Tag Archives: gardening

Episode-1317- Building the Backyard Orchard

The Loquat, Citrus Hardy to Zone 7!

The Loquat, A Citrus that is Hardy to Zone-7!

Today is sort of kind of a permaculture episode, but not necessarily one.  I think we have a lot of people in the audience that want more food production but do not necessarily really care about “permaculture” as a concept unto itself.  I think this show will make both camps pretty happy.

The truth is we have lost a lot of knowledge about growing fruits and nuts in our nation.  We have equated trees with large giant things you could never reach the top of. We see trees as things to climb, hand ropes from and build a fort in.

Due to this many seem to feel a large variety of productive trees could never exist on a small piece of land, such as the average 1/10th  – 1/5th acre yards most suburban homes have. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Today I will discuss the basics of setting up an intensive perennial system based on mostly trees, bushes, shrubs and vines.  How to get multiple yields across a full season, keep the work load minimal and even tell you about some species you have likely never heard of.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • How fruit was grown at “Manor Houses” in England
  • How trees really “work” and why you can treat a tree like a shrub
  • The importance of balancing top to root structure
  • Why you should “thin” fruit at times
  • The importance of heavy mulch
  • Cultivation of mushrooms
  • The role of shrubs, vines, bushes
  • Why I have changed my view of multi-graft trees to positive
  • Some Unusual Trees/Plants to consider
    • Jujube
    • Sea Berry (awesome medicinal)
    • Paw Paw
    • Cornelian Cherry
      • Cornus Mas (red and yellow)
      • Cornus Kousa (sometimes called big apple kousa)
    • Dwarf Mulberry (Morus Alba Issai)
    • Elderberry (awesome medicinal)
    • Honey Berry
    • Chinquapin (like little chestnuts)
    • Hazelnuts – Filberts
    • Loquats – (citrus in zone 7)
  • Potted trees for citrus and other things
  • Final thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Sources of Many of the Plants I Mentioned Today and Other Cool Stuff

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.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

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Episode-1294- Getting Ready for Spring Planting

Right now it is in the 30s and we will be down in the teens tonight and this is in the middle of the global warming crisis in north Texas so spring seems a long way off but it isn’t.  Frankly here are how the numbers break down for me…

  • Average last frost date is March 15th
  • Today is Feb. 4th
  • Weeks till planting remaining 6
  • Average time seeds need to be ready to plant out 6 weeks

Simply put the time for us to be planing is now, and we have a ton more to do.  Join me today as I go though our current planned activities over then next two months and see how it fits with your plans.

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • Last frost date, can you trust it, NO!
  • Starting seeds, why indoors is best for fast germination
  • We are doing some trees from seed this year here is how and what
  • Getting beds ready and designing planting layouts
  • Planning and completing construction projects

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.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

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.

Episode-1280- Stephen Scott of Terroir Seeds on Seed Saving

Cindy and Stephen Scott of Terroir Seeds

Cindy and Stephen Scott of Terroir Seeds

Stephen Scott is co-owner of Terroir Seeds along with his wife Cindy. Terroir is a family owned and operated heirloom seed company that focuses on the “Cycle of Terroir” defined as “from the soil, to the seed, to the food you eat”. Terroir seeds provides unique varieties of heirloom seeds, education and information for all phases of the “Terroir Cycle”.

Stephen has a business background, from management of a nationally known rental car agency to warranty administrator for a local car dealership. He is an acknowledged chili-head who loves the hotter side of things and loves to cook.

He feels one of the biggest appeals of the garden and growing is to supply the freshest ingredients for the meals! He has a large interest in self sustainability and resiliency- being able to do and produce most of what one needs, and building a strong community of local food producers.

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.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

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Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

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Episode-1236- Plans for the TSP Homestead and Upcoming Workshops

I am going to continue with some fun stuff that is informative and not so deep into the world of politics, economics, etc.  Today I am going to line out the planned projects for our 3 acre property and what they will be doing for us long term.

The first principle of permaculture in my mind is “observe and interact” and while interact is part of it, to me on a new property about a year of observation is really ideal for the planning process.  At this point I have been on my property for about 10 months.  I now know it intimately.  I know where the winds blow including when they don’t line up with the “official information” from the weather service.

I know where my soils are a foot deep and where they are only a few inches above the limestone reef that is under this part of north Texas.  I know where water flows and where it pools.  I know the species that do well here on their own in all seasons.  I  have seen the results of my work with my animals an I know it works.  Islands of deep green now exist in pastures that are tired and mostly brown.

I have had the great fortune to have my intern Josiah Wallingford of Bring of Freedom on property now for 3 months to aid in my planning.  We now have a much deeper understanding of many of our subtle contours.  Then we did an urban design workshop.  30 students received certification in Urban Design and we got amazing ideas for a small space design on the property.  Josiah and I have expanded these plans and it is all coming together.  Today I will do my best to explain our future plans and how this homestead is going to be transformed over the next year into a holistic system that is self supporting and will generate its own fertility.

