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Get to Know Nicole Gennetta, Your Backyard Bounty Host, with Patrick Gennetta

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Show Notes

This week we join Patrick Gennetta as we turn the spotlight onto Nicole Gennetta who is your Backyard Bounty Podcast host, purveyor of Chicken Nipples, owner of Heritage Acres Market, and chief disseminator of extremely useful information at the Heritage Acres Market Blog!

What You’ll Learn

  • How to treat a bee sting
  • How Nicole Gennetta deals with setbacks on her hobby farm
  • Why Nicole is passionate about fact-checking all her blog posts and what her criteria are for finding podcast guest for the show

Our Guest

Nicole Gennetta is a Colorado native and an outdoor enthusiast. A retired firefighter/paramedic, Heritage Acres Market, and her family are now her main focus. When not working on the farm, she enjoys creating new content for the blog and recording new episodes of this podcast.

Heritage Acres, a 2-acre hobby farm run by Nicole with help from her husband (and occasional podcast host!) Patrick. Their small paradise in Pueblo West, Colorado is home to chickens, guinea fowl, quail, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, pigeons, bees, and more. They also have a quaint peach orchard and a picturesque garden.

Heritage Acres Market offers a number of poultry and bee-related products via the Shop and is proud to be the only US distributor of the Columbus Aqua poultry watering nipple which Nicole Gennetta uses exclusively on her own farm. These nipples are the ideal waterer for chickens, turkeys, quail, and most all other backyard poultry. Columbus Aqua poultry nipples are the original horizontal nipple and made in Europe , while all other side mount poultry nipples are made in China.

Nicole Gennetta enjoys the hard work and satisfaction that comes from running the homestead. There is never a dull moment, but at the end of the day, it is always worth it.

Resources & Links Mentioned

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    Announcer: 0:01

    Welcome to the Backyard Bounty Podcast from, where we talk about all things backyard poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living, and more. And now here's your host, Nicole.

    Patrick: 0:17

    Welcome friends to another episode of Backyard Bounty Podcast. I'm your host, Nicole. No, wait a minute. I'm not Nicole, I'm Nicole's husband, Patrick. Today we're going to learn about everything that she does. So bear with me... first time. So I just want to open up with thanking the host for the opportunity to be able to question her, learn a little bit about what she does and how she enjoys it and all the different things that she's knowledgeable in. And maybe I can learn a little bit today about stuff I didn't know, and it's really hard when your wife is just smiling at you the whole time.

    Nicole: 0:50

    So for listener context, obviously, this is my husband, Patrick. And he thought it would be a good idea, and I thought it was a cute idea as well. He said, well, I always question guests, but nobody ever asks me questions. So maybe that there's people out there that would like to maybe learn more about our farm or Heritage Acres or about myself. And so he wanted to be on the show and take the reins as the host and ask some questions. So hopefully, you guys will enjoy this episode and learn a little bit more about what we do and, as always, if you have any listener questions, you can submit them through the link in the description here. And we can answer them on the show as well. But hopefully, you guys will enjoy this episode, something a little different.

    Patrick: 1:36

    And please like it or it will be my last broadcast. So my first question to you is, how did you get started in the business of bees?

    Nicole: 1:43

    That was a nice setup, since you were involved terrifically. Well, when I was a kid, my mom's coworker was a beekeeper. And I was always really curious about it. And I always wanted to go over and see her apiary and just kind of learn about the bees in general. But unfortunately, I was never really able to coordinate it and go over there and check it out. So I kind of had this lifelong fascination or desire to learn more about bees, and kind of just the hobby farming thing in general. So it was probably a year or two. after we got married, I asked you for a bee hive for Christmas, which obviously, you know, December is not exactly the time of year to get started in beekeeping. But you bought me the empty, you know, actual prebuilt hive from one of our local craftsmen here in southern Colorado. And I put it in the shed until spring. Which was awful, because I was so excited, and I couldn't start bees in December. So we put it in the shed, and then that following spring, I put some ads on Craigslist for swarms, and somebody called us. And I was actually at work that day at the fire department. So you were going to go get the swarm for me.

    Patrick: 3:06

    Bad idea.

    Nicole: 3:08

    Well, no, not. You didn't know any more about it than I did at the time. But the bees, I mean, I wasn't there. I was at work, but they had already taken off, I guess right when you got there? They were gone.

