Tag Archives: permaculture

Episode-1602- Gloria Flora on Small Scale Biochar

The Real Magic of Biochar is Seen Under Magnification

The Real Magic of Biochar is Seen Under Magnification

Gloria Flora founded and directs the U.S. Biochar Initiative (USBI) as a project of her non-profit, Sustainable Obtainable Solutions. Through USBI, Gloria promotes the sustainable production and use of biochar.

Biochar fits in the nexus of her work in large landscape conservation strategies, climate change action, forest health collaborative, public land sustainability and as well as her permaculture passion. Last century she served 23 years in the U.S. Forest Service, including as Forest Supervisor on two national forests.

Gloria and her husband are growing TerraFlora Sylvanculture Learning Center focused on permaculture in forested environments. Flora’s won many awards for environmental leadership and action, including having a new species of a Tanzanian toad named after her.

Join Us Today to Discuss…

  • What is biochar? Isn’t it just charcoal
  • How does biochar make soils more productive
  • Who discovered biochar
  • What kind of feedstock can you use to make biochar
  • Why should we care about biomass
  • What other uses does biochar have besides amending soil
  • How can biochar production be carbon neutral or negative
  • How can I make biochar at home
  • Can I buy biochar if I can’t make it
  • Where can you get more information on biochar

Resources for today’s show…

Note – Additional resource links will be added as soon as I receive them from Gloria.

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.

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Episode-1600- Owning Goats without Ruining Your Life

Nick Ferguson of Permaculture Classroom

Nick Ferguson of Permaculture Classroom

For most of the TSP audience Nick Ferguson needs no introduction, but he is an internationally traveled permaculture designer and consultant.  He is also one of the owners of PermaEthos along with being a long term member of the TSP community.

Nick states his best job is being “the husband of the sweetest and most patient woman alive, father of 3 crazy boys.”  After all of this, in his spare time he is working hard to develop a sustainable homestead in the piney hills of Louisiana.

Nick is also a member of the TSPC Expert council and a long time personal friend and beer drinking buddy of mine, though he still doesn’t know what a Saison is!

He is likely best known here as a plant propagation expert who developed the PermaEthos plant propagation course which has been successfully complete by several hundred people, however Nick is also an expert in many aspects of permaculture.

One of his real fortes is stretching dollars and doing a great deal with small livestock.  He has been keeping goat for most of his life and is well aware of the rewards and challenges of doing so.  He joins us today to discuss making a decision about goats and if you are going to do it, to do it with out hating yourself for doing so.

Join Nick and I Today to Discuss…

  • Why even keep an animal that has such a reputation for being a pain in the ass
  • How much land should I have before considering Goats
  • What kind of fence will keep them in
  • Lots of people say goats are impossible to train, how do you train a goat
  • What are the main health issues people run into
  • I heard goats taste awful, is there a trick to making the meat taste good
  • What should they eat and what should they not eat
  • What do I need to do to make sure the milk is safe and tastes good
  • Why is it necessary to keep goats in groups

Resources for today’s show…

Bob Wells Plant of the Week

arbequinaArbequina Olive – Cold hardy variety that has one of the highest olive production and oil yields. The soil should be well drained.

This tree has an upright habit.  It is recommended that you cover the tree the first winter if the temperature drops below freezing. Once the tree has been in the ground for a year and is well rooted, it then will begin to withstand the colder temperatures.

The older the tree gets the more, cold hardy it becomes.  The oil is of this olive is sweet, delicate and fragrant with intense fruitiness but low levels of bitterness and spiciness.  It is grown commercially for oil production is parts of California and Texas.  If you live above zone 7, you can grow it in a container and bring it inside during the winter months

Bob Wells Nursery specializes in edible landscape plants and trees including: Fruit Trees, Berry Plants, Vine Fruit, Nut Trees, as well as the hard to find Specialty Trees. Find this plant and more at BobWellsNursery.com

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.

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Episode-1592- Ben Hewitt on Nutrient Dense Food Production

Click Here to Buy a Copy of Ben's Book

Click Here to Buy a Copy of Ben’s Book

Ben and his wife, Penny, along with their two sons, have transformed a worn out Vermont hillside into a thriving homestead, which currently provides more than 90% of their food, along with most of their building materials, all their heating and cooking fuel, and many other essentials.

