Episode-1516- The Nine Mile Farmstead ~ Where We Go From Here — 45 Comments

  1. We make a breakfast very similar. This is what we put on ours:

    sourdough bread buttered and pan toasted
    fresh over easy egg
    pepper jack cheese
    chunky guac

    chunky guac
    2 avocado diced
    tomato diced
    sweet onion
    garlic powder
    salt and pepper

    Mix it all but dont mash it, keep it chunky.

  2. Another great show Jack. Listening to your homestead plans always gets my mind going on new ideas for my place.

  3. A fun post.couple questions:
    I think you mentioned this but do you know what regulations are to sell processed meat from your birds?

    What specific purpose do the geese fulfill on the farm?

    Will we ever get to see your cider apple list?

    Wish we were closer, I would sure take Upgrayed!

  4. A couple of questions from my point of view.

    I would like to do a test run of 25 ducks. I am considering digging some ponds in my low ground as they should fill with ground water. How big would I need? Should I try one large one or two small ones? Also I’ve had a huge problem with aerial predators with my chickens, how would I protect ducks?

    Second, I’m in S.E. MI and would also love to do a cider apple orchard. Is there anything on your list that indicate trees for the north? Are there some that are not on the list that would work in the north?

  5. Jack love the show long time listener love the forums. I am a fitness coach and yoga instructor after listening to your show on duck eggs I went and did some research and the health benefits of duck eggs over chicken eggs is great. Duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of a chicken egg and stay fresher longer due to their thicker shell. Duck Eggs have more Omega 3 fatty acids ..something you can actually see in the salted pickled eggs the Chinese love to eat. Omega 3 is thought to improve everything from Brain health to healthy skin. Duck Eggs are an Alkaline producing food, one of the few foods that leave your body more alkaline which is a great benefit to cancer patients as cancer cells do not thrive in an alkaline environment. Chicken eggs are an acid food leaving your body more acid. Great health benefits I am going to tell all my client to start eating duck eggs.

    • Indeed they are a lot healthier as long as you ignore the FDA who would prefer humans follow a diet that looks more like a bag of cattle feed than what people should eat.

      As for the acid v alkaline thing, I really wish you guys would stop spreading this myth. Seriously I know you are vested in it and all but I have researched both sides, it is total crap and I am a former “believer”. If the PH or your blood moves a fraction of a point (up or down) what you are is dead!

      Please read these links they are one of the best simple counter arguments I have ever found.

      Look I personally get that it is harder to stop believing something than to start believing something but really give this one a critical analysis. If you do you find it to be rooted in both ayurvedic and TCM medicine and likely it has benefits but it ain’t about your bodies PH.

      I hope this doesn’t piss you off but if you can show me anything other that opinions and pissing on a PH strip to back up this claim, I will be willing to reexamine it myself. Again 10 years ago I was convinced this was fact. And again it takes more evidence to cause someone to stop believing in something then to start.

  6. Jack, I meant to tell you my recent experiences with Dwarf Mulberry. I planted 2 of these in this medicinal garden in the front of my house to be little nice looking bushes, hoping that MAYBE they would be waist high or so, and bushy. Well it didn’t take long for me to realize how vigorous these plants were so I knew I needed to move them.

    Another one I left out, in the middle of summer in a pot with 2 inches of soil in it, never watered the tree, and it busted through the pot into the ground, growing to be 8 feet tall with at least a 2 inch in diameter trunk. (All on its little lonesome).

    So I found a place for them to give them more room so I started digging these things up. Goodness gracious. The larger one that rooted through the pot had at least 5 taproots on them an inch and larger in diameter and 5+ feet long. The others were similar, one of which busted straight down through the ground that I had to cut. This is in very very heavy clay, and in a year that had extremely little water (never watered them).

    Without a doubt they are the most robust and vigorous “dwarf” plants I’ve ever seen. I imagined how much biomass you could create planting these intensely and pollarding/coppicing them to animals.

    • That is the plan but I have to say I haven’t seen that level of growth here. I started with all rooted first year cuttings though, so perhaps this year we will see the rapid growth from the now one year plants. I have two really well established, my hope is to make tons of cuttings from them. How are they for berry production though?

      • Its only been one year, and before I gave up on them being in the front garden areas I cut them back severely. I did however get to eat one! It was a mulberry. Which is extremely impressive that I got even a single fruit off of it in the first year.

        Let’s see how they do this year…

        I think the ones I had were roughly what you’ve described. They were probably not thicker than a pencil when I got them and they had barely any roots on them. Ison sold basically a pack of 5 of them for like 10 bucks or something. I want to see what a hedge row of this can do. It might even be something that I build some wind barriers out of.

