Episode-1704- Listener Calls for 1-7-16 — 31 Comments

  1. The u-haul u-box was the best deal for moving we could find.. Wife and 3 kids (2,4 and 6) moving 1100 miles from Chicago to Austin. Jack is DEFINITELY right about the stop along the way.

  2. And I agree with his sentiment about burning whatever I couldn’t sell or give away! We made the move from Bloomington, IN to the Dallas area the summer of 2014, and if I could go back and do anything differently, it would be to look at all my crap with a real hard heart and get rid of most of it. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’m convinced that what I would have saved in moving expenses, I could have simply bought new those items that I really wanted to replace.

    • Yea to don’t do it, LOL

      If I was insistent on that I would direct sow it and mulch well on top right now. Then hope. I actually did that around my pond a few months ago but I am not betting the farm on it.

      Mint is generally quite difficult to do from seed. Consider when the plants come in to the box stores you can get a 4 inch pot for about 3 buck, buy 4 for 12.

      Take them home and just take a knife and cut each of the 4 into 4 plugs, you now have 16 small plants. Pot those in large pots an start taking cuttings in 2 weeks, take 4 sprigs as cuttings every week after that. In the first month it looks like this,

      Week One 16
      Week Two 16
      Week Three 64
      Week Four 112

      At this point your first 16 are going like mad, you first 48 cuttings are well rooted. So plant the 16 in week Four.

      Now you can continue to take 50-100 sprigs as cuttings from those all summer if you need more.

      Week Five you can plant your first wave of 48 cuttings

      Week Six you can plant your second wave of 48 cuttings

      Now I don’t know how many plants you want but that is a lot of mint.

      • Not to mention if you know anyone who has mint you can get hundreds of cuttings free.

    • @Jack – Great song choice. If you’re taking requests, Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage. I don’t know that it has any deeper meaning, but that’s the beauty of 70’s rock, when you listen to it, it always seems pertinent 🙂

      Mint Propagation.

      Most common “mints” are in the family Lamiaceae genus Mentha. If it’s normal “mint” you’re after (spearmint, peppermint etc), propagation is best by cutting. They will form roots beneath every leaf node when exposed to water or moisture. Just cut the sprigs and place them in water or wet sand.

      If your chosen Variety is not in the Mentha genus (Monarda, Basil, Chinese Artichoke etc) you may have less success with cuttings, though all plants in Family Lamiaceae can be rooted, it’s not always the best method. If it has a tuber (Chinese artichoke), plant the tuber. Hard seeded species germinate well, but soft seeds do not. If you can pinch the seed and it’s undamaged, like basil seeds, you can grow from seed. If it becomes a smear on your finger tip (like peppermint), better to use cuttings.

      I do grow some indoors every winter (so I can harvest fresh mint in the off season). In the north east, I’ll have none between December and June, so it makes sense to keep some as houseplants.

      Pruning is the key. You’ll be pruning an established indoor plant twice a week. Even though you’re cutting most of the plant off, you’ll end up with a much bigger plant in the long run. It may seem counter-intuitive, but as with most herbs, aggressive pruning and harvesting makes for a bigger, more productive plant.

      After every pair of leaves emerges, trim the end of the stem they grew on (above the leaves). This will force two shoots to emerge from beneath those leaves. Just keep repeating, and 1 stem becomes 2, then 4, then 8, 16… and you end up with a large bushy form.

      Closer to spring (2 weeks before your soil temperatures hit 60°F), let the ends grow longer. You’ll have lots of growth tips at this point. Once these hit 3-4″ (takes about a week) you can trim them off for fresh cuttings. Stick them in 4″ pots of moist sand. They can be planted out as soon as they have roots. 1 cutting now will be 60+ cuttings in the spring if you’re attentive to pruning and have good lighting.