They call their style of homestead scale food production “practiculture,” reflecting the fact that they draw on many different methodologies while always striving to make this work “doable.” They are the authors of the recently-published book The Nourishing Homestead.

Ben’s previous book is Home Grown, which explores his experience with the public ed system (he’s a high school dropout) and his family’s experiences “unschooling” their two sons.

Ben joins us today to discuss Homestead-scale nutrient dense food production and what he calls practiculture.  To go into how to make your food nutrient dense, what that actually means and why it is important.  As well as discussing his new book, “The Nourishing Homestead“.

Join Us Today to Discuss…

  • What exactly is nutrient density and why it matters
  • The connection between soil health and human health
  • The relationship between big pharma and big food
  • What it’s like to grow and process 90%+ of your own food,
  • What Ben’s days and diet looks like
  • The difference between independence and interdependence
  • The essential role of livestock in a healthy homestead/farm eco-system
  • What the hell is “practiculture,” anyway do we really need another freaking word

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

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Episode-1588- Mint the Plant Anyone Could and Should Grow

Purple Bee Balm From a Singe Cutting at One Year

Purple Bee Balm From a Singe Cutting at One Year

Dorothy and I are about to begin work on a massive mint garden.  This will have over 20 mint and mint species, such as peppermint, lemon balm, bee balm and spearmint in it.  This simple garden will produce huge yields and add a new product, tea, to our farmstead items for sale.

But the beauty of mint is if you have room for a few pots you can grow it, you can grow a lot of it and you can even propagate it for friends, family and even for sale to others.  You likely won’t pay your mortgage selling mint as it so easy to propagate but likely you can fill your gas tank once a month!

Mint is something largely misunderstood and even feared, it is going to take over!  Don’t get me wrong, you do not want this stuff in a vegetable garden because it will rule all, but it is easily kept in pots and on larger land, spreading is inhibited simply with mowing.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why mint, of all things, why talk about mint
  •  The 4 Mint Family (Labiatae) Members Most People Grow
    • Bee Balms – Monarda
    • Lemon Balms – Melissa
    • Peppermints and Spearmints – Mentha
    • Cat Mints – Nepeta
  • Uses for mints
    • Teas
    • Mouth Wash
    • Hair Rinse
    • Minted Soft Cheese – Seriously Try It!
    • Salad addition (fruit or veg)
    • Ground Cover
    • Beneficial Insect Attractant
    • Biomass
    • Ease upset stomach
    • Clear sinuses
    • Foot or body soak
    • Suppress appetite
    • As a cleaner with vinegar
    • Dog/Animal wash
    • Insect repellent (monarda)
  • Some basics
    • When and how to harvest (partial and full, EOY)
    • Drying mints for long term storage
    • Tea, rules of thumb on quantities
    • Making Essential Oils
    • Making Simple Oils
    • Making a tincture
    • Strong Oils (poor mans essential)
    • Creating “Mint Prisons” – likely to escape anyway
    • Mint Propagation
    • Intensifying quality
    • Developing tea blends
    • Propagating mint – paying yourself to make tea
    • Why your mint is marketable, it is yours, and has your story
  • Why not just do it, get on with it

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

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Episode-1583- Galen Chadwick on the Farm Resettlement Congress

Galen Chadwick of the FRC.

Galen Chadwick of the FRC.

Galen Chadwick is a dedicated and tireless food freedom activist, making his home where he finds it amongst the communities he serves, generally in Missouri and northern Arkansas. He likes to refer to himself as a redneck swami, being an ordained Hindu swami of the Paramahansa order and a proponent of Advaita non-dual consciousness.

Galen has started communes and ashrams in the US and abroad, and is a student of trans-personal psychology. He is one of a handful of people in the world who practice sensory deprivation in total darkness for several weeks at a time.

Galen holds an agricultural patent for a liquid drilling technique using hydrophylic gel, which radically telescopes the time and moisture requirements for all broad-acre crops. He is a ginseng hunter, a gemstone prospector, and co-owner of an amethyst mine in Mexico.