    Patrick: 3:21


    Nicole: 3:22

    So that was uneventful, but then that same gentleman called us like a week later, and it wasn't truly a swarm. I mean, it kind of was was more of an absconding because it was a hive and an old tree and the tree limb fell off. So it was just kind of a series of absconding swarm things. We ended up getting a small swarm from that situation. And that was the beginning.

    Patrick: 3:46

    In many years have you ever grown attached to any of your animals? As far as chickens or turkeys or pheasants or do you have a favorite?

    Nicole: 3:57

    In a way I get attached to all of them, but I also try to keep myself somewhat unattached, because with them being chickens and things, you know, they don't have the longest lifespan and sometimes the predators will come through and pick them off. So I mean, it's impossible for me to not get attached to them, but I I tried to keep that separation. You know? Gosh, I love them all, in their own way. I'd say like as a blanket statement or whatever, I like the turkeys the best, because they're super affectionate. They're like little dogs with feathers. And they're just adorable. And I really like them a lot. I like how they act and their mannerisms. But I would say that the one individual bird that I've grown the most attached with was our little Bantam Polish, who recently passed away. It was very sad, but she was my favorite. She was my little buddy.

    Patrick: 5:00

    Have you ever been stung by a bee?

    Nicole: 5:02

    Oh, yes. Many times.

    Patrick: 5:04

    Any particular places that hurt more than others?

    Nicole: 5:07

    Yeah, I mean, none of them feel good, but I would say that anywhere for me anyways, close to a joint or like fingers.

    Patrick: 5:20


    Nicole: 5:21

    Well, above the eye. I got stung on the face. Yeah, above the eye but you know, that would actually, the sting itself wasn't terrible, I guess. The residual swelling was pretty terrible.

    Patrick: 5:33

    Just so you could help somebody else out there, do you have any recommendations on when you get stung any way to help the treatment.

    Nicole: 5:40

    So I actually do have a blog article on treating bee stings. And I'm working on putting together a kind of like a webinars slideshow thing that I'm going to be putting on YouTube in the coming months here. It was actually the subject of my one of my final projects for the Cornell Master Beekeeping program was bee stings. And kind of just the combination of my paramedic background and my beekeeping, it just is a topic that I find especially interesting. I mean, you're pretty much going to have a reaction to some degree. There's a lot of myths when it comes to bee stings. Unfortunately, you could potentially have an allergic reaction at any time. I do address a number of beekeeper myths in my in my article that's available, and I'll put a link to that in the description. But I would say as far as treatment, ice and Benadryl cream are really helpful. Otherwise, it's just going to be kind of waiting it out. If you have a typical reaction is going to be about 36 hours of discomfort and then it should start to get better, but it just is going to depend. There's a lot of variables. Depending on where you get stung how many times you get stung your individual reaction, but an antihistamine like Benadryl, a cold compress those are going to help the pain anyways and hopefully decrease the swelling a little bit.

    Patrick: 7:10

    Okay, thank you. Change the topic here. What do you find more annoying?

    Nicole: 7:15

    Uh, oh...

    Patrick: 7:18

    A male peacock, or a rooster?

    Nicole: 7:22

    Rooster. I don't know about you. The rooster... the rooster would just crow constantly for no good reason. From before the sun comes up until after the sun goes down. It was just obnoxious. I personally liked the sound of the peacocks little "Help Me". I don't know, I enjoy it.

    Patrick: 7:42

    I didn't have to ask for it, ladies and gentlemen.

    Nicole: 7:46

    Is that where we're going with this? I like the noise. I think it's neat. I don't know, it reminds me of growing up and the people down the road had one and then you know you hear when you go to the zoo. And I don't know it just doesn't hit that like ear piercing pitch that the rooster.

    Patrick: 8:02

    They're so much better when you see them at the zoo.

    Nicole: 8:05

    No, they're better when they're in your backyard. And you can love them at your own discretion. Well, hang on, let me turn around on you before you ask the next question. Which one do you find more obnoxious? You're the one that listens to them both too.

    Patrick: 8:16

    I have to say the peacock just because it's it's very loud.

    Nicole: 8:21


    Patrick: 8:21


    Nicole: 8:22


    Patrick: 8:24

    Different. So that's probably why it's a little bit more obnoxious because it's a different sound than you're used to with like a rooster. And you can hear for miles.