      For lighting, use an LED spotlight. They’re cheap to run, cost about $20, and will cover a few gallon pots. You want something in the blue end of the spectrum. Lamiaceae plants produce roots or seeds, not both at the same time. If it flowers or sets seed, root growth will be drastically decreased. Blue light will slow the set of flowers, and frequent pruning will help as well.

      Some plants like lemon balm are extremely easy to start from seed. But in those cases, forget all you know about propagation. Just dump the seeds on the surface of some dirt and walk away. No care whatsoever (just don’t let it go completely dry). They’ll all sprout when they’re ready to. They’re best broadcast now into the beds you want them in come springtime.

      There are so many plants in the mint family, there are no universal rules for propagation.

      Assuming your primary interest is in the Mentha genus, don’t use seed, just get plants as Jack said. In that case, it is a bit early. However, if you have or can get a plant now for growing indoors, just grow the one plant as large as you can now to ensure you have cuttings later in the year. A single one gallon pot will do more for you than starting 4 seed flats right now.

      If you’re growing a huge bed in the spring, get an aquarium, wash-tub, plastic tote etc. Half-fill with water and put an aquarium bubbler in it (the poor man’s hydroponic system). Stick it under a light, with the cutting floating on the water and it will root along the entire stem. Just cut into segments at every leaf pair and plant in the spring. You’ll have hundreds of plants by then. This only works reliably with the Mentha genus.

      Just keep in mind, once you have a single plant established, you’ll be able to rapidly propagate as many as you need with minimal effort. As such, if indoor seed starting space is limited, don’t spend too much time or effort on mint.

      This is a no-effort, no expertise requirement plant. You can find it wild all over your area growing in ditches and roadsides near forest land. If you don’t mind the wild mint (I prefer it) you have an unlimited free supply. If you’re not able to recognize it by sight, look for square stems and just pinch a leaf and smell it. You’ll know immediately if it’s mint.

      If you’re hellbent on seeds, Jack’s advice is dead on. Direct sow in large quantity. You’ll always get some to sprout, but the germination time is between 2 days and two years, so it’s not all going to sprout at once. The germination rate for Mentha is moderate (maybe 50%), but spread out over that much time, it will seem much lower. One of those Burpee seed packets with 50 seeds in it is a waste. You’ll get one small plant from it immediately, and you won’t notice it among the weeds. Unless you can get pounds of seed, it’s not really worth it. Even then, a single cutting will fill the area faster than the seed, and at much less cost.

      To propagate in a small in-ground bed:
      In June, hit the patch with a weed wacker, leave the debris on the ground, throw mulch over it and soak it with water. a couple plants can become a couple hundred in 2 weeks. It’s that easy. Another reason not to go overboard now.

      • @ILW I would love it if you would post that whole part about mint on our Regen Ag Page on facebook, I can do it for you if you don’t like facebook if you are okay with it. But it would be cool if you’d join us there. That was WAY more then I knew and I grow a metric shit ton of mint. Here is the group.

        • I prefer not to partake in Facebook for personal reasons. My account there is fraught with ex-girlfriends who likely assume I’m dead, and I’d hate to disappoint them, lol. You are welcome to share any information I post as you see fit.

          I created a post in the forums with this information, and snapped a few pictures from my grow rooms to illustrate the pruning technique.

  3. This is for the person planning a move in January. we have moved many times in the past 30 years due to job and business. we also have moved horses, dogs and cats plus kids, and farm/ranch equipment.

    Most important tip i can offer: pre organize and pack as much as possible before a mover comes to survey. They ALWAYS underestimate the size truck required and the time required to pack you. the more organized you can have your items the easier it is for them to estimate the truck size. I have yet to have any of the big companies get it right on time to load and space required to fit everything. If they say one day to pack, and one day to load set aside a third day in your plan for time. If you don’t need it, no big deal.

    Give away, sell or toss anything you don’t really need. Cant tell you how often we have moved stuff only to have it sit in a basement never to see the light of day again. Be realistic about what you pack and take, is it cheaper to replace than ship?

