Episode-2289- Practical Homesteading in the Modern Age

Sometimes I feel society in on the edge of yet another split.  Those that value things like gardens, back yard birds and foraging, and those who don’t but see no value in such things.  These people look around and see  a world when you can summon a car with a cell phone, to either take you to dinner or bring dinner to you.

Unlike 2008 when I began the journey of this podcast, the economy is booming.  Right now if you don’t have a job, frankly don’t really want one.  Everyone is hiring.  Every day some new technical marvel is unveiled.  Alternative energy is really beginning to stop looking so “alternative”.  It seems in perhaps a decade electricity may be almost free in relative terms.

Computers are continuing to become better, smarter, faster and cheaper.  Anything you want from lobster tails to fine silk can be delivered to your home in 12-24 hours from the almighty Amazon.  You can understand when it comes to homesteading why some people are like, why bother?

The other side though is pretty amazing.  We have people on YouTube documenting their homesteading journeys with hundreds of thousands of people following them.   A few such people have more than a million followers.  Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are full of pictures and short videos of everything from “square foot gardens” to urban chicken tractors.   Celebrity Chefs like Guy Fieri show off their backyard flocks and compost piles.

Yes even in a world of high speed processors and “Door Dash” food delivery the back yard homestead is thriving in 2018.  Today we discuss ways to be a practical homesteader in the modern world.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • Why do we homestead
    • Humans are cultivators
    • As much for recreation as for production
    • The quality of food we can produce
  • Some rules for happy homesteading
    • One project at a time
    • Start with something easy and fun
    • Set and respect a budget
    • Build management into daily activities (smart zone design)
  • Some of my favorite projects for homesteading
    • Back yard birds (composting system)
    • Of course a kitchen garden (gotta love wicking beds)
    • Set up a seed starting system (lights, etc)
    • Building a solar heater
    • Lean how to can food
    • Install rainwater catchment
    • Creating habitat, natural spaces, attracting wildlife
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

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5 Responses to Episode-2289- Practical Homesteading in the Modern Age

  1. I will never forget where I was on 9-11. My work day had just started in Portland, Oregon and was driving my Cushman electric cart through the 14 acre manufacturing plant where I worked as a Maintenance Mechanic. One of my co-worker stop me and asked if I had heard about a plane crashing into one of the towers of the World Trade Center, my first thoughts were much like Jack’s.  My next stop was the Machine Shop because had a TV in their break room. What I saw next changed my life, less than a year later I enlisted in the US Army and I am still serving today.  That being said, my life has made a full circle, two years ago my family and I purchase our first home on 5 acres. Now my wife and I are slowly returning to our roots and teaching our kids along the way as we build our homestead.

  2. Hello Jack,

    Another great show. 9-11-2001, I was in Germany with the Oregon Army National Guard, C company, 1-162 BN, Separate Infantry Brigade at Hohenfels, Germany.

    I was in ‘Annual Training’ for 6 weeks, assisting the OPFOR against an Airborne Unit from Vicenza, Italy, 

    I had been ‘In country’ for 3 days, when this went down.

    International phone access, not happening at that moment.

    Sadly, way too many Soldiers were calling home and saying crap like “We are Goin to War” without any real facts.

    I found a computer and sent my then girlfriend to please call both my Mother and my Father (They were divorced for several years by this time.) and gave her a ‘Script’ that she called, said what her relationship to me was at that time, that I was safe, and that, when I could, I would give updates as soon as possible.

    Jack, you will either grimace or grin, but yes, I used my AOL.Com account to send that email.

    Thanks for all you do, do not quit, and Keep getting Stuff done.

    Also as one veteran to another, thank you for your service and in your own way, helping to keep the ‘Barbarians” from the Gate of truly living, even if things look a tad gloomy.

  3. A great episode to listen to while I cooked butternut squash and sliced baby-head sized tomatoes grown in our tiny garden for dinner. We live in a small apartment in urban Portland (the politics suck, but the people are friendly) and we still try to do everything we can towards self sufficiency with what space we have. I see homesteading as a mindset. Regardless of where you live, you can still adopt those principles for your life.

     

    I was in 7th grade when I heard the news about the towers. Our teacher turned on the news and we all watched in awe as the second tower was hit. I had a classmate who’s father worked in the pentagon, who fortunately was ok. We didn’t know what the hell was going on and the weight of the attack didn’t really dawn on our adolescent minds, but most of us kids at the time came to the same conclusion you did. War. It was obvious.

  4. Great episode!!!
    My “where were you?” story is a little different as 9/11/01 was my first, or “fill” day of basic training in the Army. Just prior to the cattle trucks showing up, the reception battalion CO briefed us on what little they knew at the moment, and I’ll never forget the somber looks on the drill sergeants’ faces as they calmly and politely loaded us on the trucks. Their demeanor was totally opposite when the doors opened on the other side.
    Throughout the next ten weeks, almost every day out DS should read us headlines from the news, but it wasn’t until the day before graduation that they wheeled in a tv to let us watch the news. I still remember the remark that “you better see what’s been going on out there before we turn you lose”.
    You’d think that nearly ten weeks of being told what happened would prepare you to see it. I still remember the gutt wrenching feeling the first time I saw those planes hit the towers, and nearly throwing up watching them fall.

    I appreciate your perspective looking back on that day. Thanks again.

  5. On 9/11/01 I was just starting the first year of my return to college to get my engineering degree.  My first class of the day was on the early side, and some of the other students were talking about the first plane hitting the WTC… the tone at that early time was mostly of confusion.  After class was over I got to see the rest unfold on the TV in my dorm room, and from there it was the only thing that people around me were talking about. Being in Arizona there weren’t a huge number of kids from the East Coast attending there, but it still had quite the impact on campus. Though I don’t remember any classes being cancelled.

    At the time I recognized it as a huge event and was certainly thinking “oh crap” as it was unfolding, but it didn’t really hit me on the same visceral level like it seemed to do with others.  After seeing it I was thinking more of what it would mean for the future of the country than being personally distraught.  I’ve been accused before of being too “Spock-like” in this and other things… and there is some truth to that. But I think it was just as much that the event was so far away from my world and experiences…. I grew up in Alaska with no friends and family in the eastern US and I’d never been to the East Coast, so it all seemed distant to me.

    I do remember being dismayed at the hyper-emotional tone of the media and many of the people around me, worried that we were going to make bad decisions because of it (particularly when they started talking about the Patriot Act).  More people seemed interested in payback and/or fear than in examining the situation, and aside from a few friends I found it hard to talk about such things without being subjected to emotional outbursts or judgement. I understood on a logical level that some people were going through pain, anger, and/or fear, but I admit to being baffled and frustrated at how much some were being dominated by their emotions. It wasn’t until some years later that I fully realized to what degree the media, especially TV & cable news, influences and amplifies peoples’ emotional states.

    So yeah, that was my perspective… feeling like the world was going crazy around me and trying not to get drawn into the frenzy.  I don’t say that as a criticism of anyone… emotions are a normal response especially for events like 9/11, and if anything ‘I’ am the one that has more difficulty operating in society. But that’s simply how I felt at that time.  I can say that today I have a bit more of an emotional attachment to the event, more as a general sense of sorrow at all the lives lost as a result of both the actual event and the actions taken after.

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