His project known as, Farm Resettlement Congress, is a 20 Year Plan to restore food security, energy security and economic security to “WE THE PEOPLE” in any given region. This plan revives independently-owned local food chains, returns 1 million jobs, and preserves individual liberty. It involves creating land trusts, building soil, resettling youth and displaced veterans on the land, and putting land management back into the hands of The People.

Significant land contributions are already promised, and waiting for the organization to receive 501c3 status. That is in the works. The first Congress has recently convened in Kansas City, which will be further developed and refined to serve as the prototype model for an ambitious tour for creating local Congresses across the country.

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.

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Episode-1568- 15 Underrated Plants for the Homestead

An Elder Planted From a Single Rooted Cutting in Its' Second Season.  The Bamboo Stake is 6.5 Feet Tall!

An Elder Planted From a Single Rooted Cutting in Its’ Second Season. The Bamboo Stake is 6.5 Feet Tall!

Yesterday we had a fascinating discussion on the Facebook Regarians page about Mulberry, I know it is awesome, I am growing a lot of varieties but I didn’t realize how much it could really do.   In fact I considered just doing a show today called something like Magnificent Mulberries, because they do so much.  I simply realized though that I can’t take in enough on them this morning alone to do them justice, so that might come at a later date.

I mean if you just begin to look into the above linked discussion the sheer volume of data is insane.  So I decided instead simply to include it in a list of really useful but underrated plants by homesteaders and permaculturists.

What I tried to do with this list is be highly variable.  To provide things a person might grow for cattle or goats on a large scale but at the same time provide things that you might grow on a small lot.   Most not all but most of these you will have heard of before.  It isn’t that they are unknowing just that their full usefulness is largely unknown.

Join Me Today As We Discuss…

  • The marvelous mulberry
  • The elderberry, it is for more than just wine
  • Lemon balm, stop trying to grow citrus grow the flavor
  • Blackberry, so many uses, it will shock you
  • Medlar, what, med what, you will really like this one
  • Wild garlic, wild onion and garlic and onion chives
  • Lavender it is more then just something that smells nice
  • Jujube tough as nails, storable, highly sought by some
  • Roses wild varieties and old varieties
  • Native persimmon not just for people
  • Jute Mallow edible, naturalizes, asks almost nothing in return
  • Lambsquarters eat it when it is small, mulch it when it gets too big
  • Amaranth the seed is one yield the leaf is often a better one
  • Bee Balm you get tea, you get beneficial insects and it won’t die
  • Mints come one come all, from tea to candy, to salads to good adult beverages

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.

Join the MSB Today

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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-1567- Curtis Stone on Making a Living of the Land, New Anarchism and Local Trade

Get ready and strap in today.  We are going to really blow things up with our guest Curtis Stone.  Curtis Stone is the owner/operator of Green City Acres (est. 2010), a commercial urban farm based out of Kelowna, BC. Farming under a half acre of land spread over multiple plots in the downtown core, they sell vegetables to some of the cities best restaurants, wineries, and a weekly farmers market.

Curtis also works as an educator, consultant, and writer on the subject urban farming throughout North America.  He joins us today to discuss three explosive topics…

  • 1. Implementation of quick cash flow based annuals into pasture and perennial based farms.
  • 2. The New Anarchist Front; escaping tyranny by using urban ag as a vehicle to build social equity in cities through production, education, outreach, and getting rich at the same time. Urban farmers as a decentralized unified front for State dissent from within the belly of the beast.
  • 3. Local trade economics; food production is like printing money. Leveraging what everyone needs to get what you need. Farmers sit at the center of a multi ring circle. Food production is central, value add food is next, then food services, and from there we have skilled labor and trades, and outside of that is specialized services and expertise. Farming is the backbone of the local economy. In this new decentralized local economy, farmers are the lynchpin to the whole system, not the indentured laborers.

When I met Curtis I was excited to talk to him knowing about his successful 6 figure business, that began on land he didn’t own, in the suburbs, in the back yards of others.   Basically he had set a high bar for himself, one he easily cleared.  There are few times that I meet a person and immediately feel I am talking to a true brother in spirit, Curtis is one such person.  Today’s show will absolutely rock!

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.

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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.

PermaEthos Summer Workshop is Now Open for Registrations

Come Learn, Trade, Make Lifelong Friendships and Feast With Us.

