Today I tackle a listener’s email about starting out.
Here’s his email:
Hey it greats to listen to you every week now. I found your show on the preppers podcast network (yes it was the show doomsday that got me interested but I have grown past that) and it is the one I enjoy the most. I find that most of the thoughts you express are similar to my own thoughts and feelings. So I want to say thank you! I myself am looking to get out of town and move into the country and slowly start a farming lifestyle. By day I am an entomologist so I hope to start by growing an orchard and raising bees. Would you have any suggestions/pitfalls to be aware of while looking and purchasing property? It seems daunting at the moment but at least my lady is fully on board and not only supportive but enthusiastic. Thank you again for your show and information.
- Size–don’t raise bees on less than an acre
- Southern Exposure is best (usually)
- Are you thinking in phases or are you jumping-in and want the whole hog (giant piece of land upfront)
- Consider a practice property of a few acres before you buy 200 acres.
- What are you going to do with all that fruit/honey?
- Are you going into business?
- Are you going to be retired or are you going to continue to work?
- What varieties will work in your area?
- Is the land good for an orchard?
- Is the land good in ALL 4 seasons–check and see
- Are you okay with learning on the job and accepting failures?
- Are you patient enough to wait YEARS for really seeing ANY results?
- In-between your trees you can fill-in with berry bushes (in case you think you’re out of room to add to your property’s permafood
I’m running out of space at our house for planting fruit trees.
With the wife out of town, I planted a Valentine’s gift for her: a pomegranate tree for her…and as she loves berries, I planted six berry plants.
So with the new tree addition, I decided to fill-in with fruit bushes BETWEEN the trees and fill-in. Since trees grow up and out, there is space down low. Hence, berry bushes. I planted two blueberry, two blackberry and two raspberry bushes, all in-between fruit trees. The result is now I can focus on the next level of permafood, the fill-in level. Maybe you have space in your yard where you didn’t realize it. Look for gaps between trees and fill in with bushes and berries. I think you’ll like the creative use of space and the way it looks.
Let me know how it’s going for you, and tell us here at hd. Keep planting and keep improving and keep prepping.
Today’s show is the story of the Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono, on audio, read by myself. Make a copy to listen to on a drive…
But when you have a moment, watch the film version and enjoy.
Today’s show is about a brighter tomorrow.
I wish you peace.
Today I discuss the twelve essential questions of people considering a homesteading lifestyle. This survey will save you time and suffering and help you determine if homesteading is right for you.
For those of you new to homesteading, new to my site, or just interested in what it takes to be a homesteader, before you start, ask yourself a few questions. Those questions will go a long way to determining if you’re homesteading material or simply passing through a phase.
Answer these questions to help you determine if homesteading is right for you:
In my podcast, you’ll hear the WHOLE story behind these questions. Be sure to listen to see the big picture.
- What does homesteading mean to you?
- Full-time or Part-time?
- Where do you plan on living? Land? Can it produce? Urban homesteading?
- Do you have the resources to do it?
- Community/social life?
- How is your health?
- How hard do you like to work?
- Can you forego some luxuries?
- What’s your experience level?
Expect a bad year for food prices in 2013
Categories: horticulture Tags:
It’s been about a hundred days since I last talked to you…
- Since then, the government spent an additional 300 billion dollars (conservatively) with no end in sight.
- They broke all the laws in passing the Obamacare plan into law, and the Supreme Court let them get away with it.
- Unemployment is much worse than the 8.2 % they say it is in Washington (It’s more like 12 percent and even that is probably low)
- Every month, the government is taking more freedoms away from me.
- Sixty years ago, the government worked for us; today, we work for the government (IRS)
- I hope you realize that 16 TRILLION dollars is impossible to pay back.
- Worse, with spending full steam ahead, the government has NO intention of paying it back.
- By the way, there are more than 100 cities in the US that are deeply in debt and in danger of default/bankruptcy.
- What are you going to do about it?
- I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it: I’m getting prepared for the collapse.
- Since the last time I talked with you, I’ve bought silver, stocked up (more) on my food supply, kept my big garden up, put in a giant propane gas tank for heating (I don’t need electricity to run it), and added more fruit trees and berry bushes. We had a warm spell in March that brought out the blossoms too early. A subsequent frost hurt this year’s crop. I will still be able to get apples and pears in the fall. Even with planting, you MUST DIVERSIFY.
- I tell my children all the time: “Who can you trust?”
- The answer : no one.
