Tag Archives: homesteading

Episode-2289- Practical Homesteading in the Modern Age

Sometimes I feel society in on the edge of yet another split.  Those that value things like gardens, back yard birds and foraging, and those who don’t but see no value in such things.  These people look around and see  a world when you can summon a car with a cell phone, to either take you to dinner or bring dinner to you.

Unlike 2008 when I began the journey of this podcast, the economy is booming.  Right now if you don’t have a job, frankly don’t really want one.  Everyone is hiring.  Every day some new technical marvel is unveiled.  Alternative energy is really beginning to stop looking so “alternative”.  It seems in perhaps a decade electricity may be almost free in relative terms.

Computers are continuing to become better, smarter, faster and cheaper.  Anything you want from lobster tails to fine silk can be delivered to your home in 12-24 hours from the almighty Amazon.  You can understand when it comes to homesteading why some people are like, why bother?

The other side though is pretty amazing.  We have people on YouTube documenting their homesteading journeys with hundreds of thousands of people following them.   A few such people have more than a million followers.  Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are full of pictures and short videos of everything from “square foot gardens” to urban chicken tractors.   Celebrity Chefs like Guy Fieri show off their backyard flocks and compost piles.

Yes even in a world of high speed processors and “Door Dash” food delivery the back yard homestead is thriving in 2018.  Today we discuss ways to be a practical homesteader in the modern world.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • Why do we homestead
    • Humans are cultivators
    • As much for recreation as for production
    • The quality of food we can produce
  • Some rules for happy homesteading
    • One project at a time
    • Start with something easy and fun
    • Set and respect a budget
    • Build management into daily activities (smart zone design)
  • Some of my favorite projects for homesteading
    • Back yard birds (composting system)
    • Of course a kitchen garden (gotta love wicking beds)
    • Set up a seed starting system (lights, etc)
    • Building a solar heater
    • Lean how to can food
    • Install rainwater catchment
    • Creating habitat, natural spaces, attracting wildlife
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

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Episode-2186- Homesteading, Side Hustles and More

The sent of Autumn Olive in bloom, is one of those homestead rewards, that must be experienced to be understood.

The sent of Autumn Olive in bloom, is one of those homestead rewards, that must be experienced to be understood.

So I jumped on Zello today to get some potential show topics, and the dominant vein was homesteading, finding a homestead and making it profitable in some way seemed to be the common denominator, so I am going to try to make a show about both of those things today.

Homesteading is a dream for many in the community, so I want to start out with a simple concept, “grow where you are planted”, there are some amazing examples of urban homesteading out there.

Additionally think long and hard about being “way out there” if you want to have some sort of revenue generating activity on your homestead.  That usually requires other people, so unless your product/service is easily delivered across great distances being somewhere near other people, is a great idea.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • What actually makes a home, into a homestead
  • What are the characteristics of a good homestead location
    • Freedom – as you define it
    • Climate – as you like it
    • Value – solid investments have exit strategies
    • Size – farms are not homesteads, remember that, an acre can wear you out
    • Remember the permaculture lens, water, access, structure
    • Neighbors – will they be a bother, can they be, see item one
    • Opportunity – for that day job, for your kids, spouse, etc.
  • Before we side hustle, may be we should self hustle
    • Grow what you can use or store, not much more
    • Determine all local resources that you can hunt/gather
    • Develop a lifestyle that maximizes your life, minimizes your costs
    • Automate, automate, automate
    • Go slow, one or two projects at a time, less done right is better than more done wrong
  • Some side hustle opportunities and how to think about them
    • Remember that we are outside the system, aka, agorists
    • Sometimes it is okay to loose money, usually it isn’t
    • Defining the goals of your side hustle/s
      • What to do with a butt load of hot peppers
      • Thoughts on livestock, eggs, etc.
      • Granddaddy made shine and Buddy Shoemaker made wine
      • If you are gonna grow crops, grow a specialty crop
      • Vacation cabins – solid idea!
      • Selling fertility
      • Plant propagation
      • Workshops – not as easy as everyone thinks
      • Crafting – build only what you can sell, use or use to sell
      • Bees – bugs are worth more than honey
  • Final thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

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Episode-2121- Time to Start Planning for the 2018 Spring Garden

It is Easy to Forget that Each Season is Really Only About 13 Weeks Long!

