Tag Archives: permaculture

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.

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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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Episode-1548- Jon Dowie on Profitable Back Yard Ducks

A Mixed Flock of Brooding Ducklings at Dowie Farm.

A Mixed Flock of Brooding Ducklings at Dowie Farm.

Jon Dowie is a permaculturist that has been raising ducks for meat and eggs for 5 years now in Southern NH on a .6 acre lot. He has taken a small flock of ducks from a hobby to a flock of over 60 egg layers that turns a profit. He experiments with different tractoring methods and over-wintering techniques. In addition he started out as a traditional modern farming method flock and is transitioning his flock into a permaculture style system.

I first met Jon Dowie in 2013 when he came to the first ever TSP Workshop.   By that time I had talked myself out of doing ducks instead choosing to go with chickens and geese.  Jon was so ecstatic about his ducks though that it rekindled my interest, soon the first Spirko ducks were in the brooder, now two years later we are building our own thriving duck egg business.

Over the years Jon and I have both developed different methods for very different climates and different markets.  Today we discuss both of our approaches, that has worked well for each of us and frankly some things that don’t necessary work well in both New Hampshire and North Texas.  For instance my biggest challenge is keeping birds from getting too hot in our summers, his is keeping them watered and fed in the freezing cold New England winters.

Today Jon and I discuss feeding ducks and still making a profit, developing markets, fodder vs. sprouts, caging, predator issues, composting and more.  The more I work with ducks the more I begin to feel they are the perfect back yard poultry option, far superior to the chicken in a huge variety of ways.  I think Jon would agree, tune in today to hear why we feel that way.

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-1547- Of Blackberries, Muscadines, Cider Apples and Bush Cherries

Fence Grown Muscadines, A Southern Tradition Goes Permaculture

Fence Grown Muscadines, A Southern Tradition Goes Permaculture

Today I am going to discuss some of our upcoming installations and plans for the homestead.  Mostly at this point we have planted a huge diversity of plants, species, cultivars, etc.  We are still doing that in a way with these plans but we are now moving to a planned production of volume, utilizing mostly edges.

Our plan includes the use of several hundred feet of fencing to act as muscadine, table and wine grapes.  On that same fence row we are planting bush cherries about 5 feet away from the fence, mostly Nanking Bush Cherry.  Along the fence we are also planting triple crown blackberry.

Then in the next two weeks we are also planting over 30 varieties of cider apples into a fenced area where we just installed zoned irrigation.

Today I will discuss how these design choices fit into our long term plans for food and beverage production, along with how some it may be monetized in time.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • What is a muscadine
  • Self fertile and female, pollination requirements
  • Why muscadines over conventional grapes
  • My Choices in Muscadines
    • Magnolia (self fertile – bronze)
    • Hunt (female – black)
    • Tara (self fertile – bronze)
    • Late Fry (self fertile – bronze)
    • Cowart  (self fertile – black)
    • Supreme (female – black)
    • Noble (self fertile – black)
    • Carlos (self fertile – bronze)
  • Wine and Table Grapes
    • Cynthia – Wine Grape, Considered the Cabernet of the South
    • Red Flame – red table grape
    • Thompson – the green grape in every market
    • Black Spanish
  • The other stuff
    • Triple Crown Blackberry
    • Nanking Bush Cherry
    • Butternut Squash (until grapes are established)
    • Hyssop (just heard about this)
    • Some other low bush fruit, TBD
    • Across southern run, full on trees on the north side
  • The apple orchard
    • 35 varieties going into the fenced orchard
    • A total of 80 varieties to be planted in the next 2 years
    • What we are looking for in cider apples
  • Long term plans and possible monetization

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

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-1526- Luke Callahan on Building a Micro Greens Business

Luke Callahan of LocalBusinessPlans.com

Luke Callahan of LocalBusinessPlans.com

Luke’s mission is to help you become a successful entrepreneur. He understands that local, value driven businesses are the foundation of resilient communities. In order to create more successful businesses, we need more entrepreneurs like yourself. And, more importantly, we need you to succeed. Luke, is committed to helping you succeed.

Luke is the founder of Nightlight Farms, a purveyor of Microgreens in Portland, Oregon. His hands-on experience of growing and selling Microgreens at local farmer’s markets and restaurants has provided Luke with the knowledge and expertise involved in building a successful business. This success lead Luke to write the book “The Complete Guide to Growing and Selling Microgreens.”

