Episode-789- A Progress Report from the Spirko Homestead

Jack in overlooking his homestead 2009 - What was a dream is now a lifestyle.

It’s Thanksgiving Week!  Woot!  Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  Hang with my son, eat myself into a turkey coma with zero guilt, watch football, enjoy some scotch, watch football and snooze in front of a fire.  Thanksgiving is a “man holiday”, if such a thing exists at all.

Since this is such a great week, I wanted to keep things light and exciting so I figured it was a great time for a progress report on the Spirko Homestead instead of something heavy like a feedback show which always seems to have a lot of the economic mess in it.  So tune in today and I am just going to shoot from the hip and tell you whats going on and where we are going next.

Join me today as I discuss…

  • How one 25′ swale ditch changed how I see my property
  • How to build and use an A-Frame level
  • What is going on with Hugelkultur Project #2
  • Digging a ditch near trees, a sawzall is your friend
  • How to get your wife on board with major landscape changes
  • Keeping still ponds clean with reed beds and cattails
  • How a pond that doesn’t hold water can still fill up
  • Thoughts on Aquaponics, yea I think I am gonna do it
  • Frogs, pigeons, ducks and squirrel it is whats for dinner
  • Plans for the next Spirko dog, hoping it is a long time in our future
  • How Permaculture and survivalism are really the same
  • An awesome new DVD from Geoff Lawton

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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22 Responses to Episode-789- A Progress Report from the Spirko Homestead

  1. On that self watering garden using rain gutter and 5 gallon buckets, I am afraid mosquitos would breed in it. This is if you use it outside. I guess you could screen over in.

    • Modern Survival

      Yep you could screen it or just use bt dunks. They are totally safe and completely organic and cheap.

  2. “Brent in PEI here”
    Could not take “Brent in Canada”, since Carson has this

    Jack, I’m a Scotch drinker as well. What is your favourite?
    I usually gravitate towards the Speysides, Cardhu and Dalwhinnie. We produce one in Canada that is allowed to be called Scotch, it is made in Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton region, it goes by the name “Glen Breton”

    • Modern Survival


      I really like Johnny Walker Blue but it is a special thing and something you can’t do very often due to cost, the blue bottle will be niped from on Thanksgiving though and when special friends are at the house. Speysides is good stuff, never tried Cardhu or Dalwhinnie. Johnny Black is pretty nice for a low cost sipper. I also like Glenfiddich.

  3. I’ll have to throw in my favorites… I do like Glennfiddich, but I also enjoy Glenmorangie and the Macallan… basically any of the Highlands and Speysides single malts. My favorite is of all is Balvenie.

    • I got a bottle of Macallan when I went to Vermont, some little store on the border with Quebec, in 1991, paid 8 bucks for it. Now, in Canada it is about 55 CDN
      Should have ‘copy canned’ that one

  4. Sorry about your contractor problem Jack. Good call on the 2×6 or 2×8 on the low side of the grnhse. Those should be bolted through the stubs and bows. As far as the look of the top of the house that you mentioned unless it’s sharp and will cut the poly you can just run some duct tape over it, the plastic will never notice. Also the poly is only 24′ wide so you can only raise the bows a foot higher than planned. That will leave 1′ overhang on each side.If it’s only slightly more than a foot you can turn the poly 90 degrees and install it that way. The best method is to install it with the fold lines running front to back though. Call if you have questions.

    • Modern Survival


      No worries the house is fully installed, there was enough with on the polly, barely enough. The issue now is the way they draped the polly on the ends. What I am going to have done is have a piece of the siding cut and put on top of it like do to sandwich the polly on the bottom rales. If we match the siding groves you won’t even notice it. Then I can paint it barn red which I think will look cool. I will send you some pics soon.

  5. About the cancer. Go see if Western Botanicals has (or can get) Artemisin, which is derived from wormwood. Many a Greyhound owner swears by the stuff, including me. Blue probably would have lived if I had kept up the Artemisin and sworn off the chemotherapy for her.