    Move as much as possible ahead of time. Big things like lawn mowers, garage equipment (cats) etc. (We made several trips to our current location 3 days travel one way, prior to our final move.) You can store them in your new place and they take up lots of room in a moving van. leaving one car at your new location is a great idea if you can manage it.

    Moving your dogs, i suggest you get a harness for them. They cant slip out of them, much safer. Don’t be surprised if your dogs wont poo on the trip. This is not a big problem, just be sure to offer water at your stops. If you can manage it a travel crate for the dogs will help if you do need to stop overnight. You can put the dogs in the crate, and go relax, have a meal w/o worry that they might destroy the room.

    Have some items with you for when you arrive at your new home. You will be camping for a few days. Sleeping on the floor is easier with a nice pad under your sleeping bag. a few kitchen items for cooking will help and save money so you are not eating out.

    The shipper will deliver on their schedule, we have waited as long as 10 days for our stuff. Very common when you move to remote or country locations. Dont pack items like, cleaning supplies or liquids. Fires do happen in moving vans and liquids can break and leak on things.

    Have one person in your family dedicated to inventory items going on the truck and coming off. Expect things to go missing, especially if your load is going to share a truck with another customer. Dont put anything on the moving van that could never be replaced. Get the insurance! I have used it for every move to replace broken items or lost items.
    Good luck with your new adventure:-)

  4. The number 1 live stock predator in the country is the dog, often the homestead’s dog(s) or the neighbors. True Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personalities. By day the dog may sit in the front porch and by night it runs a pack killing live stock.

  5. After I heard myself this evening on the show I felt I had to say I was and am heart broken over those dogs. I had no choice with the first aggressive one and I accept that, the second dog however was a mistake I should have ended it right there too but I didn’t want to kill anything else. I was scared and still had no egress.
    The reason I called was to spread the word that people don’t want to shoot your dog PLEASE don’t let this happen

    • You did well. You deserved to be heard as well, that is why I played your call.

    • You were completely correct to shoot those dogs. The dogs were showing very aggressive behavior. It is completely the owner’s responsibility.
      BTW, the owners’ of the dogs also owe you restitution.

    • Hold your head high Alisa, you have nothing to be ashamed of. If it was my dog that got shot I would be apologizing to you up and down and do whatever i could to make it up to you. I certainly would not hold you any ill will. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who don’t see it that way. they are flat out WRONG.

      We have lost a lot of Chickens. Recently i was home sick and witnessed a pair of neighbor dogs chasing my chickens. I chased them off, but don’t know where they came from. I will find out eventually and have a talk with the owner. I’m not so worried about the chickens, it happens and we have to accept that this is sometimes part of the deal. But we cant let it become the norm, for one reason eventually, ‘the jakyl will no longer be satisfied with rabbits’. Those dogs will be going after sheep soon enough. My biggest fear is that they teach my dog to do it. Generally once they get a taste for it, they will never stop given the opportunity.

      I wonder what Adam Katz has to say about what to do with a dog that has gotten a taste for blood? When I was a kid we had to get rid of them once they got to sheep…you know, send them away to the Doggy Circus.

    • I REALLY felt for you when I heard this call. I live in rural Bartholomew County, IN, and there are a lot of folks who either 1) let their dogs run loose or 2) don’t contain them adequately. Since we started raising chickens in 2012, we’ve lost a lot of birds to dogs, and it’s so frustrating.

      One year, we lost about 12 birds that were being killed by our neighbor’s dog. We were so relieved to discover what was killing our birds, and we went and talked to the neighbor. He felt TERRIBLE, and he offered to replace the birds. Since he’s such an amazing neighbor, I was unwilling to let him replace my birds, but I did ask him if he’d be willing to share garden produce (he’s an amazing gardener), and he got his dog on an e-collar to keep him from crossing the creek.

