Episode-943- Tim Ammons of Oleo Acres Farm

Curing Meat the Old Fashioned Way at Oleo Acres Farm

Curing Meat the Old Fashioned Way at Oleo Acres Farm

Tim Ammons runs Oleo Acres farm a self sustaining farm that teaches individuals the old fashioned way of being “Green”.  He joins us today to discuss self sustainable living and farming as a way to support family and community.

On his 20 acre farm in Tennessee Tim still practices many techniques and skills that have largely been lost.  Such as the growing of 7 very old heirloom varieties of sorghum which are then converted into sorghum syrup using old methods.  At one time sorghum syrup was the most common sweetener in the US, Tim is still growing it and making it the old fashioned way.

He is also a big time gardener with may tips and tricks developed over almost 40 years of gardening and farming.  He will teach us today about timing your plantings, companion and succession planting and even a great, simple and completely organic way to combat the dreaded squash bug, which is public garden enemy number one for much of the TSP audience.

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Sources for Several Varieties of Sorghum We Discussed Today and Some of My Other Favorites

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

38 Responses to Episode-943- Tim Ammons of Oleo Acres Farm

  1. Jack,
    In the housekeeping you mentioned an “honest personal balance sheet”. Can you outline the difference between what you mean by that and what most people use? Or maybe just explain what you use for your honest personal balance sheet.
    Thanks

    • Modern Survival

      @Chopper to me it is pretty easy to understand.

      Your loan officer says you own a car worth 15,000 dollars IF that is really what it would sell for and you owe 5,000 on it the car goes down as 10 not 15. I would even rate the car as lower as by the time it is paid it further depreciates.

      If you have a system that provides 50 dollars a month of income or items that replace expense I put that down as 600 or its annual value, etc.

      You home is not worth 185K it is worth 185K less the mortgage costs, hence most houses are not assets at all, they are a loss unless paid off early. Etc, this is all of course subjective to your personal view.

  2. About sumac, I’ve been interested in doing something with that for a while but I’m not sure about the technique. For lemonade do you just soak the whole berry stem? Add sugar? I actually tasted some of the berries the other day and could taste the vitamin C.

    For using it in cooking, what is the technique there? Separate the berries? Crush them and treat like a rub? Something else?

    • By “berry stem” I mean the stem containing the whole cluster of berries.

      • @bluprint:
        Here’s a link to some pretty clear instructions for the sumac lemonade
        http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2008/08/sumac-lemonade.html

        I’m not sure how you’d process the berries for cooking, if you wanted to make something like the powdered sumac that’s used in Middle Eastern cooking or for making za’tar spice blend. I’m going to be drying some and powdering them with a suribachi/surikogi (Japanese mortar/pestle) and comparing it to what I’ve gotten at the Middle Eastern grocery store. That stuff I picked up is amazing! Such a unique flavor & it looks great sprinkled on to p of stuff.
        Cheers,
        Barb

  3. Visited his website.

    I hope he keeps an eye on the Tennessee State Legislature and DNR. The hogs pictured on his website are like the ones on Bakers Green Acres here in Michigan that have been declared illegal because of the loons in our state government declaring them feral and an invasive species. Thus declaring them illegal to be raised on michigan farms.

    See;

    http://www.bakersgreenacres.com/

  4. There are actually several sorghum beers on the market. My wife works at a Craftbeer store, and she is the official gluten free beer tester. If you need any gluten free beer suggestions, let me know.

    Side note, it awful having having a wife that brings home the best of the best craftbeer. :P

    • I like Bard’s. It has gotten bad reviews but I think its the best gluten free beer I’ve tried, and a pretty good Beer anyway in it’s own right.

      • There are some that are not too bad for any type of beer. The DFH tweeson is a little sweet, but good. There is also another one that was good.

        If I had a gluten issue, I would be thrilled at the amount of beer I could drink.

  5. Roundabouts

    I swear this show was only 5 min long. It went by so fast. So glad to hear from experience people doing this! Now when people tell me I am crazy and it can’t be done I can just laugh. This has energized me no more do I need to 2nd guess myself.

    Jack I would like to know how you find these people. As I would like to find others like Tim Ammons but closer to Washington.