Each year usually in January or February I do a show on spring garden planting and it hit me that I should really do so earlier.  Why? Because every year I transition from winter to spring with a entire list of shit that was supposed to be done, that ain’t done.

I fall behind on new bed preparation, seed starting, plant layout planting and other projects.  I mean just think about seed starting, this should begin for many crops a full 8-10 weeks before they are to be set out.  Cole crops like Broccoli and Kale can be planted well before the last frost as well.

Other in the ground starters like peas for instance can generally handle down to about 28-30 degree over night lows, so we need to be ready to plant them very early and success them into summer crops like tomatoes and peppers.

And this is the time to START planning, at least get down on an organized list what you want to do.  Because yes, it is the holidays, there will be shopping, travel, etc. but the mind is alert right now.  Soon you will have what I call “Christmas Coma” where you sort of cost though the end of December and most of January.  It is a slow time for many of us, but also tends to become a time of inaction.  Hunting season ends, too damn cold for many things, no baby livestock to worry over yet, etc.

To break it what you need is momentum!  Otherwise next thing is it is March and you are over paying for Bonnie’s plants at Walmart because it is too late to start seeds for the year etc.

So how do you get momentum?  The plan is your momentum.  The hardest part of any process is what?  Getting started!  If you have that plan, that rough outline it becomes a to do list, you follow that in those slow weeks and by the time things pick up your are hitting the ground running.  However if you wait until mid January to plan, you put it off one week, then two, then it is February, the some life event happens, its March, got it yet?

Today we won’t talk so much about what to do but getting that plan in place to create scheduled action items so that when spring comes and the birds sing, your growing season is off to a great start.  And even if gardening isn’t your thing, there is a big lesson in that.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • The lesson in taking a trip/vacation/etc.
  • Why planning is important for spring planting
    • It works
    • Gives you actionable items
    • It is a sanity check
    • Allows you to sort critical from necessary from nice to have
    • Prevents mixing spring and winter prep items
  • Some things I am planning for this year
    • Basic planting diagrams for all annual production
    • Massive wicking bed and aquatic expansion
    • Seed starting including a grow tent this year
    • Forage system for the quail aviary
    • New run of quail for production
    • Pastured chickens instead of new ducks this year
      • Brooder construction
      • Chicken tractor – build and complete dates, etc
      • Quantity – just for me or for others too?
      • Date to order
      • Date on pasture
      • Date of harvest
  • Key Dates to Determine
    • Last frost and last hard freeze dates (not the same at all)
    • Dates to get your seeds started by
    • Construction start and end dates (planned and “drop dead”)
    • Planting dates
    • Fertilizer and amendment dates
    • Spaying of trees and perennial dates
  • Keep a garden book
    • Weekly high and low avg temps, any frosts
    • Date of rain activity
    • In ground seed planting and first germination
    • Pest activity
    • Bud break on perennials
    • Flowering and first harvest of annuals
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-2088- Lessons and Planning from the first 3/4s of 2017

The Timber Frame Pond – AKA “Miyagi Pond” is the Nine Mile Farm Home Run of 2017

Here are Nine Mile Farm we have pretty much settled into our selected systems on a lot of things at this point almost 5 years into the journey.  Our ducks run on a clock work like system, feeding, paddock shifting, egg collection, etc are all quite fine tuned at this point.

The trees require very little maintenance and most of our desired infrastructure is now installed.  Still we are constantly trying and testing out new things.  This year we have found some really great gems of knowledge and we have also come up with some quite refined plans for our future.

A lot of the new stuff is going to be built in winter, because here in north Texas that is the most pleasant time of year for construction work and out door projects.  Today I am going to do an old school sort of “chat with Jack” episode on what has worked well this year and where we are taking that knowledge to in the future.

Join Me Today to Discuss….

