Author Archives: Modern Survival

Episode-58- TSP Rewind – Why I Switched to Aquaponics

rewindToday is an episode of TSP Rewind, commercial free versions of past podcast episodes.

Today’s episode was originally, Episode-1976- Why I Switched to Aquaponics and was first published on April 4th, 2017.

Here are some resources mentioned in today’s new introduction.  The video playlist of the new aquaponics project is here and the Gerber EAB Lite Item of the Day his here.

You can also find the video for I Won’t Be Home for Christmas by Blink182 here and the LED Lights I am trialing here.

The following are the original show notes from that episode.

A Simple Flood and Drain Bed Made With a 14 Gallon Mixing Tray

Right out of the gate “switched” may not be the best word here, but it certainly applies to my growing of annual vegetables. It may have been a better title to have said, “Why I Changed My Mind About Aquaponics. Today I want to take a new look at aquaponics and try to demystify it a bit so that it is a bit more approachable at the small end of the scale to anyone.

The reality though is until recently I always looked at aquaponics this way, “what a great thing, for other people to do”. I wasn’t opposed to it, I just had my own ways and well they worked. Well until I moved to this limestone ledge we call a farm.

I met a good friend named David and he told me how much food they were producing on their small property and together we designed the systems I now run on my property. Today I will talk about them and give you some simple ways to get started for a few hundred dollars with 100% off the shelf prices.

Join Me Today to Discuss….

  • What is aquaponics in a nut shell
  • The three main grow beds and what they are best for
    • Ebb and Flow (aka flood and drain)
    • Deep Water Raft
    • Wicking Beds
  • Additional components
    • Choosing a Pump
    • What makes a bulkhead a good bulkhead
    • The basics of a bell siphon
  • A simple flood and drain system and a few options on building it
    • 100 Gallon Stock Tank with 4 Ebb and Flow Beds $310.00
    • 150 Gallon Stock Tank with 6 or more Ebb and Flow Beds $460.00
    • 3 x 100 Gallon Stock Tanks with 6 or more Ebb and Flow Beds $560.00
    • 300 Gallon Stock Tank with 6 or more Ebb and Flow Beds $570.00
    • Add $90.00 to the above prices for the larger pump
    • Incorporating deep water or wicking into these designs
  • The value of shade cloth or eastern sun and western shade
  • Some additional ideas and thoughts
    • Adding a duck weed biofilter bed
    • How to make an “aquarium siphon”
    • Protecting your pump with a bucket or a bag
    • When IBCs make a lot of sense
    • Lava Rock, Expanded Shale and Expanded Clay Pebbles
    • Plant propagation with ebb and flow
    • Replanting produce with ebb and flow
  • Final thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

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 (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

 

The Gerber EAB Lite – TSP Item of the Day

gerber

The Gerber EAB Lite is a Huge Bang for Your Buck as an EDC Tool.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Gerber EAB Lite Pocket Knife.  This little guy is one of my absolute favorite little pieces of EDC. 

You may wonder why a guy that carries knives that cost 200-700 dollars would turn around and carry this little 8 dollar tool.  Simple I have no desire to dull and gum up my expensive knives on things like opening boxes with my good knives.

What the Gerber EAB Lite does is ensure you always have a razor sharp blade available, because well you use razor blades in it.  Now think about this you can get a hundred pack of blades for 10 bucks.  Each blade can be used till dull, then flipped and you use up the other side.  That means with one 100 pack of blades you can flip or change a blade each week and will will have a brand new blade in your knife for almost 4 years!

Long term listeners of TSP know I have recommended this product for almost as long as there has been a TSP.  This little tool sells for under 8 bucks and ships free on Amazon Prime to boot.  I give these away to friends and family all the time.  It is a great way to share prepping in a very soft way.  People see it and are like wow what is that, or you are always prepared.  I just hand it to them, show them how the blade is changed and say, “if you promise to carry it you can have it”.

Important – One little safety tip.  Like most houses we have a “junk drawer” in our kitchen, right near the garbage.  I keep my extra blades and a small screwdriver in that drawer with and old vitamin bottle.

When I change my blade, I drop the old blade into the bottle and cap it.  This way no one will bet hurt handling the garbage.  I would feel awful if Charlie got hurt in one of his weak garbage eating moments.  It also protects us when we take out the trash and hey garbage men are people too right!  Just understand when your blade is “dull” likely parts of it are still sharp and can be dangerous.  Always and I mean always do something to prevent injuries from old blades when discarding them.

Anyway if you don’t already have one give the Gerber EAB Lite a try, for the price you can’t beat it.  And consider picking up a few to give away and perhaps one for each glove box in your vehicles.  I have even used this to skin squirrels and rabbits, with the way I do it, it is all you need.