    Nicole: 8:32

    That's true.

    Patrick: 8:35

    So when did you realize this is something that you wanted to do as far as the backyard hobby and the podcast? And I mean, so different from the line of work you came from or your personality at that.

    Nicole: 8:47

    Yep, believe it or not, I'm, I'm a extreme introvert. So this podcasting stuff's totally out of my norm, I guess you could say. But, I mean, we had chickens and everything growing up. So it's something that hobby farming thing. I had the start as a kid and with the garden and the chickens and, and all that and grew up on five acres in the middle of nowhere at the time, and I really liked it then but then from the period of time between high school and buying my own house, you know, I wasn't able to be involved in that at all because of living in a rental apartment or whatever. And when I did have a rental house in Wyoming, I tried to kind of get back into it as much as I could by trying to get involved in falconry, but I wasn't successful in trapping a hawk. And so I had like, the facilities for it and everything but that wasn't able to progress. So when it came time to buy the house, the one thing that was really important to me was finding somewhere with land and that I could have animals and things like that. I would say that part of it is something that I've always been involved in or always wanted to do. And then as far as kind of the other side of it, I started the main website, the after moving from the busy fire station that I was at to the somewhat less busy fire station at the time. And admittedly...

    Patrick: 10:20

    Which was called what?

    Nicole: 10:22

    "The Vacation Station". Which full disclosure as one of the more senior paramedics, I actually bid that one because, call me crazy, I liked being able to sleep throughout the night, most nights, which didn't always happen to the other fire station. I loved my job, but sometimes sleep is nice too. So admittedly, I got kind of bored being at that fire station. So I started the website to share just some experience about the hobby farming and the chickens because I'm a passionate learner. And as much as I like to learn, I also like to help others and share information with others, so hopefully, their transition into hobby farming is a little bit easier. So I started that just to kill the time. And then it just kind of progressed, I really enjoyed it. And unfortunately, after my injury and my medical retirement, I wanted to be more involved, share more information with people and kind of jump in with both feet and get more involved with it. So that's why I created the podcast and have the shop and the social media and, and all of those platforms.

    Patrick: 11:36

    So seeing how you build such a beautiful hawk pen in the backyard. One of the first things you built pretty much by yourself and I'm very proud of because it's pretty amazing. Tell you tell the listeners what your hawk pen is being used for today.

    Nicole: 11:51

    Well my original hawk pen was in Wyoming. And then now on our current Hobby Farm, backyard Hobby Farm. I have a different hawk pen, because I no longer live in Wyoming. Just to clarify that in case somebody's confused, but I'll let you tell them you tell them what our hawk pen is being used for.

    Patrick: 12:12

    Or hog pen is a "catio" because we're both too scared of our cats getting hurt at night, that mouse. So we herd the cats up right before dark with a little box of treats until they come running. And we put them away every night in the catio. And we built cat houses and catwalks and it's it's pretty special.

    Nicole: 12:36

    Tell them about our catio our kitty cube.

    Patrick: 12:39

    Do you want me to tell them? Like how big it is? Oh, goodness, it's probably 12 foot tall.

    Nicole: 12:46

    It's eight by eight.

    Patrick: 12:46

    Is that what it is? Was that a setup?

    Nicole: 12:51

    Dimensions ladies and gentlemen. Ask a man and it's always bigger.

    Patrick: 12:58

    it's works great for three cats though.

    Nicole: 13:01

    It's an eight foot by eight foot pen, I guess with a wire, welded wire on all sides, including the bottom so nothing can dig in.

    Patrick: 13:09

    It's taller than eight foot isn't it?

    Nicole: 13:11

    It's eight by eight. And then it has an attached small coop. Like a chicken coop kind of thing. So we have the three kitties.

    Patrick: 13:21

    And what are their names?

    Nicole: 13:23

    Baghera is our all black little guy, he's our little Panther. And then we have a black and white cat named Channel like channel cat like channel catfish.

    Patrick: 13:35


    Nicole: 13:36

    Named by the fishermen here. And then Keanu is a little, is it considered a Tabby, a black, a black and gray striped kitty. After the movie "Keanu". It looks just like the cat in the movie. If you haven't seen it, it's a cheesy little movie. We let them out during the day to do their job. And unfortunately, with having birds, we also have a rodent problem. So they help us with that. And then we do have quite a few predators, owls and coyotes and things. So in the evening, we put them away and we probably have the most well trained behaved cats ever.