  6. Jack, curs are good dogs I know people that hunt hogs with thosee dogs, some are pit crosses. I’ve been researching a breed I hadn’t heard of until last year, Belgian malinois. Dog trainer I know has one and that dog will hunt, attack on command or anything else you want it to do that’s going to be my next dog mainly for protection purposes, but again curs are great they just are overlooked and underrated breed

  7. “Matlock?” I thought that was a TV show. The digging tool is a “mattock” (pronounced mat-ack or mat-tock).

  8. Jack…I was listening to you talk about building the a frame level and something came to mind… You could use a camera tripod. It locks very solid into place so movement wouldn’t be a problem. You would only extend 2 legs fully and then put a piece of tape between the 2 legs (this tape is to mark your center line on). Then just attach the weighted string somewhere up on the camera attachment area so it swings free. If you had the 3rd leg partial extended you could rest it back on that leg instead of having to lay it on the ground if you needed to walk away or something. And it would be very lite. Just a thought for multi use items. Thanks for your show!


    • Modern Survival

      @Art, It could work but I would state your life will be easier if you make one from wood. That said bad ass idea with the shorter third leg, going to mod my frame to do that, can’t tell you how many times I had to sit it down, etc.

      REALLY fricken awesome idea, when I make a vid showing the mod I will be sure to mention you.

  9. Jack I look forward to updates about your rabbitry. That is on my short list as well. I’m not sure I’ll get mine in by spring but hopefully some time next year.

    Great show.

  10. Jack, just in time! We are planning on going to OK to work on our new property in the mountains a wk after Thanksgiving, and this episode gave us some great ideas. Thanks!

  11. Jack,
    Are you saying city pigeons are save to eat? If so great, have lots of here in back yard that over take feeders from smaller birds, would love to “thin” the herd.
    Great show!

    • Modern Survival

      @Randy, I mean I wouldn’t do it daily but if you are hungry and starving hell yea they beat going into the dumpster any day. Now more over I was talking about trapping them and using them as base stock for my own flock. When you take them out of the city and start complimenting their feed you have more control over what they eat. Also think about what pigeons eat, the whole nonsense that they are “feathered rats” and other slurs just don’t make any sense. Most city pigeons eat mostly stuff tossed by people in the parks etc. Like bread, cracker crumbs, seed, etc. A pigeon won’t eat anything compared to what a rat would. They just won’t.

  12. Christopher Harrison

    Jack, while listening to this podcast I wasn’t sure who was more out there — you for going on about a swale for 15-20 minutes, or me for sitting there and finding every minute of it completely fascinating! I know I’m far from the only one out here that wants you to do more shows like this. If nothing else, they help more of us to break through the roadblocks of seeing it all as overly complicated and realize that it’s actually not that hard once you get started.

    The only problem now is that I live in NY and the time for me to do any of this stuff is growing short, especially when I don’t get home from work until after dusk every day.

  13. Please don’t dash the pitbulls. We have had enough of this from Mike Vick. I’m trying to foster/rescue these gentle dogs & for you to say that are vicious is an un true remark. Consider getting one rather then a curr.

  14. Great squirrel dog and reasonably priced check out the Rat Terrier. They don’t eat much, they are tough. Ours was a great little tracker for finding our deer when you shoot them late in the evening of bow season. We would have to carry our rat terrier to the place where the deer was when we shot, we used our dog as if she was a metal detector, just hold her about a foot off the ground swing her back and forth and just watch her ears, when the ears pop up, just drop her on the ground and she will take you to the deer. The reason you have to carry the dog (ours weighed about 10lbs) is to keep her focused on the trail that YOU wanted her to follow. Our lived to 18 years old.

  15. Jeez Jack! Don’t you know the ladies love your podcasts too? I think I’m going to have to drag my (pseudo-red-dawn-knob-head-but-still-super-cute) husband kicking and screaming into permaculture. Why don’t you come to dinner next time you’re in CO and you can help me convince him. 🙂