  6. ObserveandReporter

    Funny how Jack’s accent tends to take on the character of his guests. His southern accent seemed a little bit thicker during this episode

    • Modern Survival

      You are far from the first to point it out LOL, this forum post is from Oct of 2008, http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=248.0 you might get a kick out of it.

      • Jack, you crack me up! I was listening to a show not too long ago where you were talking about gangsters, and you sounded like a member of the Mafia! Then when you talk about the down-home, good-ol’-boy kinda stuff, you sound so “Texas”. :)

        It only makes me laugh because I do the same thing. Most of the time, I’m well-spoken and articulate. When I talk with my best friend though, in no time, I sound like a hick. Same thing happens when I’m talking with my family.

        I once watched an episode of “How The States Got Their Shapes” on History where they were talking about accents in different parts of the country. There were some “accents” that sounded like foreign languages but the locals seemed to understand every word. Being from the Midwest, I’m used to either hearing a southern drawl (from the southern part of the state) or a plain, easy-to-understand voice like you’d hear when you mis-dial a phone number. (The original “We’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed” was recorded by a Hoosier.

        Keep up the great work! Love the show!

    • mimicking others to some degree is an effective persuasive technique if done correctly.

    • viewfromabove

      I have been meaning to comment on that also. Like when that guy from VA phones for the call in shows, Jack’s speech goes heavy southern accent as does his cadence. I have also picked up a Brooklyn accent when he starts to get upset about assclowns.

  7. Travis Shute

    I still don’t hear Jacks accent. Maybe I’m deaf.

  8. Loved the show today Jack. Looks like the TSP listeners may have overloaded the Oleo Acres website as I can’t get to it right now.

  9. Since Stitcher I have not gone and downloaded an episode on iTunes in a long time. This one I did. Mr. Ammons rocked my face off. Fantastic practical information that I want to have around for a while.

    Now I have some new projects. Thank you Mr. Ammons and thank you Jack.

  10. Middleground

    Great show! I’m wondering if sorghum can be stored long term? I didn’t realize it was so high in nutrients, might be a good idea to add some to the pantry….

    • Modern Survival

      The grain would store as long as most grains if kept dry and air tight, like dang near forever. Syrup would store about as well as maple syrup, kept cool and away from light a long long time. If it did go bad your nose would know.

  11. About the accent coming out depending on who you talk to. That’s a fairly common thing, especially among those who grow up with a heavy accent and then learn to tone it down. Growing up in southeast Texas, my accent could be cut with a knife while I was growing up, but when I got into the tech field, I kept getting told that no one would take me seriously if I sounded like I was just drug out of the set of Deliverance. So, I worked on toning my accent down. Consequently, when I start to get tired, upset, or talking to someone with a heavy accent, my initial heavy southern accent comes out.

  12. Leanna Herbert

    We are hoping to get back to the basics of life and be self supporting. We are planning to relocate to Ky or Tn in the next few months. What amount of land would you recommend to help ourselves and others? We will not have a lot of money to start out with. Would 4-10you acres be enough?
    Thank You, Leanna

  13. Great show I really enjoyed the history lesson.

  14. Love shows like this. I might have to pick up some sorghum syrup. Hopefully Tim can be a repeat guest, he sounds like he has a ton to talk about.

  15. One correction: I believe it was a slip of the tongue, but Agent Orange was not used in S.E. Asia intentionally on people but on the forage. People most definitely were hit by it, including many of our own troops (some in our family), but it was not a chemical warfare activity intended for use one persons.

    It’s always instructive to hear how the persons Jack interviews came to where they are now.

    • Modern Survival

      @Jimmie maybe you misheard but no one said it was ever used on people, no one.

  16. Great episode, great info. From the description in itunes I was looking forward to info on curing meat. Hopefully Tim can come back for another round, I’d love to learn more about curing from someone who has some practical experience.

  17. thewarriorhunter

    this was a great show. it looks like sorghum will be occupying a spot or two in my garden now!

  18. This is what I am referring to:
    Tim at approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds into the program mentions Agent Orange was altered to make it into a weed killer when chemical warfare was outlawed. Jack responds that pesticides were originally designed to be used on people as nerve agents. Not true.