        I am curious how much they’re not crazy about your alkaline soil? The shallow depth I don’t think would bother them, they’d just reach out all over the place. But its obvious they have no problem with the most lifeless contractor red clay ever. (Front yard barely has any top soil, just the crap brought in)

  7. Jack, I’d be interested to see a couple of your pekin eggs next to a couple chicken eggs in a frying pan once they’re laying. I boasted to my wife how much better and more orange the duck eggs would be, only to be proven wrong (mercilessly). In our experience the jumbo pekin eggs were better than store-bought chicken eggs, but nowhere near as orange as our chicken eggs. The quail eggs were the same, except they come with the added annoyance of being tiny. Maybe it’s the insect populations around here…

  8. Alternate fencing idea: Couldn’t you just get a long masonry bit and a hammer drill, then drill a 9″ deep hole and drop a length of rebar in it?

    My other thought was to Hilti regular posts in the ground.

    We do similar things where I work and they can get a hole in concrete in a couple of seconds and that is way faster than I can dig a post hole.

      • Masonry bits are designed to drill through concrete and rock, so any bit of dirt covering is like a wood bit going through drywall before hitting wood.

        I was thinking to make this even look nice, you could cover the rebar with a length of PVC pipe and a cap. That would also make dealing with electro-net easier. It also will put a whole bunch of holes into your bedrock that water can pour into and freeze and then allow roots to follow to speed up rock breakup.

        • Rebar is fine for electro net, or two line hot wire, which I don’t want. We use if for two line hot wire for the pigs in WV and it works fantastic for that.

          It is pretty crappy for something like stretched fencing which is what I put in. Sure we didn’t put a come along on it but I really tensioned it hard with the ties, not to mention my 210 pound frame. In both directions. I just don’t see rebar not bending if you did this with it.

        • You can always go with heavier rebar or even tubing depending on load for specific use case, but again just an idea. I was just thinking that you are probably going to be reusing specific areas for paddocks so a pre-drilled hole in each of the corners seems like an easy way to move fencing or at least throw the idea out in case there are a different circumstance than yours where this would work.

        • No if I move it it will be one big move. The plan is for permanent hedge rows to replace the fencing (other than gates) over the next few years.

  9. Tons of useful info in today’s show. The narrative about the way things organically evolve is a wealth of knowledge for people doing similar things at their own places. Those aha moments are just priceless and rarely come from a book. This will be the third year of our site as well and I can totally relate to what you mean when you are saying that “this is the year”. I’m saying it myself. I think a great topic to do a segment or show on would be to touch on the Sch. F a little bit. Is the farm a separate entity now or part of another corp?

    Great show!

  10. Jack I understand your argument and it’s a valid argument. Just like I go to these gyms and they sell supplements that suppose help these guys get bigger and ripped I have never taken a supplement in my life and guys ask me all the time what I am taking. I think its same thing as pasteurized milk is it better or worse for you guess it depends on the person there body. I have been to many health conferences some people be leave like you some people be leave like me I agree without and hard evidence its hard to say. I am not mad I am an MSB member I always support show thanks for the reply.

    • Again I don’t think the diet itself is without benefits. I just don’t think you are going to change your bodies PH without well, being dead.

  11. Thank you Jack for the show and the list of cider apples. What was the apple nursery you mentioned? I couldn’t understand the first word of the name but the second was “creek” and you said they specialized in dessert apples. Thanks!

    • One is, make sure to contact them before you order and you have to order with a form not online like typical.

      The other is they have things I never even knew existed. If you can get a variety I prefer Kuffel Creek because they use M111 root stock. They do however do tiny bud grafts, you should listen to this podcast before ordering from them to know what to expect. or at least go here and read under what we sell, they must be staked for the first year because they will grow a small whip.

      • I ordered 15 southern varieties from him for my house, and just put in another order I think for 13 more for a test orchard at a buddies to couple the 15 more varieties from Big Horse Creek (if I can get an email reply from them). That’ll put us at trying something like 40 varieties of apples here to see what works. As of right now we are going FULL-ON hard starting a “fruit-works” company to include heritage southern apple cider, wines from local fruits, etc.

        Thanks for the link to northwest cider supply, I hadn’t been there yet.

        • I hadn’t finished listening until just now where you get into the cider part. I can’t help but laugh how often we’re doing very similar things, even when I have no idea that you’re up to stuff.

          If you’re interested in working together on some of this let me know. I’m literally in the process right now about choosing this 40 acre property to put up a cider orchard, enough to make a serious amount of cider.

        • If anyone is looking for cider apples and lives in the north, check out St. Lawrence Nurseries. They have over 200 types of apples, all grown in Zone 3 on the Canadian border. They have apples I’ve never seen anywhere else.