      We have another neighbor though who’s horrible. He abuses his dogs, and we’ve caught them running our chickens multiple times. Problem is, when we end up with dead chickens that were clearly killed by dogs, we’ve never managed to catch his dogs doing it. Since I’m blind, I wouldn’t be killing his dogs with our .22, but there are times when I absolutely think we’d be doing those dogs a service. I’d hate to see them killed, but on the other hand, one of his dogs really scares me, and rather than containing his dogs, he just beats them when they finally come back into his yard. It’s a bad situation.

      I hate to see people who’re irresponsible with their animals because like Jack said, no sane person wants to kill dogs just because, and sane people don’t make it through killing animals in those kinds of circumstances without being affected somehow.

      Hang in there! It’s hard when others’ irresponsible actions put us in those situations in the first place.

  6. I took 2 cat’s over 700 miles, I’m thinking winter may be better; I brought mine to Missouri in July. They did very poorly in the heat, they got dehydrated enough to pant like a dog. Cat’s do not do well on short trips… long ones are much worse. My cat’s were sick for weeks afterward. Make sure they have room to move a little.

    I don’t know how to make it better, except maybe knock them out or something. I don’t really recommend that but it would make things easier.

    The change in place will make them nervous for a while. Mine are still a little nervous, they don’t seem comfortable. They are improving. Also know that they will have trouble with the new fleas and such in the area, diseases they haven’t developed an immunity to yet.

    Oh on the trip I used a 15 qt. short sided tote with a lid as the litter box, which worked out really well, and yes they did use it after about 10 hours. Our trip was hard and long, because I was a little sick too. We did sleep in the car.


    • There is that too! There was a very high paying job I was turned down for one time. When I asked why debt was part of it in another way. My earnings up to that point were around 100-120 a year. This job would pay about 250 for anyone doing it well enough to not be fired, that was like the floor of it with bonus and commission.

      When I asked why they cared that I had not yet made that type of money they said, “anyone who already has would have a very large lifestyle to support, and they will have to work just to keep it maintained.”

      They wanted someone who already had a giant home on Long Island and kids in private school. That type of thing. So yea, debt.

    • Hiring people with degrees for menial jobs with the promise to promote the person later is just another way to get a degreed candidate in the door with a low salary and then keep him there with small salary increases and promotions. After 15 months that guy makes manager but with a lesser salary. Of course, that cuts both ways because the good guys will leave once they get the experience and the company ends-up accumulating a bunch of mediocre personnel that could not get anything better. I think permaculture has a word for that: Entropy.

  7. FYI- Not having a legal marriage could have severe results as far as social security goes.

    A few examples: Widows benefits start at age 60, but if never married would have to wait to draw own benefit at 62- miss two years of benefits plus could be lower amount if the spouse that died was the high earner.

    One spouse has most of the earnings, other spouse does not work. At retirement age the spouse with little earnings can file for a percentage of the working spouse’s benefit plus the non-working spouse’s benefit would increase to the amount of the working spouse’s benefit upon death of the working spouse. No legal marriage, then cannot file for spouse’s benefits.

    Those are just a few quick ones, there are more. SSA does recognize common law marriage however they use the rules for the state you live in to prove the common law marriage. The rules vary greatly from state to state.

  8. Starting hunter: Dude you are in Texas, shoot 100 arrows a day for a month and go hunt hogs, you should have no problem getting permission from land owners and they are much easier than deer. By hunting season you may have a good place to hunt if you close the gates back and pick up some trash.

  9. As for the self defense at home. A co-worker here in PA had her home burglarized. She asked the cops what she should do if he returns since she carries a firearm. They told her she would need to lock herself in a room with her dog and warn the criminal that she is armed and will shoot him if he tries to enter the room. I told her that was BS and she should move to a better municipality. There is no retreat requirement in PA.

    • Even if there were a retreat requirement, shouldn’t a well-secured home be retreated enough, where she could give the warning before the perp broke into the home at all and open fire as soon as he forces his way in [ideally in such a manner he falls incapacitated just inside the home before he can really gain a foothold in it.]

