Episode-1339- 21 Things I Planted this Year and Why

Things Have Changed a LOT in a Year!

Things Have Changed a LOT in a Year! Click for a Full Sized Image.

The last few weeks have been a wirlwind of activity at the Spirko homestead.  We had a workshop where over 30 students planted about 200 or more trees and bushes.  But it didn’t stop there.  Since that time I have been busy as hell so I can take the next ten days off and soak my butt on the beach in Florida.

Before I jet out in the AM, I figured a quick little recap of some of the more unique things I planted this year and why I planted them might make for a fun and more lighthearted show then we have recently had.

The goals I have had for the TSP homestead are really two fold.  One of course is simply a diverse and heavily producing system.  To accomplish this I planted a lot of the usual suspects, peaches, pecans, pears, apples and plums for instance.  These plants are proven producers in my climate.  The other goal though was to have an average person come on site during peak season and be able to actually eat a half dozen in season items that they had never even heard of.

The reason is that really opens up peoples mind as to what is possible.  Some of this unusual stuff is really hardy for my climate and we know it will do.  Others are marginal and we are using select micro climates to try to establish them.

Join Me Today As I Tell You About These Plants…

Resources for today’s show…

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27 Responses to Episode-1339- 21 Things I Planted this Year and Why

  1. Bonnieblue2A

    The improvement in the front yard is striking. Those geese certainly are effective rehabilitators of soil.

    I hope you both have a wonderful vacation.

  2. Usually I don’t care for fruit flavored beer but I Love Sam Adams Cherry Wheat!

    • Modern Survival

      That is because it isn’t sweet! Take up home brewing, fruit beers are great it is only mass marketing that makes them taste like soda pop.

  3. Have a great rest. I will take my TSP time to read my new Mark Shepard, Ben Falk and Toby Hemenway books. Your return can’t come soon enough, but thankful that new and future projects keep me with visions of homestead abundance.

  4. The white pomegranate link is coming up as blue elderberry for me.

  5. Jack! Did you break Raintree’s website? LOL!

  6. I’m a pretty new listener I have listened to a bunch of episodes as of late your podcast is a great source of knowledge and motivation for me. Thanks Jack from what I’ve heard you DESERVE this vacation have fun man.

    • Welcome to the community Pat. We’re all going to have to hit the “Listen to a random episode” for a while now. You’ve got tons of great content there to enjoy. Join it at the forums for pointers to some of the best episodes.

  7. I wish you good luck in your vanilla growing endeavor.

    Growing vanilla is notoriously difficult because the vanilla orchids bloom for only a single day and they have too be hand pollinated one by one.

    Its a very tedious process that takes a skilled hand to do.

    Imagine doing this….


    or this…


    every single flower


    Then there is the curing you have to do the beans..


    Not an easy process to master.

  8. I just purchased 25 unsexed seaberry plants for $79 delivered from http://seaberry-hippophaerhamnoides.blogspot.com/p/seaberry-plants-for-sale.html

    to be honest I think someone screwed up the price scheme.
    Bundle of 6 at $6/per
    Bundle of 25 at $3.16/per
    Bundle of 50 at $5/per
    Ordered on 4-18 and they arrived today 4-22

    • Interesting. I think I should have bought them as unsexed seedlings. While it definitely doesn’t get as hot as it does where jack lives, we’re definitely a MUCH more mild warm climate than him and we’re doing the same thing.

      I will admit I think I’m a tad more focused on things like getting currants to work here well. Particular the white variety.

      We’ve got our seaberries under an oak tree that is directly above them, and they’ll get no sun after about 2pm (near a tall tree edge). What’s isinteresting we’re doing the same thing with zone 9a-10a varieties such as Hass avocados. I put a hass avocado under a Live oak and its north backed with a forest. That way in the winter time it has a nice hat over it to prevent frost from hitting it too bad. The area its in, I don’t think frosted really at all this year. It gets morning and evening sun, just not noon.

  9. Elizabeth from the Berkshires

    You’ve mentioned the Western Botanicals anti-inflammatory preparation several times, so I went over to check it out, but in can’t figure out which one you mean. What is it called? Is it the joint relief one?