Remember you can always see the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here.

 

The Indoor Aquaponics Grocery Store

So this weekend I set up my planned indoor aquaponics system.  The truth is all I really needed to do was set up a 100 gallon tank and one small ebb and flow bed this year to grow tilapia fry until spring and get a jump start on growing them.  However always wanting to give you more, I have turned this into an educational project.

I am using a 300 gallon rubber maid stock tank, along with rafting, a 50 gallon ebb and flow and a small wicking bed inside one of my out buildings.  Setting up a lighting array and heating the water with 300 watt aquarium heaters.  Each spring we will drain this tank and move all starts to our main systems.  We can also starting next year over winter aquatic vegetation such as salvania or duckweed with it.

This really isn’t to show you how to do this indoors just how to set up a system and get it producing fast.  Using the components in this system you literally have a roll your own kit by visiting Lowes and Tractor supply.  As this project evolves I expect many aquaponics hold outs will realize how easy this is, how well it works, and will finally take the plunge.  You can track the entire playlist at http://bit.ly/indooraqua and below are the first two videos.

I plan to go to the “winter time plant store” later today and film episode three soon.  So what is the winter time plant store, oh you call that the grocery store and no, I am not kidding.

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Episode-2133- Expert Council Q&A for 12-15-17

Today its Friday so it’s time for expert council show. To ask a question for a show like this, just send an email to me at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with “TSPC Expert” in the subject line.

Today the expert council answers questions on herbal medicine, cooking, radios, knife making, websites, law enforcement, investing, rocket mass heaters and more.

In the body of your email first tell me the council member your question is for. Second ask your question concisely in one to two sentences maximum. Third any and all details after that. This is the formula to give you the best chance of getting on the air.

I do what I can to get as many of your questions as possible on the air but can’t always get to all of them. Our council is made of a wide variety of experts in everything from the tactical to the practical and everything in between.

To get more information on our Expert Council visit our “Meet the Expert Council Page” to learn more about them and their specific areas of expertise.

Join Me Today As Our Experts Discuss

  • The uses for wild lettuce extract – Doc Bones
  • Getting pectin to do its thing when making jam – Erica Strauss
  • GMRS radio for back up comms – Tim Glance
  • Choosing the right steel for a knife – Patrick Roehrman
  • Finding the right word press theme – Nicole Sauce
  • Dealing with LEOs that escalate vs deescalate – Dan  Ohmann
  • Could we be looking at a major market correction – John Pugliano
  • More on rocket mass heaters – Paul Wheaton
  • Thoughts on accusations and the “court of public opinion” – Jack

Resources for today’s show…

Websites of the Expert Council Members

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 (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

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Some New Videos from Our Homestead

First up is this 20 minute property walk explaining our new plant starting system, new timber frame pond and wicking bed installs, indoor aquaponics, grow bucket system, updates on the bantam hens and more. Here are links to the items featured in this video as well

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Next up is a video I made to better explain the second segment of the video above.  It is best to at least watch that segment first to better understand it if you haven’t already done so.

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Next up is a video of me but not on my channel.  Justin Rhode brought his 50 state permaculture bus tour to Nine Mile Farm to learn about my duck operation.  I have to say he did a fantastic job with this 16 minute mini documentary.

Davidson’s Earl Grey Bulk Tea – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day Davidson’s Earl Grey Bulk Tea.  Davidson’s has some of the best deals in organic teas on the market if you buy bulk.  This tea is wonderful and can be brewed with either a french press or simple tea infuser.  If you prefer your tea in a conventional tea bag Davidson’s does make this same tea in bag form, you can find that here.

So what is Earl Grey Tea other than the favorite toddy for Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Star Trek universe.  Earl Grey tea is a tea blend which has been flavored with the addition of oil of bergamot.  Bergamot is a variety of orange.  This citrus fruit is often grown in Italy and France. The rind’s fragrant oil is added to Black tea to give Earl Grey its signature pungent punch. So you would think the favor would be orange like.

It really isn’t, to me the addition of bergamot oil creates a velvety feel and a flavor that is more like well, bee balm than anything else I can think of.  I am not sure but I think this may be why bee balm is also called “wild bergamot”.  As clearly an orange and a member of the mint family are completely unrelated, the similar property of each in tea is the only reason I can see for the commonality of the name.

Anyway I love this tea for its flavor, and I love Davidson’s for their value.  You get a full pound of 100% organic tea for about 15 bucks.  One teaspoon of tea makes a cup, so let’s just say that is a lot of cups of “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” to go though.   Anyway I make this tea at two teaspoons to full french press batch which is two large cups.  As that is more than two 8 ounce cups I do my spoons heaped just a bit.  Pour over boiling water from my electric kettle and let steep for 3 minutes.