    Patrick: 14:16

    Actually, really we have owls that sit on the chicken pens at night.

    Nicole: 14:20


    Patrick: 14:20

    And watch.

    Nicole: 14:21

    Yep. Yeah, the great horned owls will be up there because it's one of the taller structures.

    Patrick: 14:25

    The flagpole.

    Nicole: 14:26

    Yep, that too.

    Patrick: 14:27

    So what was one of your favorite podcasts that you've had?

    Nicole: 14:32

    Oh, goodness. That's a good question. I would say that I enjoyed them all and it's not like one of those will I have to say it but I really, I do genuinely enjoy all of them. Because I am such an introvert, it makes me uncomfortable. And I think that that's good for personal growth. But I also like I kind of mentioned earlier, I'm a very enthusiastic learner. So I really enjoy being able to talk to different experts in in different categories and things, because I learned a lot. And it's exciting to be able to share these episodes with listeners. But I also get to ask the question, so I'm able to answer my own questions. And it's just, you know, some of the people will really everybody has been such an honor to talk to them and have them share their their time with me that it's really difficult to pick a favorite.

    Patrick: 15:26

    But what did you learn the most from, that you didn't know going in?

    Nicole: 15:31

    Well, the two that come to mind, I guess, and to answer your first question about maybe favorite, I really enjoyed talking to Randy Oliver about his scientific research with mite treatments, because he is such a prominent figure in the beekeeping world, but also, you know, just being able to talk to him about his studies and stuff. And he's been sort of somebody that I've idolized along the way. So being able to talk to him was pretty exciting. And then I talked to a gentleman that lives in Wyoming, ironically, and his name is Vahé with Falcon Force Falconry. And just because I would say out of all of the aspects of hobby farming, and not that falconry is really directly related to hobby farming, but that's probably the one topic that I'm most passionate about. So being able to talk falconry with him was really exciting. And I really enjoyed that. Gosh, I would say probably the one that I learned the most about. And it's kind of silly, I guess would would probably be the one talking about how to compost that I did. It was Episode 29 with a gal named Adrian Jones, and I'm a terrible composter. I mean...

    Patrick: 16:49

    We know.

    Nicole: 16:50

    Yes, we know. I am a Master Gardener. And I like to do hobby farming, and I can't compost to save my life. Which is so frustrating, because it seems like it should be so simple. So I would say that one I probably personally learned the most just because that's one that I struggle with a lot. And she was able to, she said, "Well, here's like the four most common mistakes that people make in composting", and, and I make all of those. So that's probably the one I learned the most.

    Patrick: 17:18

    Well, thank you. So seeing as it's something that you deal with a lot, and maybe people out there might get frustrated with but how do you deal with setbacks such as losing a hive? Or chickens getting diseases? I mean, I'm sure it's frustrating. It's..

    Nicole: 17:34

    No, that's, that's really good question.

    Patrick: 17:37

    All right, that's like two in a row.

    Nicole: 17:38

    It is. Full disclosure, he did not tell me which questions he was gonna ask me. He just sat over here, and wrote in a notebook, and then hid it from me. Actually, I have no idea what questions he's going to ask. I'm impressed. This is a good question.

    Patrick: 17:53

    Now. I'm going to ask you about the Steele Dossier here soon, so...

    Nicole: 17:55

    Oh, no. I would say I mean, it's, it's of course, extremely disappointing when you lose a hive or you lose a chicken and especially if it's something that ultimately you feel is a result of your, your own actions or your own fault. Maybe you lost a hive because you didn't treat for mites. Or maybe you lost chicken because you forgot to lock them up before bedtime, or you know, whatever it may be things happen. And I would just say you know, try not to beat yourself up too much. We're humans and we make mistakes and it sucks and it's difficult and it's frustrating but I would say just try to give yourself some slack and try to use it to improve yourself. You know if you lost a hive because you didn't treat for mites well then use that as a learning experience and make sure that you're diligent about future mite treatments or things like that. And you know, some things are just some things you just can't help and it's just... we don't have control over everything. So try and make the best of it I guess which is easier said than done.