  10. Jack, I live a couple of miles from the Sam Houston National Forest and you are exactly right, during hunting season the place is packed, all the camp grounds are full and people everywhere…The funny thing is when it’s not hunting season, there are deer everywhere and just before opening day they disappear. So if you are to hunt the NF, I would suggest getting maps from the Rangers office and go off the beaten path as far as possible, learn the forest ahead of time and find a spot deep in the forest….Learning compass skills and or having a good GPS will benefit you greatly

  11. For the Family moving from MA to NC

    Welcome to the Carolinas. We have very similar stories, well almost. My husband and I walked to freedom from MA to the Upstate SC in July. We live”d in the same house for 30 years but drastically downsized for a year. We used “Upack” moving – they dropped a tractor trailer infront of ourhouse a week before the move and then we hired 3 guys through UPack to pack it – it was pay buy the hour so everything was ready to go when they showed up. Having them pack made a huge difference in the insurance coverage – it was seamless, they were outstanding to work with. We pulled a U-haul 5 x 8 box trailer with our “other” stuff. We ended up running to home depot for a dumpster bag because there was just so much “stuff” that we knew we wouldn’t use, but it was good stuff. I put an add on Craig’s list for a Curb Alert come and get it or we would have needed 2 dumpster bags. Moving the preps was the hardest and I am still not in my comfort zone of efficiency with where everything is.

    Don’t plan on doing the drive in 1 day. It was my husband and I and 2 labrador retrievers and we stopped in Pennsylvania at a LaQuinta Inn, they take dogs. The hotel was only okay, but we were pleased to have a bed to lay our heads in. The most traffic we hit was between the Mass Pike and the PA border. We left at 2:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon and it took us to 7:00 PM to get over the Tapanzee and then into PA.

    Be ready for the cultural differences – I worked in Boston and lived in Lynn. The “vibe” in MA was one of hostility, don’t bother me, get out of my way – when you get to the Carolinas the culture is one of kindness – seriously, people are nice because they like to be nice. Sadly, don’t trust contractors or builders, but this, I think, is universal. No sidewalks is different, but I live in the country. Respect traffic rules, stop at yellow lights and the MA habit of whoever can get to the intersection first can cut everyone off and go doesn’t apply in the South. At 4 way stops, everyone takes their turn in order going – it was hard for me to adjust to driving nicely. I haven’t gotten the finger once while driving. You can buy beer and wine everywhere 6 days a week, Sundays are dry. House taxes, this is a hoot – $5200 in Lynn, $563 for a brand new house sitting on two gorgeous acres in Greenville County. Happy hour is allowed – the Government hasn’t made a bunch or rules because they think they know what is best for you, it is more along the lines of “you are an adult, figure it out” there is a church on every other corner but I have yet to see a Catholic Church. People like to chit chat and everyone will invite you to their church, it took me a while to get use to this. You have money left over at the end of the week because you aren’t being taxed to death. Everyone has a gun or 10.

    It took a little while to get people to trust us. There is a fair share of people from the North moving to the South and then wanting things to be like they are up North. I have encountered this myself. Be yourself, but be honest with your thoughts and you will break down the “your a Yankee” wall. We are now well excepted amongst the community. Preppers, Preppers, Preppers everywhere. The world O’Bama is a swear word.

    This is amazing, but people help each other. During the storms and flooding, people just put out calls for donations on FB, loaded their pickups and brought supplies to Columbia – the churches are well networked for this type of thing. People don’t expect anything back for helping, its just the right thing to do. I love Citizens Assisting Citizens, but it just doesn’t seem necessary here.

    I walked away from a 6 figure corporate job that was killing me and I am now raising rare breed “Breese” chickens and flowers for sale and art. It may sound fluffy, but there is a real cash flow and real tax deductions. Hubby is still working which has enabled us to build a brand new house and set-up the homestead with hiring a lot of labor.

    Best of luck, you will love it and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any info