Luke is also the co-founder of SeedWise.com – The marketplace for non-GMO seeds and plants. The mission of SeedWise is to facilitate the exchange of seeds and plants in order to increase our cultivated genetic biodiversity.

To learn more about Luke, check out localbusinessplans.com

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

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-1521- Can You Actually Earn a Living with a Permaculture Business

I was recently told by one listener that PDCs seem like a pyramid scheme, he basically stated, that everyone thinks they are going to take one and then teach them to others and so on.  I don’t know where that person got this idea from?  I have never sold a PDC on such an idea and I know of no one who has ever done so, ever.

Anyway he wanted to know also if I thought you could actually make a living on less than 1000 acres.  I find this laughable in some ways.  I mean Luke Calahan was making 2,000 a week selling micro greens, grown in his basement.  Jean-Martin Fortier established a micro farm in Canada on permaculture principles, he not only earns a living with it but employees several people.  Curtis Stone makes a great living SPIN farming about two acres and doesn’t even own the land, he uses small plots in other peoples back yards.

Michael Jordan makes a good income from just bees.  Stefan Sobkowiak has an orchard based business of only about 20 acres and it is rapidly becoming a very successful venture.  Just 35 minutes to my north is a small orchard likely you never heard of Henrietta Creek Apple Orchard.  They make a living the natural way, they don’t call it permaculture but looking at they way they do things that is what it is.

Notice you don’t see me dropping names like Sepp Holzer and Joel Salatin above.  I will acknowledge that these two guys have become so famous they likely make more from books than farming, but you know what, they both did it with farming first.

Today I Will Discuss Building a Permaculture Business with You

  • First it isn’t if you can do it, it is how you must do it
    • Focus on something that is a core product or service
    • Develop a market as local as possible
    • Don’t try to do too many things too fast
    • Be honest with yourself about time and money
  • Some ways you can make a decent living with Permaculture
    • Nursery – Plant Propagation
    • Pick Your Own Orchards
    • Micro Greens
    • Eggs – You have to be smart about it
    • Acting as a Sales Aggregator
    • Developing a “retreat/vacation” style property
    • Poultry
    • Pork
    • Bees
    • Design (small to large)
    • Teaching (focus on the local)
    • Edutainment (Podcasting)
  • Understand Reality
    • Everything will cost more and take longer than you will estimate
    • You will fail before you succeed
    • It is damn hard, then it becomes simply hard work
    • It helps to have help
    • Go big or go small, but go something
    • Four things you must be, to be a success
      • Marketable – Your Story
      • Referable – Your Story Retold
      • Repeatable – Customers Return for More
      • Adaptable – Develop What Your Market Craves
  • There is no guarantee of success if you try, but there is a guarantee of failure if you don’t

Resources for today’s show…

satsumaBob Wells Nursery “Plant Of The Week”Arctic Frost Satsuma – It is adaptable from zone 7 to zone 10. It is cold hardy down to (10 F.) degrees. This small, spreading tree has white flowers with a sweet orange fragrance.

In winter it produces juicy, nearly seedless and easy peeling fruit. It grows from 8 to 12 feet tall in the ground and 6 feet tall in a container.

If you have been wanting to plant citrus in zone 7 & 8 then this is the cold hardy variety for you. If you live above zone 7 you can grow it in a container.

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

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-1518- John Adam on Starting a Business Starting with No Experience in Business

To Learn More About John, Check out JMACPermaGardens.com

To Learn More About John, Check out JMACPermaGardens.com

John along with his wife Marj and two teenage sons live in the foothills of California near Sonora. John has spent the last 21 years working for the Department of Corrections while Marj has been a Registered Nurse for the last 24 years. In 2006 they began transforming their 5 acres into a modern homestead.

In July of 2008, John began listening to TSP and has been a dedicated supporter ever since. In 2010 John began studying sustainable food production. After reading Masanobu Fukuoka’s “sowing seeds in the desert” and avidly watching Geoff Lawton’s free videos, John decided to enroll in Geoff’s PDC and after certification opened a small business called JMAC Perma-Gardens.

John joins us today to discuss, the uncertainty of starting a small business with very little experience. Along with the challenges of balancing responsibilities to family along with a full time job and start up small business.  We also dicuss how his drive to be “prepared” led to a personal quest for liberty and why he feels permaculture is the ultimate expression of liberty.

We further discuss his successes and perhaps more importantly his failures that have happened over the years gardening, raising animals and overcoming less than optimal land challenges.

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

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.