Now here is why I love a french press for tea.  At three minutes when you push down the plunger, you are effectively separating the tea from the water, so your tea will not become too strong or overly tannic.  I then sweeten with stevia (perhaps honey once a week) and at times enjoy a bit of lemon with it as well.

So give this stuff a try, it does have caffeine but far less than coffee.  If you want a decaf version they have that too but I don’t really care for decaffeinated teas myself.  Caffeine free is one thing, decaffeinated is another.  So check out Davidson’s Earl Grey Bulk Tea today and I think you will enjoy it even more that Captain Picard does, I mean this is the real deal not some phony baloney replicated knock off.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Episode-2132- Listener Calls for 12-14-17

jackspirkoToday on The Survival Podcast I take your questions on gardening, permaculture, aquaponics, getting started prepping, podcasting, deescalation of violence and more.

Remember to be on a show like this one just pick up your phone and call 866-65-THINK.

Make sure if you submit content for a feedback show that you put something like “comment for jack”, “question for jack” or “article for jack” in the subject line to assure proper identification for my screening process.

Please understand I receive several hundred emails a day and can’t get them all on the air.

I also do put out a lot of information on Facebook from emails that I can’t fit on the program though so keep em coming.

Join Me Today As I Respond to Your Calls and Discuss…

  • Prepping garden beds for next season
  • Getting started as a new prepper without being overwhelmed
  • Ideas for kids permaculture projects over the winter
  • Setting up indoor aquaponics for about 250 dollars
  • Dealing with road rage
  • Thoughts on a local market podcast
  • Thought on how we should value our time

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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 (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book.  When I first heard that this book existed I had to have a copy, I ordered it without even reading any reviews of it, or worrying what exactly was in it.  That says something given the price of this book is about 50 dollars.

The reason is simple, Jefferson is one of my biggest heroes.  He was not a perfect man, we know his faults but we know his genius as well.  He sat with other founders like Ben Franklin and penned our Declaration of Independence, he served in our the Continental Congress and was our second president.

We know him as an author, a leader, a politician and a diplomat, he was all those thing but in his heart what he most wanted to do was to cultivate the soil.  In his own words he said as much when he said this….

I have often thought if heaven had given me my choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered and near a good market for the productions of a garden.

No occupation is as delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of a garden.  Such a variety of subjects, someone always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, and instead of one harvest a continued one though the year.

Under a total want of demand except for our family table, I am still devoted to the garden.  But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.

His Garden Book, more accurately this modern version with commentary and hundreds of letters from Jefferson to family, friends and business partners included is amazing.  It is a look into the world of early America.  It includes requests for seeds and plants both from Jefferson and from his friends back to himself.  You also get  some pretty amazing quotes on what this founder of our nation really thought such as this…

I know nothing so charming as our own country.  The learned say it is a new creation; and I believe them; not for their reasons, but because it is made on and improved plan.

Europe is a first idea, a crude production, before the maker knew his trade, or had made up his mind as to what he wanted.

This book is full of such wisdom and poetry and also simple letters, notations, planting schedules, landscape designs, sketches and more.  Fans of permaculture will see a lot of new ideas are really simply discovering old ones such as Jefferson’s work to introduce contour plowing to our nation, a practice which then spread rapidly.  You also see how much he valued plant diversity and utility for instance here is another quote…

The greatest service to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.

Oh by the way, all of the above quotes are just in the introduction of this book!

Reading it is like a 700 page treasure hunt where you find something akin to gold on ever other page.  A plant variety to research, made much easier by the editors notes and use of Latin names for many of them.  You also realize something about Jefferson, the man like peas!  I am talking every years entry starts out with something like, “Sowed a bed of peas, first soaked to better germinate“.  He was also fond of lettuce feeling if every family would simply sow a single thimble full of lettuce seed every Monday from February to September our nation would always be well fed.

This book is fantastic, if you love gardening you will love it, if you love history you will love it, if you love the concept of liberty you will love it.  Now if you love all three, then like me you won’t just love this book you will consider it a heirloom in your library.  My copy is full of underlines and side notes.  Some day when my grandchildren read it, they won’t see a perfectly preserved antique, I hope it will as tattered with my own thoughts and interests, frayed and yellowed a bit.  And my hope will be that they too will see that indeed these ideas are timeless that liberty and freedom can exist only when men and women care enough to feed both their stomachs and souls though the tending of plants.