    Patrick: 19:17

    Don't give up keep pushing forward with it and take the good with the bad.

    Nicole: 19:21

    Hobby farming is not easy. There's going to be just going to be crappy things happen and yeah, don't give up.

    Patrick: 19:29

    I've seen you frustrated many a time when you've lost a hive it was important to you and put a lot of work and effort and time into that and I'm sure it can be disheartening at times.

    Nicole: 19:39

    Yery. Yeah, don't give up. You just got to keep trudging through.

    Unknown Speaker 19:43

    till you've had hives in the mountains. You got hives at the Broadmoor, hives at the Riverwalk, hives in town, hives in the area where you live. Do you have a favorite area that you like your hive?

    Nicole: 19:57

    I would say that definitely my favorite hive is the one up at the Broadmoor, the golf course in Colorado Springs. And that one I really enjoyed. Just because it's such a beautiful area, I was really, really privileged that they allowed me to place a hive up there. And the Broadmoor actually has some of their own hives that they will use for their Sunday brunch. And so they'll offer fresh honeycomb and things. And they've also allowed me to, to place a hive up there and where my hive is located is next to their on site greenhouse where they do a lot of their own organic gardening, not only for vegetables and things for their kitchen, but also they grow a lot of their own flowers and bouquets and, and things like that. So it's just, it's just a gorgeous area. I absolutely love it up there. But that one's probably the most personally exciting ones. And they do, they do pretty well there because they are at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains there. And so there is a decent amount of vegetation, especially because they have so much going on there at the Broadmoor. But I would say that, probably for the bees, I really like the ones that are more in the mountains, or the ones that are out towards the farms, the chili farms and things. There just seems to be a lot more forage options, and they they seem to do well out there. I like to be able to place them as far away as possible from true agriculture just because they use a lot of pesticides and fungicides and things like that. So areas where they have the biggest area of natural resources, and away from people, they seem to do really well out there too. So I guess to quote Office Space, I guess I could say I kind of like them all.

    Patrick: 21:55

    So my last question to you is, what's your goals? For the podcast? What's your goals for the business? Where would you like to see them? Be someday? Or what would you like to get out of it? Or would you like your audience to get out of it?

    Nicole: 22:09

    I would say that both of the goals are, are similar. They're just different platforms. But the hope and the goal and the dream is is both the same. I mean, really with with all of them, my goal is to be able to provide an educational resource for listeners, in the case of the podcast, or readers in the case of the website, I really enjoy, again, the podcast and talking to different folks. So as the podcast grows, we're up to about 76, I think episodes total now, including the bonus episodes. And so as things continue to grow, I hope to continue to bring on exciting guests and people that can provide useful information to listeners and people that are not only experts in their field, but also reputable information, because that's really important to me, as I've gone through this journey. I've seen a lot of information out there. That's not that's not the most accurate. And taking opinions aside, because there's a lot of opinions out there, which is great. But when I'm doing podcasts that are more fact based, I want to make sure that the people that I'm interviewing and the information that goes out there is reputable, good information. I don't want to spread misinformation. That's really important. And I know that when I work on articles for my website, the reason I don't have a lot of articles is because I spend an absurd amount of time looking up information and citing research articles and scientific studies and things because again, I want the facts being put out there to be fact and to be proven fact and not just hearsay or, you know, questionably sourced information. So I guess in a nutshell, my, my goal for both of them is reputable information to help people learn. And I mean, my little slogan is "For hens and hives that thrive". But really I want people's hobby farm and their animals to be as happy and healthy and productive and safe and everything as possible. So that's my goal is to share information, good information to help people's hobby farming ventures go more smoothly.

    Patrick: 24:36

    Nice. Sort of Thank you for letting me be a part of your world for a minute. It was enjoyable to interview you. And if your listeners don't hear from me again, you know, they didn't do very well. But thank you and I appreciate the opportunity to interview you.

    Nicole: 24:53

    Well, thanks for being on the show.

    Patrick: 24:55

    For those of you listening, thank you so much for joining us, and we'll see you again next week.

    Announcer: 24:59

    Thank you for listening to Backyard Bounty, a podcast by Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show. please email us at "[email protected]". Also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at Heritage Acres Market. All the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week!

    Edited by PodSugar Audio Production & Editing

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