  • The aviary and aquaponics system has become a great asset in need of tweaking
  • The timber frame pond (Miyagi) is the most trouble free aquatic system I’ve built
  • Thai water spinach is an amazing and delicious plant
  • Peppers do fantastic at 60% shade here in Texas anyway
  • Tomato blight continues to be the bane of my existence
  • Elevated ponds and gardens are the way forward due to the ducks
  • Our in ground pond is pretty much a disaster, we may have to nuke it
  • Bluegill and other sunfish are about the most trouble free and economically viable protein here in Texas
  • Bullheads do not seem to be a good aquaponics option
  • A Steven Harris Battery Bank and a cooler make a great live well
  • Plans for this winter
    • Build a bigger, better Miyagi
    • Grow out koi for the Miyagi’s
    • Develop a large wicking bed system that is 100% duck proof
    • Design a planting plan for the new and old systems
    • Meat chicken run in 2018, no new ducks this time
    • Take another go at the orchard that failed
    • Duck Free Zones and an Outdoor Kitchen
    • Look to simplify systems and automate everything
  • Final thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-2010- Nicole Sauce on Building Local Demand in a Niche Market

Nicole Sauce has had side hustles going her whole life. She developed a love of good food – and great coffee – in the Pacific Northwest. She started her career as a high school teacher, but quickly realized that system was so broken that she needed to do something more meaningful.

After 8 years of executive coaching for expatriates, Nicole discovered a world of libertarian policy think tanks and her life changed. For 13 years, Nicole has worked with policy organizations that seek to make government smaller. However, working in the system against the system accepts their rules. Along the way, she fled the intolerance of Oregon for a more hospitable Tennessee.

Nicole loves showing people how to do forgotten homesteading arts such as canning and preserving, cheese-making, meat processing and more.

For five years, Nicole has roasted coffee and earlier this year she launched the Holler Roast brand alongside her podcast, Living Free in Tennessee. She and her fella run a local tourism focused paper called The Center Hill Sun and a small homestead.   She joins us today to discuss building a local market based niche business.

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-1986- Perennial Vegetables for your Homestead

“Bloody Dock” – A Beautiful and Edible Perennial Most People Have Never Heard Of

Today we are going to turn our focus on food production in our own back yards.  The plants I will describe here are wonderful for growing in just about any environment.  And even though they are perennials most will do find in containers and wicking beds, etc.  Indeed a few are custom made for such applications though normally not grown that way.

Perennials are wonderful because they either come back on their own every year or they require very minimal effort to assure their return each year.  Many are even considered weeds or a nuisance by the unknowing.  Yep a plant that requires minimal work, self propagates and is good to eat we have come to see as a weed.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • How we define perennial vs how we should define it as growers
  • Twelve Plants you should be growing for trouble free food production
    1. Bloody Dock (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    2. Ostrich Fern (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    3. Scarlet Runner Beans (True Perennial to Zone 6 with heavy mulch) – Source
    4. Sorrel (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    5. Jerusalem Artichoke (Behaves Like a Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    6. Lambs Quarters (Behaves Like a Perennial to Zone 4 and possibly Zone 3) – Source
    7. Day Lilies (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    8. Good King Henry (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    9. Egyptian Onions (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    10. Horse Radish (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    11. New Zealand Spinach (True Perennial to Zone 7 or Zone 6) – Source
    12. Lovage (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-1977- Meat Rabbit Management with Tiffany VanderBie

Happy Rabbits at Vanderbie Farms

Tiffany is an owner/operator of VanderBie Farms with her husband Jesse. They have been raising meat rabbits (among goats, chickens, quail, and bees) on their farm for about 3 years now.  They take pride in their work and always strive to produce the best that they can.

Today Tiffany joins us to discuss how they manage their rabbitry.  Why they got into rabbits in the fist place.  Selecting animal for breeding, processing meat animals and deciding when to cull or pass on breeders.

We also discuss some awesome recipes for cooking rabbit meat.  We also talk about some new plans that Tiffany has for her homestead along with the importance of moving slowly when starting out and fully nailing down one form of livestock before adding another.

Today We Answer Questions Like…

  • How Tiffany’s rabbitry is set up
  • How to choose your rabbits (either buying or keepers)
  • The way to cull and process your rabbits
  • How to properly breed rabbits
  • How long gestation, kindling, and weaning take
  • How to market rabbits for sale
  • Some good recipes for rabbit meat
  • How to keep track of the rabbits? (Records, tattoos, etc.)

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-1957- The Beginners Guide to Growing Food

I have done some really advanced stuff with agriculture and permaculture over the years but I realized it has been a long time since I have done something totally devoted to a true beginner.  The person looking at a patch of ground and a back porch and just wanting a garden and some of their own food on their own table.