    Agent Orange is classified as a defoilant, not chemical warfare. Chemical Warfare is specifically designed to be used on humans and were not altered to be used as pesticides. Agent Orange was destructive to humans primarily because of the dioxins which were in Agent Orange as manufacturing impurities. Source: Wikipedia.

    Did you specifically say Agent Orange was used on people? No, but it was referred to as Chemical Warfare, which it wasn’t, and that ….. well I won’t repeat myself.

    Outside of that, an outstanding show.

    • Modern Survival

      @Jimmie I get where you are coming from but you are drawing lines to connect dots that don’t connect.

      Tim made a statement. Is it 100% accurate? Not exactly but it is at the same time. The chem companies did go into ag due to a lack of ability to sell to the military and that was largely due to a treaty signed with the USSR after the Vietnam war. I get how many could take Tim’s statement the way you did but I let it slide but it is technically accurate. And Tim is correct that 24D is only one degree off from agent orange.

      Next you claimed my statement was pesticides were originally designed to be used on people as nerve agents which I DID NOT FING SAY! What I said was that the similarities between pesticides and nerve agents were very close and pesticides of today are rooted in nerve agents which is 100% fact.

      Tim simplified it beyond the way I did but what I said is fact and I frankly dare you to prove it otherwise.

      Now on saying that Agent Orange isn’t chemical warfare you are just wrong it was and current use would be considered as such. That is also fact. I also bet you don’t think the war in Iraq was nuclear right? I mean depleted plutonium is good stuff and not harmful right? http://rense.com/general64/du.htm

      Just because AO wasn’t “chemical warfare” on paper at the time of its use doesn’t change what it actually was and is now considered. In 1944 when the British fire bombed Dresden Germany it also wasn’t considered Terrorism, it was most certainly so though wasn’t it and would be considered so by any nation today right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II

      How about the fire bombing of Japan under Robert McNamara http://cominganarchy.com/2005/10/31/on-war-crimes-or-%E2%80%9Cwhat-makes-it-immoral-if-you-lose-but-not-if-you-win%E2%80%9D/

      Believe what you want but don’t try to say another man is wrong for his beliefs.

  19. Hey does anyone know if the catnip that Mr Ammons recommended to combat squash bugs is the nepeta cataria or nepeta curviflora? Or maybe it doesn’t matter? I’ve been devastated by squash bugs this year and want to try this next year… Great show Jack, thanks for the incredible guests you consistently interview.

  20. “I get how many could take Tim’s statement the way you did but……..” indeed many did take it that way, I know because we’ve talked. Tim is a good man, it was a statement that vented some disdain the way industries have compromised and corrupted what is good, which sentiment I share. But truth to be told, the unfortunate wording in the podcast to the uninformed listener would be lead to believe that our nation used a defoliant as a chemical warfare weapon. I’m sorry for your position otherwise, but that is the way that certain passage on the podcast was understood. Too strong of a connection made between pesticides and nerve agents. As for the other dogs you’re chasing in your post, go get em’.

    • Modern Survival

      @Jimmie I bet you’re in IT or some such thing? Jeeze if this is a problem for you just get the hell over it.

  21. Thank you for the opportunity of being on your show and hope to return one day.
    I welcome visits from anyone who would like to visit the farm.

  22. I might have to stop by this guys farm someday and check it out! Looks awesome

  23. Danny Burns

    GREAT show. Not only did I learn a lot, but since we live in his area, this we went to his soapmaking demonstration this weekend. We have already tried the laundry detergent and my wife thinks that it works better than anything she has used. I am so looking forward to going back to the sorghum festival in Sept. Thanks to Tim and his wife Betty for making us feel at home and thanks Jack for having him on the show.

  24. Cool episode…one clarification: Tim said that there was honey that still had “Dursban” showing up in it 10 years after being taken off the market. He is correct about Dursban but “Lorsban” is still used and is the exact same chemical. Dursban was for homeowners and was taken off the market while Lorsban is for ag use and is still very much on the market as both Lorsban and generic chlorpyrifos.