  10. Alex Shrugged


    In this episode [time 28:17] regarding American berries improved in Europe…

    “Europe just seems to take on berries a lot quicker than America does. A lot of the stuff that I’m growing berry-wise has had a lot of work done on it in Europe or has its ROOTS in Europe.”

    Bah-dah-bump! 🙂

  11. Moonvalleyprepper


    That before and after pic is incredible. Enjoy your vacation!

  12. I’ve also purchased arctic kiwi for my zone 3 location which claims 20lbs of fruit per female vine but I found another zone 3 arctic kiwi which claims up to 100lbs of fruit per vine

  13. Off topic just wanted to let everyone know inflation is alive and well, I just had to buy a battery for my 3rd car, a 90 Honda civic, 2 and a half years ago I bought the battery at Wal-Mart for $56 just replaced it and it cost me $110 double the cost in less than 3 years, the same battery 5 or 6 years ago I paid less than $30 for, absolutely ridiculous!

  14. Hey All,

    Something going through my head is can anyone give a very rough idea of how much Jack might have spent on all these plants? For example, in my head I am thinking $25-$40 per tree, at 150+ trees is getting close to $5k-$10k in trees.

    That terrifies me that we would get a really bad Winter again and kill a large majority of those. In Southeast Michigan we had many days this past Winter that were -25 below zero, so every PawPaw that I know of is dead now. Losing $5,000 in trees wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it’s definitely a different league from losing a dozen tomato plants.

    • Eric, usually when you buy in bulk or you buy smaller trees, you can drop the price considerably. For instance, at the nursery down the street from me, a Osage Orange shrub in a gallon pot is about $35. From the Forestry Service in Texas, it’s $1.50/plant.

      When you buy cuttings, rooted cuttings, and slips your price tends to be pretty low, and it’s actually easier to not kill the smaller trees from transplant shock when you get them. It’s still a sizeable investment, but there are things you can do to make it cheaper.

    • Modern Survival

      Well you are not far off, I would say total about 5k invested this year.

      Bluntly there will be losses, already I would say close to a dozen various plants won’t make it. That is the reality of building something this large.

      Key though is next winter doesn’t concern me, if it lives until winter it will live period. The rare exceptions are things that are marginal like olive and pineapple guava and say avocado. But those are calculated risks going in.

      95% of these trees, vines, bushes are cold hardy 2 zones or more colder than I am and at least 0ne higher. If things die it will be

      1. Because they came dead, I have a few of these now
      2. Lack of water, I can only irrigate so much, so the most tender stuff is in zone one and zone two
      3. Summer heat, see above
      4. Winter kill but again this is only the marginal risk play stuff

      Winter isn’t going to kill an apple a plum a peach a pear a jujube, etc.

      • Thanks Jack, I appreciate it! I had forgot that you have mentioned most everything is hearty to a few zones North, which is a great idea! In my case I think Paw Paws are hearty only up to my zone, so that makes sense that since we had a very harsh Winter and it killed basically all of them.

        Thank you also for posting all the info about this project. I love hearing/watching updates on your homestead, and finally signed up for the MSB since I have canceled satellite radio because I only listen to your podcast on my commute. 🙂

  15. Ronald Greek

    Consider the time, labor, expertise, and non-local sources utilized. If you do not already have your home food production system, then post crisis, how long would it take you to establish a long term reliable garden? Do you have enough food storage to take you thru setting up your garden, and waiting for the first crops?

  16. Jack

    Awesome show. I was a little late listening but what did you plant as ground cover in your front yard?

  17. Great Show!!

    One of the plants you talked about helped to deter pests. I’ve heard the same thing about planting marigold around vegetable gardens. My parents did this for the years we had a garden. Fact or Fiction? Or it depends?

  18. My parents have had pineapple guavas groing for years and seem to take temperatures down into the low 20s fine. We are in the foothills of California at about 1500 feet elivation. Be sure to pick the fruit before the first frost as it will almost instantly go bad after. Also fruit that falls and stays on the ground tends to stay “freash” longer then fruit picked up and brought indoors.