Episode-2313- Expert Council Q&A for 10-19-18 — 6 Comments

  1. For a low-care Zone 5 garden: yeah, there’s no such thing as completely no care; even perennial flowers need a little care. But, as suggested, a mint garden – spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm – comes close and makes you self-sufficient in tea. Common orange daylillies (Hemerocallis fulva) yield buds, shoots, and tubers, and they spread like crazy (as do Jerusalem artichokes).
    Garlic is plant once, harvest twice up here: scapes and garlic bulbs. Plant extra or leave some in the ground and you get a third crop, green garlic (use like green onions). Chives are perennial too.
    Re-seeding crops are an option. Curtis Stone’s combo of arugula and Red Russian kale is almost no work. The red Osaka mustard (an ingredient in Renee’s Stir Fry seed mix) keeps on coming back. Calendula re-seeds well: it gives an edible flower and you can make a skin lotion from the leaves (can be combined with comfrey).
    For fruits, black currants are rugged and don’t get the sawfly larvae damage that red currants do. Heritage raspberries and Niagara grapes are also very successful in Zone 5. You do need to prune them once a year; plenty of videos show just how, and it’s a quick and easy job. As Nick says, getting the idea of the right thing to do and when to do it is key.
    By the way, for the flower idea of Nick’s, bulbs are champs in the North; daffodils, fritillarias, and alliums avoid deer damage.

  2. On cat vaccines:  I cannot speak to cats since I have dogs.  I bred and showed Manchester Terriers for almost 30 years.   My maximum permanent doggie population was 16. I have had one dog live to be 18 years, two months, and a few dogs live well into their 17’s. I give my own DHPP.  I have purchased vaccines in 25 vac lots (for about $3 per vac including syringe price), and I have also purchased single vaccines with a syringe from Tractor Supply for less than $10 each.  My vet currently charges $20 per vac.  This can be a way to save a lot of money for other veterinary expenses.  I have rabies vacs given by the vet, which is required every 3 years in my state.  Unless my dogs are ill, that is the only time they will see the vet.  I don’t see a doctor for myself every year – so why would my well dog need to see the vet more than I see the doctor?  When my healthy guys go in every 3 years they get the works: rabies vac, check up, 4dx test, general or senior blood work depending on age, urinalysis and a teeth cleaning.  Rather than from my perspective wasting a lot of money on vet administered vacs and wellness checks, I put that money towards what I consider to be important health services.  This is just my opinion.  If anyone is interested, I can share how to save a ton of money on heartworm preventative medication, too.

  3. I’m familiar with Shaye Elliot.  She and her husband started small on very little money, and in the process she started a blog that turned into Instagram, published books, essential oil sales, and a Food Network pilot.  Her photos are beautiful, she teaches skills, and she’s never called herself the Gwyneth Paltrow of homesteading.  She’s simply very successful at branding and marketing herself – pretty much a shining example of lifestyle design.  The article strikes me as sour grapes.

  4. Very much so.  The subject of the article is just a person who’s done well for herself and is now able to financially support her entire family to the extent that she and her husband are home on their farm full time and homeschool their children.  I call that a huge success.  There’s a trend in the “life is unfair” whiney crowd to bash women who have been successful at marketing themselves on social media.  I’ve recently read very similar pieces targeting other popular Instagram accounts.  They’re always done with the angle of being kind of a fan, but wow, so insightful and just innocently bringing to light the reality that these women are super privileged and don’t really deserve the success they’ve achieved.