Episode 27

Published on:

4th Apr 2024

Homesteading and Parenting in Maine with Brea Willette

Brea Willette, a farmer from Maine, discusses her diverse farm and homestead. She raises pigs, sheep, poultry, and grows vegetables. Brea shares her experiences with different livestock breeds and the challenges of farming. She talks about the size and structures of her farm, as well as the involvement of her family, including her young children. Brea also discusses the history of farming in her family and her lifelong passion for agriculture. She shares her goals for the homestead and the importance of bartering and supporting local farms in her community. In this conversation, Brea Willette shares her experiences and insights on various aspects of farming and parenting. She discusses the benefits of starting a bartering group and encourages others to do the same. Brea also talks about her successes with raising pigs and the challenges of selling meat at farmers markets. She shares her decision to drop halves and wholes of pork due to profitability issues. Brea reflects on the balance between farming and parenting, highlighting the resilience and common-sense intelligence of farm kids. She also discusses the importance of family support and childcare in farm life. Brea shares her motivation for sharing farming skills and interacting with others in the agriculture community. Lastly, she reveals her favorite category to dominate at the county fair: the most lovable pigs.

Connect with Brea on Instagram or YouTube

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  • Starting a bartering group can be a great way to connect with others and trade goods and services.
  • Raising pigs can be more profitable than other livestock, but it's important to consider market demand and pricing in your area.
  • Farmers markets may not always be the most effective sales channel for meat farmers, as customers may not be willing to pay the higher prices.
  • Balancing farming and parenting can be challenging, but farm kids often develop resilience and common-sense intelligence.
  • Teaching kids how to have conversations with adults is an ongoing process that helps them develop social skills and empathy.


  • 00:00 Introduction and Farm Overview
  • 01:34 Livestock: Pigs and Sheep
  • 06:06 Farm Size and Structures
  • 07:36 Family and Children
  • 10:27 Family Farming History
  • 12:31 Early Interest in Farming
  • 14:09 Transition to Pigs and Learning Curves
  • 16:25 Agriculture in the Local Community
  • 21:34 Off-Farm Jobs and Income
  • 21:43 You-Pick Vegetable Crops
  • 22:58 Bartering and Local Farming
  • 30:29 Starting a Bartering Group
  • 31:05 Areas of Success and Failure
  • 31:25 Profit from Pigs
  • 32:55 Challenges with Farmers Markets
  • 33:07 Dropping Halves and Wholes of Pork
  • 35:14 Balancing Farming and Parenting
  • 37:30 Childcare and Work-Life Balance
  • 38:43 Teaching Kids Farming and Parenting
  • 44:35 Motivation for Sharing Farming Skills
  • 47:12 Dominating the Most Lovable Pigs Category
  • 52:26 Weather Challenges
  • 53:26 Teaching Kids to Have Conversations with Adults
  • 54:20 Where to Find Brea Online

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About the Podcast

Barnyard Language
Real talk about running farms and raising families.
Real talk about running farms and raising families. Whether your farm is a raised bed in your backyard or 10,000 acres and whether your family is in the planning stages or you've got 12 kids, we're glad you found us!

No sales, no religious conversion, no drama. Just honest talk from two mamas who know what it's like when everyone is telling you to just get all your meals delivered and do all your shopping online, but your internet is too slow and you've got cows to feed.

About your host

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Caithlin Palmer