- I live about 23 miles south of Pittsburgh. They (the city) cut 272 teachers and are shutting down schools. Why? People with money and brains are moving out of the cities. That’s NOT a new trend. Are you moving in the right direction?
- So, my advice to you is to prepare for the fall.
- Get out of the cities. Move out. WAY OUT.
- Stockpile food–at least a six-month supply of food. Go to Costco, Sam’s Club, Aldi’s or any place that sells food on the cheap. They sell in bulk, and you should buy products there that will last for years.
- Have cash on-hand–Emergencies happen. Save coins. They will be worth more than paper and some are still mixed with silver or are are copper. If you owed me ten dollars, do you think I’d want it in paper or coins? You’d better believe I’d want coins.
- Coins are also a good medium of exchange for bartering. Silver purifies water. Copper has many uses, as does nickel. Did you know it costs the government more money to make a penny than it’s worth? The same is true for a nickel. Guess what? I save pennies and nickels.
- I get a lot of mail from people who sell silver, gold, and bulk food. One representative told me they’re SIX WEEKS BEHIND in production. They simply can’t keep up.
- That tells me that people are seeing the light…that we aren’t crazy…and there’s a silent majority of us out there that see the handwriting on the wall, no matter how much the news media wants to ignore the truth.
- Last but not least, the ultimate survival tool is God. You know him?
There are some amazing categories of apples out there. Today’s episode discusses some of the most prominent ones.
Additionally, I discuss vanishing heirloom apple varieties and the seed exchange which is dedicated to the preservation of these vanishing heirloom varieties.
This book review pays homage to old-school prepping, homesteading and survival. All three of those components can be found within the pages of this book.
You see, Eliot was a northeastern yankee who moved to Georgia to teach English. Thinking he knew it all, he soon realized there was a lot to learn about the south and the people around him. He became interested in tho old ways and traditions of Appalachia and began to write down what he saw and learned. The Foxfire book is the culmination of his years of research and study. It’s a prepper’s guide and how-to book all-in-one.
Some of the wonderful skills recorded and discussed in his book are:
- wood: types and identification of
- tools and skills:
- building a log cabin
- chimney building
- White Oak splits
- making chairs
- rope, straw and feathers (sleeping)
- quilt making
- mountain recipes
- preserving vegetables
- preserving fruit
- churning your own butter
- slaughtering hogs
- curing and smoking a hog
- weather signs: how to read the weather
- planting by the signs
- home remedies
- dressing and cooking wild game
- hunting lore
- snake stories
- moonshine as an art form
- faith healing
- and many others revolving around personalities more than specific skills
Mother Earth News is on her game with several articles on environmentally friendly products:
The best eco-friendly cars
Solar food dehydrating systems
Sustainable wood for heating
net zero energy home
Don’t Fear Eating Your Own Food. We are so programmed buying food from other sources that we become fearful of eating food NOT bought in a store. It’s crazy but nonetheless true for many of us who’ve been brainwashed by modern society to think homemade is inferior or even dangerous.
Your food is SAFER than what’s in the grocery store. Did YOU put chemicals and pesticides in your food? Of course not.
Did the grocery store? Yes they did!
Further, you know who picked your food. Have you heard the horror stories about people passing on hepatitis through green onions, lettuces and tomatoes?
Guys, don’t you REALIZE how much safer your food is you grow for yourself? Get over the hang-ups and eat your delicious food!
Today is a video podcast. I walk around the house and point out the major upgrade in the front little “secret garden” area. I added irrigation, flowers, bushes, structure, and heaven knows what else.
Sorry, folks, there’s a problem with the YouTube Embedding today. Please click on the links, instead.
I can think of dozens of healing herbs you’d want in your garden, but I’ll start with six or seven for starters. You need to plant herbs that heal if you believe in herbals healing properties. I do. I believe nature hold the key if we take the time to listen, but taking a pill is so much easier than making better choices and letting nature do its thing.
DISCLAIMER–this is general information for entertainment purposes only. See your doctor for all ailments, etc. Only a nutjob would take medical advice from a total stranger over the internet!!!
The seven I have chosen are:
1. Aloe–for burns. Works on sunburn, too. Apply to wound. Topical treatment only.
2. St John’s Wort- people with depression swear by it. I am blessed not to be affected by depression, but I add a little to an iced tea on a summer’s day to relax.
3. Valerian- for relaxation and sleep. I usually pair with a little melatonin and sleep is easier to attain. I also pop a few when I’m around very stressful people. People who talk nonstop and talk “at” you rather than having a discussion “with” you really make me anxious. When I know I’ll be around these types, I take a few valerian to dull the anxiety pain.