Join Me Today As We Discuss…

  • The tactical greenhouse with a “climate battery”
  • 6000-7500 gallons of catchment tanks are going in, just for starters
  • Why we will use some pumps in our systems, yet we will not “need” them
  • Taking swales to an extreme level even on land anyone would call flat
  • Road catchment diversion, more water then we could ever need
  • Cell grazing of geese and chickens in our system, perhaps sheep next year
  • Building a 60,000 gallon pond where you can’t go below grade and making it self sustaining
  • Making hugul swales where we can only dig about 2 inches into the soil
  • Building top soil at a massive rate in the interswales
  • Berms, berms and more berms
  • A food forest going in this spring, 40 productive trees, 280 support trees
  • The contour beds are due to become a massive “micro food forest”
  • This is just the beginning!

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.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

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.

 

Episode-1167- Lori and Jeff Haynes on Olla Irrigation

Lori and Jeff Haynes of Dripping Springs Ollas

Lori and Jeff Haynes of Dripping Springs Ollas

In 2009 Lori and Jeff Haynes returned to the United States to a town called Dripping Springs, just west of Austin, Texas. After Jeff’s twenty-four year career as a Marine the couple was anxious to get back home to Texas and put down roots.

In 2011, Lori founded Dripping Springs OLLAS (DSO) with the mission of making the OLLA (pronounced oi ya) – a natural, geographically appropriate option for irrigation by self-reliant Southwestern gardeners. Lori designed and field tested the Dripping Springs OLLA which are made from Tecate clay per Lori’s specifications.

Today Jeff and Lori join us to discuss ollas as a low tech, traditional solution to Texas’ (and other areas) water issues, irrigation reduction and self reliance as well as integration in to your families system of nutritious and nourishing food production.

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 and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1074- Contour Gardening and Woody Beds

As many of you know I have suggested that we call what most (not all) people are doing in America woody beds vs hugulkultur.  I suggest this for two reasons.

1.  People who don’t know about it already understand “woody bed” but look at you like you have a snake crawling out of your ear when you say hugulkultur.

2.  It is more accurate, hugul in the term hugulkultur pretty much means high as in high bed.  As in 1.5-2 yards high.  This is simply not what we are doing in America in most instances.

Since first learning about the entire concept from Paul Wheaton (as practiced by Sepp Holzer) I have worked with it in many different formats, from 6 foot high true huguls to in ground versions that appear like any typical framed in raised bed.  I have also studied the work of Permaculture visionary Geoff Lawton and become a huge fan of his swale based design systems.

As I continued both studying the work of others and putting it into actual field level work (I can’t stress how important that is) I have also learned how Geoff takes “swale like design” into raised bed gardening.   I have now found that taking the disciplines of swale style raised beds and adding wood core design to the mix is an incredibly efficient design structure.

Today I discuss the primary design structures of this type of system, why they work and what limitations each has.  From there we can see how a proper integration of all of them makes up a great deal for where each has certain weaknesses.

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • What is a swale and why does it work
  • What is the difference between a “swale like” structure and a true swale
  • How can contour paths act like swales when they are not below grade
  • Does it make sense to cut paths below grade (may be, it depends)
  • What is traditional hugulkultur
  • Why did Sepp Holzer and other actually bury wood in the first place
  • The limits of a “spongy core” based on mathematics as a simply reservior
  • What are mycelium and what role do they play in permaculture
  • How does the internal composting action protect roots in cold weather
  • Why isn’t the heat a danger in hot weather
  • Why deep mulching is a must
  • How you can practice polyculture, clumpy polyculture or even row mono culture
  • How does a contour based wood core system function end to end
  • Info on the upcoming workshop that will teach these techniques

Videos Of the Described Project – Direct Links to Youtube in the Resource List Below

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 and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1054- The How, What and Why of Saving Seeds

There is Magic Within Seeds but Saving Them Isn't Mystical

There is Magic Within Seeds but Saving Them Isn’t Mystical

I was talking with Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design yesterday about how more and more small seed companies are now buying at least some seed from companies associated with the ilk of Monsanto.

Ben was pretty shocked to hear the Johnny’s Selected Seeds is buying some of their seeds from Semanis, which is owned by Monsanto.

There is a lot of fear about GMO contamination both legitimate and ridiculous specifically when the word Monsanto comes up.

The best solution is to save your own seeds but we are going to also discuss how to know who you can trust when buying seeds and times where you simply do not have to worry about GMO at all.

