When I Get Sick of Silence

The day-to-day of farming lends itself well to audio content.  Whether we’re hoeing, weeding, seeding, or pulling buckets of rocks out of the fields, our ears are always free for listening.  Without podcasts, I listen to the unnerving sound of cows peeing in an adjacent field.  With podcasts, my ears have better things to do.  Here are some favorites:


This American Life and RadioLab:  Although both programs are carried by our NPR affiliate (shout out to WHYY), I always listen to them via podcast.  (Plus, RadioLab offers an extensive back catalog for free on iTunes.)  They are the podcast gateway drugs.  Do not listen to them unless you are prepared to consume all information from this point forward via earbud.

Slate’s Political Gabfest and Slate’s Culture Gabfest:  In-depth coverage of current stuff presented in a conversational tone.  Kind of like being at a dinner party with lots of smart guests, some of whom are kind of annoying.  But everyone’s nice.  And maybe, by the end of the night, you find yourself with a bit of a crush on the fast-talking movie critic.

New Yorker Fiction:  Short stories from the New Yorker’s archives read by authors who have also been published in the New Yorker.  If this podcast were just short stories read aloud, I’d still like it.  But it’s so much more!  Talented authors talking about their connection to the material, light literary analysis for people like me who can’t manage their own literary analysis.  Plus, Deborah Treisman, the show’s host, has such a nice rapport with the guests.  COZY.

Growing Farms:  One family’s story to start a sustainable farm, plus interviews with lots of farmers from all different areas of agriculture who’ve been in the game for a little while.  I’m not sure how much appeal this one has generally, but as a beginning farmer, I think it’s great.

How Did This Get Made?:  Podcast junk food.  For me, it scratches the same itch as Pretty Little Liars.  Three funny people (plus one potentially funny guest) commune with some of America’s most amazingly bad movies.  When it’s hot and farming feels hard, this podcast makes things better.  Five stars.


The truth is, this list just skims the surface of my podcast love.  If I were to sign up for stamps.com or Audible.com, I wouldn’t know what promo code to enter.  Do you ever feel that way?  If so, share some of your go-to podcasts in the comments below!