Come Learn, Trade, Make Lifelong Friendships and Feast With Us.

From June 12-14 we are running an incredible workshop at the Elisha’s Spring PermaEthos Farm in West Virgina.  With a bonus one day workshop on the 11th.

The cost of the main workshop is 500 dollars.  There is a bonus workshop on the 11th that will cover chicken butchering, hog butchering, rabbit butchering and sausage making on the 11th, if you want to attend that it is an extra 100 dollars.

If you are simply setting up your campsite on the afternoon of the 11th, no need to pay the extra hundred.

Note – Founders your discount of 10% will be given to you at the door when you pay your balance due.

We are only requiring a 100 dollar deposit per ticket to hold your spot, the balance is due on the day you arrive.

Some things this workshop will cover…

This Workshop will include:

  • Feasting on Elisha’s Spring chicken, rabbit, duck and pork!
  • Constructing a segment of swales with the tractor and plow.
    • Laser level usage.
    • A-Frame level usage.
  • Planting annuals in the swales.
  • Grafting instruction from Nick Ferguson
  • Misting system overview and setup
  • Knife sharpening with Patrick Roehrman
  • Mike Vertrees will discuss compost and soils
  • Fishing! Bring your poles—we stocked over 500 fish in our silt trap pond last year
  • Some yet to be announced bonuses!  Some COOL ASS ONES at that!

To get full details and reserve your spot just go to the event page at the PermaEthos Blog.

Episode-1558- Getting into Cattle Ranching on a Shoestring Budget

There is more than one way to grow a steak!

There is more than one way to grow a steak!

Lucas Branham is a 32 year old aspiring rancher from Taylorsville, KY. He has worked two jobs around 55 hours per week for the last 14 years. He has grown tired of the grind and wants to spend more time with family and work from a home based operation.

He’s started a small cattle operation on leased land with 14 head currently and soon to be 30. He ran a small csa and pastured broiler operation in 2014.

Lucas joins us today to provide advice on securing funds for start up cattle operation, securing leased land, running cattle on a shoestring budget, and how to start making the transition to self employed while keeping wife/family happy and involved.

We discuss how he got started, where he sought his funding, how he found land to lease and his future plans.  We discuss the funding that is available to ranchers, how you can use leased land operations to eventually secure a loan to purchase land and more.

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.

Join the MSB Today

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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-1556- Toby Hemenway on Liberation Permaculture

Toby Hemenway - Author - Teacher - Anarchist

Toby Hemenway – Author – Teacher – Anarchist

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of 2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world.

Toby has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and has taught over sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses. He has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many other educational venues.

His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review, and American Gardener. He has contributed book chapters for WorldWatch Institute and to several publications on ecological design.

After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces.

A career change followed, and Toby and his wife, Kiel (key-ell), spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was the editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and spent six years developing urban sustainability resources there. Toby and his wife now live in Sebastopol, California.

Toby joins us today to discuss his emerging anarcho liberation view on permaculture.  How permaculture decentralizes resources, compels critical thinking and has yields almost impossible to quantify and therefore tax.  We discuss how the future of environmental sustainability and human freedom are largely linked and dependent upon one another.

Resources for today’s show…

cow2wartBob Wells Plant of the WeekCowart Muscadine Grape Vine The Cowart Muscadine is  adaptable from zone 6 to zone 9. The Cowart Muscadine Grape is a self fertile variety that produces a juicy and delicious muscadine grape that will be perfect for eating when fresh off the vine. Cowart Muscadines produce grapes with colors ranging from deep purple to nearly black. Cowart’s are grown in large commercial vineyards as a self fertile pollinator that is very productive and also ripens early. 

Female muscadines require cross-pollination to bear fruit, so don’t forget to plant a self fertile pollinator variety like the Cowart nearby to pollinate any female muscadines you plant. Due to the fact that the Cowart Muscadine is a native species in North America it is more disease resistant than the traditional European grapes, making them perfect for planting in your edible garden.

Find this plant and more at BobWellsNursery.com – Bob Wells Nursery specializes in anything edible: Fruit trees, Berry Plants, Nut Trees, as well as the hard to find Specialty Trees.

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.

Join the MSB Today

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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