  12. Hey Jack I think I heard you say $1,500-$1,600/month profit on 100 laying ducks? Is that right?

  13. Jack, I thought you were an advocate of the chicken tractor, not the paddock shift system. It would be great if you could debate the topic with Paul Wheaton on one of these podcasts one of these days.

    • I no longer care what Paul thinks about chickens. Now that I know he is nuts he is simply my friend that does good things in permaculture.

      Sadly the fact that you think one need either be an advocate of tractors OR shifting shows how poorly most of use have explained permaculture.

      Two word here

      Appropriate technology.

      As always it depends.

  14. Where is the niche for ducks? Inn other words, if we consider geese as a small cow (herbivore, lots of manure), are ducks fitting the chicken niche of field hygeine? Would you run leader follower after geese and hogs? Something like weeder / cleaner / rooter / cleaner?

  15. More cider apples for your list:
    Bittersharp: Frequin Rouge, Redfield, Geneva Crab
    American unclassifieds: Granniwinkle (blended with Harrison), Newtown Pippin, Virginia Hewes Crab, Wickson Crab.

    I have tasted excellent single varietal commercial cider from Redfield, Newtown, Hewes Crab and Wickson Crab (different producers). My best guess is that Hewes and Wickson would be excellent additions in Texas. Probably anything Foggy Ridge Cider in Virginia is growing is worth trying in your climate.

    I would like to get some more German/Swiss/Austrian cider fruit here, as I think it might be better suited than the English fruit, but I’m having a hard time finding sources for scions and information.

    PS Just met some great cider makers from Austin Eastciders at Cidercon. Don’t know if they are distributing to the Ft. Worth area yet. If not, road trip!

    • It’s a great list. I have about 40 varieties, running out of room! Other folks to look at are Greenmantle Farms in California, who took over Albert Etter’s orchard. Not too thrilled with their propagation policies, and most of what they sell needs a longer season than I have, but the Etter legacy (Wickson Crab, Etter’s Gold, Pink Pearl) is still compelling enough that I pay attention. A reason why cider makers love the Wickson is the high sugar levels for fermentation, and I would guess some of the other Etter varieties have similar characteristics.

      The Austin guys are an example of the national need for apples. There’s a huge pent-up demand for the right, local, fruit. It doesn’t make sense for me to ship them fruit or juice when I can sell it all here five times over. Or make my own.

      • These guys? They were on my list to call tomorrow, what is the issue with their propagation policies. I was about to order one of all cider varieties.

        What is the concern, do you not like the small bench grafts? Or do they try to stop you from propagating? Because everything on that list is like 100+ years old and not covered by any patents? I am a bit confused?

        My issue is you can’t fricken order online, so that is why they are on my to do list as a phone call.

        • They’ve trademarked the names, which I don’t care about, but then on the <a href=""Sweetmeat Crabs page, it says,



          I say, WTH? I give them credit for caring for Etter’s orchard, but this is thinking small. They talk about how these would be great for cider, but who’s got time to deal with “authorizing” propagation and getting permission to sell fruit. I get cider trees propagated and grown out a year for not much more than what they want for a bench graft. They aren’t in the same game as I am. So I haven’t followed up. I will be interested to hear if you find out anything. I’d trial some here if they aren’t a PITA.

        • That is like a posting that says you can’t carry a gun if you are unlicensed, doesn’t matter, it is redundant.

          It is technically illegal in any state for you to sell trees without a license from your state. In most states that costs about 50-60 a year, and getting one is easy. If you want to sell trees and especially ship them, you need one.

          On Unauthorized well, sure, that only however applies to using their TMs as they have no rights to the plants themselves and no power to authorize or not authorize anything.

          Not to mention people that can’t even set up an online order form are likely to be clueless who is doing what with anything anyway. These guys won’t even answer an email.

          In short I would propagate my ass off with anything you get from them not patented. I’d call the tree by its original name and not worry about it. In fact that is what I am going to do.

    • Just tried some Austin Eastciders Texas Honey Cider. Pretty smooth! Reminded me a little of champagne.
      Got some apple seeds on order. Should be interesting.

  16. The solution to your fencing issues is something that is done across the west. Rock baskets as posts/structure support for your fence.

  17. Jack, you mentioned that a chef is buying your duck eggs. I would like to do the same, but don’t you need some kind of license to sell food to restaurants? Or is that just a State of Florida thing? I know a local farm sells their eggs and whole chickens with a pet food license at the farmer’s market, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t fly in a restaurant 🙂 Is there a way around that?

    • May be your state not mine. The reality is if my customer buys from me it is a direct sale. I am not selling to restaurants, they are choosing to buy from me. At that point they do as they will with the food and since they are using commercial facilities with their own certification or license, etc. it is covered by that.