black eyed peas and they sell all of their crops at farmers markets.
10:35- The Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fort Collins, Colorado farmers markets. Joe and Chris talk about the different farmers markets they sell at and how quickly they learned that bringing a small card table to a farmers market was not enough. They talked specifically about the Fort Collins farmers market and a few funny stories including a story about a dropped watermelon.
16:27- The $10 produce bag. Joe talks about the $10 bags, the story of how they started and how popular they are today.
21:06- The collectibles at the farm. Joe and Chris talk about all the cars and large vehicles they have collected over the years including a Ghostbusters car, planes, UFOs, cars painted like the Cars movie, where they go to find all of these amazing collections and a few stories behind them.
23:45- The Croc Pit. Joe talks about the croc pit that they started that has a bunch of ground up Croc shoes to make a foam pit for kids to play in.
24:47- More about farming. They talk about the year-round work they do, how it is so much more than just planting and what the typical day is like for Joe and Chris on the farm. They talk about how it is always changing and now what it’s like to have animals on the farm.
32:41- How farming has changed. They talk about how much farming has changed over the years and some of the reasons why they think it has changed so much.
36:26- Watering a farm. Watering a farm can be tough and expensive, Chris and Joe talk about how they water their farm and the 1863 water rights act in Colorado. They talk about their irrigation system and how it runs 20 miles throughout the farm.
43:11- Other businesses that surround the farm. They talk about all the different businesses they have, how they decide to create a business and where those ideas come from.
47:41- Farmers market season. We talk about how they deal with people wanting certain things and not having them because of the growing season. They talk about having to outsource to other farmers to get those items.
54:17- Conventional VS Organic VS Pesticide-Free farming. Joe explains the difference between organic and pesticide free and how they grow their crops. The group discusses why shopping local is best to keep stuff like what happened recently with lettuce from happening. They also talk about why they do not do organic certified farming and the process that it takes to actually get your farm organically certified.
01:04:58- Fall Festival. We talk about the fall festival that goes on at the farm, how they let people pick their own vegetables and how that works. They also talk about the pumpkins that people are able to stack in wagons and put as many pumpkins, corn and potatoes as they can in a wagon for only $35. Joe and Cris talk about why the fall festival is so important for their business.
01:11:47- Joe’s favorite part of what they do. He talks about how every year they have kids come out for educational programs and they always have them pick carrots. The looks on these kids faces when they pick carrots makes everything that he does worth it.
01:15:-03- Joe’s advice to people and why he thinks it’s so important to do something to change other people's lives.
01:16:54- Wrapping up & podcast end.