Nick Ferguson and Jack Spirko to Host 4 Hours of Plant Propagation Bonus Q&A

Nick Ferguson’s Plant Propagation Course has been a huge success for PermaEthos.

The feed back has been exceptional and we are sure perhaps a few hundred back yard nurseries will spring up because of it this year.  This is yet another example of our real goals at PermaEthos, to empower as many people as possible to develop their own properties and business in consort with Permaculture ethics and design science.

Nick and I talked a lot about the production of this course and what we wanted it to do.  The main goals were simple.

  1. No fluff, the real necessary information to set up a full on production system for plant propagation with all major techniques, rooting, misting, grafting, etc.
  2. For it to be understandable where anyone could take that information and get the ball rolling.

Those goals were met but we had one more goal.  Under promise and over deliver.  To that end on the weekend of Feb 21-22 Nick and I will  host two conference calls of two hours each.  The calls will run from 11AM – 1PM central standard time.

Call in info will be sent to all students a day in advance.  Recordings of the call will then be added to the course for use by all students.

In addition Nick will be doing a walk though of my property with me, pruning some of my trees, collecting scion wood and some other cool stuff.  All of this will be video’d and uploaded to the course site as well.  This video will be largely unedited but it will be in full HD and be shot with professional gear.  It will also address issues for trees 1-2 years old planted on a true permaculture site.

Again all of this is bonus material and will be provided freely to all students both current and future for Nick Plant Propagation course.

On the call we will focus on developing niche markets, marketing your business, dealing with any and all propagation issues and just basically answer any and all questions you guys have.

If you have been considering taking the course you still have plenty of time to get enrolled and take your first pass though the videos before the coming call.  Students should begin to prepare now, write down questions as you plan your nursery, plan for your end goals, etc.  Personally I feel for those that want to set up a business of this kind these two calls alone if applied will be worth the entire cost of the course.

You can learn more about the course at The PermaEthos Basic Plant Propagation Course

As a final note we will also be using your feedback during this call to help us in developing the Advanced Plant Propagation Course which Nick will be developing in the future.

The Permaethos Plant Propagation Course is Now Live

The PPC is Now Live at PermaEthos.com

The PPC is Now Live at PermaEthos.com

The long awaited Plant Propagation Course taught by Nick Ferguson is now live.  You can learn more about it at the PermaEthos Website.

We have made a few chapters free so you can get a feel for the course and Nick’s teaching style.  We feel this course will empower many to set up small to even large scale nurseries.

Nick is a passionate teacher with about 20 years of plant propagation experience behind him.  In the course he covers layering, division, grafting, rooting with mist systems and many other ways to produce plants of top quality and unique varieties.

Personally after buying over 500 trees and plants in the last two years I consider the ability to propagate plants akin to printing money.  Even without selling any plants, had I had access to this knowledge in the past I could have produced the majority of those 500 plants for myself at little to no cost.  At an average cost of 20 dollars a plant, that is about 10,000 dollars of plant stock I could have produced for myself.

To learn more about the course visit this link http://learn.permaethos.com/course/plant-propagation/

PS – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  If you pre registered an email just went out with how to get your discount on this course.  PLEASE use the information in that email.  If you didn’t get it email me and I will make sure you do.  You have 30 days to get that discount if you are in the group that preregistered.

If you jump the gun and pay full price we will not go though the administrative hassle to refund the difference.  You have a full 30 days to get the discount so please be patient if it appears that the spam monster ate your email with the code in it.

To email me any questions about signing up, etc. just email jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com and put “plants tspc” in the subject line.

Episode-1503- Of Yaks, Swine and Anarchism

Check out An-Yak.com

Check out An-Yak.com

Nick Hazelton is a 16yr old small time yak and hog farmer. He’s a philosophy enthusiast, and has his own podcast, and occasionally makes appearances on terrestrial radio. He’s a sophomore at a charter school in western Oregon.

Nick joins us today to discuss why young people should get involved in entrepreneurial adventures and learn on their own, outside of school. Self-education and self-employment in youth.  We also discuss the philosophy of anarchism along with how most people largely misunderstand it.

Resources for today’s show…

fig_lsu_purple_smallBob Wells Plant of the WeekL.S.U. PURPLE FIG – The LSU Purple fig is adaptable from zone 7 to zone 9. It is very reliable, prolific producer of early to late delicious figs. One of the best figs to come along for some time. Very acclimated to the fluctuating weather of the South.

Very sweet, does not require a pollinator and best to pick a few days after the fruit turns purple.

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

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.