This does not have to be complicated and it also doesn’t have to be expensive.  Our grand parents and great grand parents didn’t spend a lot of money to grow a garden, they didn’t have design certificates or gadgets either.  Still today we have a lot of options they didn’t, by combining their simple approach and some modern convience we can get off the ground running fast.

We can have a great harvest in our first year and lay the ground work for a garden that gets better and better over time.  We can also do things in a way that shortens the learning curve and makes us feel good about what we are doing, rather than demotivated and frustrated as many first year gardeners become.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • An example of why the “green thumb” is a myth to be ignored
  • What is the goal of a family garden
    • Produce food
    • Save money
    • Improve quality of life
    • Provide better healthier nutrition
  • Should you go with “raised beds”
    • What is the ground like
    • What is your climate like
    • Can you either automate or simply irrigation
    • Are you going to want “borders” if so why
    • Where are you going to get your material and how much will it cost
  • Why I recommend buying plants your first year, at least some of them
    • Plants I recommend buying
      • Peppers
      • Tomatoes
      • Broccoli/Cauliflower
    • High success rate
    • Very broad availability of varieties now
    • Cost is not bad, and this is a learning year
  • Plant I recommend planting from seed in the ground
    • Peas/Beans etc.
    • Beets
    • Radishes
    • Arugula
    • Dill
    • Squash
    • Melons
  • Plants I recommend starting in containers even in your first year or buying
    • Chard
    • Lettuce
    • Basil
    • Parsley
    • Chives
  • Why everyone should grow sweet potato
  • Bed establishment
    • Double dig, sheet mulch or both
    • Bring in material – yes till/turn it in
    • Mulch with wood chips
  • The things that will make your plants successful almost no mater what
    • Dr. Earth 1014 Premium Gold Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer (balanced NPK) – Link
    • Garrett Juice Plus (foliar feed) – Link
    • Blood and Bone Fertilizer – Link
    • GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp – Link
    • Hydro Organics Earth Juice Cal-n-Mag Plant Food – Link
    • Liquinox Iron Zinc Chelated Solution – Link
    • Endo Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation – Link
    • Azomite consider sourcing locally – Link
    • Green Sand consider sourcing locally – Link
    • Lava Sand – source this locally!
    • Expanded Shale – source this locally!
  • Going forward or doing more in the first year (composting-worms-etc)

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-1938- The Cool Bot as a Walk In Cooler Solution

Learn More About the CoolBot at StoreItCold.com

John Bergher from CoolBot joins us today to discuss their product known of course as the CoolBot.  This tool allows you to use a standard high efficiency window air conditioner to build a walk in cooler.

With this technology homesteaders, farmers and anyone in need of cold storage can build a large walk in cooler for thousands of dollars less than buying one.  Since 2006 over 35,000 CoolBots have been deployed all over the world.

John is a dynamic business professional with 20 plus years in key leadership positions. John has spent most of his career in the security and automation industry where he worked in both the residential and commercial channels.

Currently, John serves as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing with Store it Cold, LLC. Store it Cold manufactures and sells the revolutionary CoolBot.  He joins us today to discuss how this technology can help homesteaders and food producers while saving them a great deal of money.

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

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-1933- Austin Martin on Using Digital Business to Build Your Homesteading Life

Austin Martin is a father of 4, small scale farmer, podcaster, Youtuber, and digital entrepreneur (All before turning 30).

Austin spent the first 3 years of his Homesteading life commuting for an hour or more each day, working a job in the construction field. Waking up at 4:30 am to do animal chores, and arriving home after work in the dark, not able to spend time outside with his kids, led him to change his life.

Now he works from his laptop, allowing him the freedom to spend more time with his family and on his homestead.

Today We Discuss…

  • The initial years starting up a farm business while working fulltime
  • Taking advantage of commuting hours
  • Teaching yourself to build websites
  • Growing a side business, a family and a farm all at the same time
  • Making the call in your transition from worker to full time entrepeneur
  • Why a digital business is a great tool to make homesteading dreams come true
  • Multiple digital enterprises you can run digitally to fund your life
  • The base skills you need to become a digital entrepreneur
  • The right starting point as a new digital entepreneur

Resources for today’s show…

Austin’s Links

Sponsors of the Day

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

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.