A few times a week I open this book and read a few pages, it is like walking with Jefferson, in Monticello and learning something new everyday.  Some days I read from my last bookmarked spot, others I just randomly open it to a page and it is always awesome.  So consider adding a copy of Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book.  It will also make a treasured gift for anyone who loves history, freedom or gardening.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

Episode-2131- Mike and Sue Laprise on Homeschooling and Family Dynamics

Michael grew up in a triple decker house in an urban environment in Massachusetts. The sixth of seven kids, he worked in his dad’s butcher shop / grocery store beginning when he was 13 years old (like all of his siblings).

After graduating from college Michael moved to Houston, Texas where he met Sue. Michael has worked in Banking, Oil & Gas, Industrial Distribution, Real Estate and Insurance. He loves flying, backpacking, mos, who was the youngest of seven children, was brought up with rural gardens, chickens and ponies from t things outdoors but mostly he loves spending time with his family.

Sue Malibou Lake to Oregon, learning from a “let’s try this” lifestyle. Sue has been a “professional” volunteer working in scouting, church and the home school community and loves the outdoors – her passion is helping people who want to be helped.

While they make an interesting couple what they share is a love of freedom, learning and strong families.  They join us today to discuss homeschooling, childhood education and family dynamics.

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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 (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle – Item of the Day

nitrovenom

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Crosman Nitro Venom Break Barrel Air Rifle available in both 22 Caliber and 177 Caliber.  A few months ago I set out to find the best value to price ratio in break barrel air rifles and settled on this one.

There is a lot to like about the Nitro Venom Series.  First is price, there are better break barrel guns out there but nothing close to this that I have found in the 150 dollar and under range.  Next is quality of fit and finish, now a high end Weatherby this gun is not but as a pellet gun the finish is very well done.  Next we have power.  The 22 caliber version will put standard lead pellets down range at 800 FPS and the 177 smokes em down range at 1000 FPS.

Now were it really comes together is accuracy, please understand that piston guns have a break in period, more on that in a second.  That said I was getting decent groups out of the box with this gun.  After a full break in of 500 rounds I can now drill a quarter at 20 yards, and I can knock holes in beer cans off my back fence from my porch, about 60 yards.

Now another feature that I really liked and led me to this pick was the integrated picatinny rail.  By that I mean the rail is fused to the receiver, not bolted on.    Piston guns have forward recoil, they can be hard on scopes but harder on rings and mounts.  Because this rail is welded to the receiver you eliminate an entire point of failure, this rail is NOT going to move.

The included rings are 4×4 rings, meaning they have 4 vs 2 bolts for each ring, this is really important with forward recoil.  The included Centerpoint 3×9 Scope is in my opinion the only weak point, but I would pay the price for this gun with no scope so I am fine with it, in fact it is still on my gun.  It isn’t a bad scope and it does hold zero (over 2000 rounds now).

It is just not a really clear scope.  I don’t expect Leopold quality in a scope at this level but suffice to say it could be better.  I will likely eventually put a UTG 4X32 1″ Mil-dot Airgun Scope on mine, I currently have that scope on my Crosman 392 and I really like it.  I also think 4x is plenty of power for an airgun and like mildot to play with hold over and windage at extended ranges (50-100 yards).

On break in, one of the nice things about nitro piston is they break in faster.  Older style pistons took 1500 or more to really settle in.  Most now break in at about 1000 shots.  Nitros tend to settle in at about 200-300 but I go 500 before I really start dialing in the “perfect pellet” for it.

Here is my basic break in.  I get the gun hitting about center at say 10 yards, then move it to 25 yards, get it basically hitting center, not really concerned about a tight group.  Then I put 100 cheap ass pellets in a small dish on my back porch.  Every time I get a chance I shoot it until I am bored.  I just shoot some of my metal targets off hand until the bowl is empty.  I do that until I get though 5 bowls and then get down to picking the best pellet.

So far one of the most accurate pellets this gun shoots is a pleasant surprise.  They are the quite inexpensive Crosman Premier 22 Hollow Points.  As this is a fine hunting pellet and only $5.82 for 500 rounds, I have pretty much settled on it.  It has been more than adequate for squirrels and rabbits so far.

The other thing to do is check the scope rings/mounts every so often during break in.  This means check tightness but don’t keep torquing them down more and more every time, just make sure you are not getting movement or loosening.  You can also mark your scope with a grease pencil along the rings which will show you any movement of the scope.  Though be aware it is easy to wipe off.

So if you are in the market for a good quality piston air rifle that doesn’t cost as much as an entry level center fire rifle, check out the Nitro Venom in your choice of 22 Caliber or 177 Caliber today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – The 22 Caliber is on sale right now for $107.90 which is just stupid cheap.  The 177 is on sale for $137 which is also a great deal but I brought this one around today because at just over 100 bucks, every prepper should own one of these guns in 22 caliber.  They do so much and pellets are so cheep it is almost like shooting for free.