Join me today to hear about…

  • What is “the safe seed pledge” and why should you care
  • Why we need to be saving seeds in the first place
  • Breeding improvements vs. hybrids vs. GMO (all three are different)
  • Exchanging seeds – a great form of barter
  • The easy plants to save seed from – beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes
  • Separation rules – why they exist and not stressing them
  • Staggering pollination times to create effective separation
  • Herbs and unusual plants are often easy to save for and over looked
  • Storing your seeds once they are harvested (is cold storage a good idea)
  • How to clean your seeds, what you need, what you don’t need
  • Growing your own hybrids – hybrids are not always bad
  • How to hand pollinate and ensure purity with squashes and melons, etc
  • Saving root crops like garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes for replanting
  • The rewards of regionally adapted plants
  • Breeding for any and all traits, it really isn’t hard

Additional 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 and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1009- Permaculture Lessons and Observations from 2012

Today I want to take a look back at much of what we have learned in regard to permaculture over the mostly now passed year.  In 2012 I attended two major permaculture events, planted over 35 trees, experienced my first full season with hugulkultur beds and more.

I also received huge numbers of questions by email about permaculture that have taught me that many good permaculturists are often lousy at explaining big picture reality, myself included.  To examine that we will discuss the most common question about large scale permaculture I get today.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • What is Permaculture for those new to the concept
  • Why I think we should call most US hugulkultur simply “woody beds”
  • Why I think woody beds work so well and it ain’t what everyone says
  • What we need to start teaching the permaculture youth crowd, reality
  • Why Permaculture courses need the addition of “hard skills”
  • The missed opportunity in small scale urban design
  • Where grain fields fit into the equation
  • How can you practice permaculture/polyculture on a large scale
  • The future of permaculture at the individual level
  • The future of permaculture at the commercial level
  • Why a full working acre may be optimum for small family concerns
  • The animals I see as the “best bets” for working families

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 and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1002- The Why, What and How of Modern Homesteading

The Classic View of "Homestead" is not the Only Option

The Classic View of “Homestead” is not the Only Option

There is an old saying, “what’s old is new again”.  While a fashion minded yuppie may be referring to something like a brief return of the awful concept of bell bottom jeans or some such nonsense, there is a real meaningful component to the statement.

When we are unhappy, when we know something is wrong we try to think back to happier times and make part of what they had part of what we have today.  Why do you think “I Love Lucy”, “Andy Griffith” and even “The Three Stooges” enjoyed a lot of rebirth after 911? Why do you think one network plays “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours strait every Christmas?

This is particularly playing out today in the homesteading and back to the land movements.  Something is different this time though, people seem to be doing it for a new reason, while seeking the lessons of the past, they are actually looking to the future.  Rather then nostalgia driving a quaint idea, we seem to have realized, there is “a better way to do things”.

Join Me Today as We Discuss….

  • The Why of Modern Homesteading
    • Saving Money
    • Improving Health (mental and phyical)
    • Taking Control
    • Building Value in our Homes and Communities
  • The What of Modern Homesteading
    • Food Production
    • Animals That Have Jobs
    • Creation of Income
    • Development of Skills
    • Energy Independence (even by percentage)
    • Resource Identification
  • The How of Modern Homesteading
    • Gardening/Permaculture and Irrigation
    • Food Preservation Methods
      • Fermentation
      • Dehydration
      • Canning
      • Flash Freezing
      • Jerky/Biltong
      • Brewing/Vinting
    • Foraging
    • Barter and Buying from the Local Economy
    • Animal Husbandry
    • Tool Maintenance
    • Planning/Scheduling Activities and Upkeep
    • Record Keeping
    • Community Development

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 and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-978- Fall Gardening Primer with Tips and Tricks for 2012

This morning I walked the dogs in 60 degree morning chill and I was ecstatic!  While our highs are still in the mid 80s the back of the 100+ degree monster seems truly broken.   Time to get serious about fall gardening and frankly fall maintenance of both land and tools.

To me this is really my favorite time of year, I get to work without wanting to pass out in the heat, the plants do wonderful and I can take breaks by seeking to put an arrow in a deer, shot into a dove or a 22 into a squirrel.  Warm coffee doesn’t make you sweat on the morning dog walk, the holidays are on the way and life in general just feels better.

Heavy Harvests of Summer Crops is a Part of Fall Gardening

Heavy Harvests of Summer Crops is a Part of Fall Gardening

Join me Today as we Discuss  a Variety of Fall Garden Topics…

  • Bed maintenance for beds you won’t be planting with “crops”
    • Biochar
    • Mulch
    • Cover Crops
    • Heavy Harvest of the Summer Crops
  • Getting ready for the fall crops
    • Protection or not?
    • Starting seeds (sometimes indoors)
    • Selecting plants from a nursery
  • 10 Crops for the fall garden
    • Spinach
    • Chard
    • Beets
    • Garlic (planting for next fall)
    • Onions and Leeks
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage
    • Kale
    • Carrots
    • Lettuce
  • Tool Maintenance
  • Getting the Edge on Cool Weather
    • Windbreaks
    • Southern Exposure
    • Row Covers
    • Micro Green Houses

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 and you might hear yourself on the air.