4. Peppermint–the ultimate digestive soother. A great add-in for iced teas, and as a garnish for deserts. Good in mixed drinks, but I don’t really go there, so…
5. Echinacea–good for colds and sore throats. Start taking at the first sign of trouble and maybe, just maybe, the cold will quit on you. More likely, your cold may be a little less severe.
6. Eucalyptus–penetrates mucous. Great for allergy/sinus issues. Can be used in a tea or I occasionally put a drop of essential oil under each nostril when my nose is clogged, allergically aroused, or simply sore.
7. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. Consider using it for aches, pains and soreness as well as minor swelling…AFTER you’ve seen a doctor!
In my study of fruit trees, I have come across many articles from the University of California that have been incredibly helpful and interesting. On this subject, as I perused the material they present on pruning overgrown trees, I was SHOCKED. Perhaps it is a matter-of-fact discussion of the subject, but they begin their discussion of pruning by asking the reader if it’s even worth the effort. They ask if you like the fruit to begin with and allude to the fact that many dwarf-sized trees are on the market that might be a better fit for your lifestyle.
So I should consider cutting down a healthy, mature fruit tree that is bearing tons of fruit BECAUSE they think a dwarf would be less work? Interesting.\They try to sell you on a different species of fruit tree and suggest that maybe a shade tree would be better than a fruit tree in the end.
WHAT? I think an ag school should be ENCOURAGING the preservation of fruit trees and encourage home production. All I can say is: the beginning of the pruning article put me into shock.
After coming to and continuing on in the article, the author reluctantly tells you how to prune an overgrown tree. They list three basic methods to keep in mind:
- Try to maintain tree height and make mostly “thinning” cuts to thin out the branches and reduce the weight of fruit on them.
- Reduce tree height slowly over a 3-year period–don’t perform a radical surgery that kills the patient.
- Drastically cut back all main branches but one.
- When you need to cut large branches, wait ’til early April so wounds will close more rapidly, as opposed to when the tree is dormant.
- Don’t paint the wounds with any kind of sealant.
- Cut back to the branch of origin or to the point the branch is 50 percent larger than the branch being cut.
- Paint the tree and wounds with whitewash to protect from the hot afternoon sun.
Method 1 in greater detail:
- Use if tree is structurally sound and small enough that you can manage with a ladder. Neglected trees need many high branches removed.
- Start with dead, broken, diseased, or damaged limbs
- Cut all branches that rub or cross each other.
- Cut all branches growing inward
- Thin the remaining branches so that light at the top can penetrate the lower branches
- Cut any branches above the height you can pick
- Tree will produce new shoots at the top each year that must be removed.
- Reduce the tree to a manageable level over a 3-year period.
- Figure the max height of tree you can pick to, and reduce the excess height by a third over three year period.
- Major cuts during the growing season are okay, but do them in early spring at the latest to reduce disease,etc.
- Don’t prune in the summer
Method 3:Drastically Cut Back All Back all Branches But One
- This is an intense method.
- Not all fruit trees will resprout in the same year.
- Apples and Pears fare the best.
- Not recommended for cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines…they may not be able to sprout through the thick bark.
- You cut back to one main branch in the 6-8 foot range.
- If none exist, use one of the other methods
- Cut back to desired height.
- Save and cut back lateral branches
- these lateral branches will form the framework for the smaller tree.
- Prune in early April and no later.
- Paint all branches with whitewash/treewhite (50 % latex/50% h20 mixture)
- Leave on main or a large side branch alone so it can absorb the growth and produces leave and photosynthesis
Source: Univ of California Ag & Natural Sciences
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Fruit Trees. In one place. Now. Wow.
Today’s show notes are in the forum
Compost is an absolute miracle of nature. It feeds plants without reliance on petrochemicals (oil). It’s natural and a HECK of a lot better for the environment than chemical fertilizers.
Some of its benefits:
- Save water by helping soil retain moisture and reduce runoff
- moderates soil temperature
- protects plants from freezes and drought
- controls soil erosion
- weed block
- maintains ph balance
- attracts earthworms and good bugs
- lightens clay soils
- encourages healthy root growth
- recycles otherwise wasted organic matter
- reduces landfill waste
- adds nutrients and is a natural fertilizer
- increases organic soil volume
- holds water
- too many other to mention them all
Thanks to: University of California Div of Agriculture
It’s the first of March. One-sixth of the year has gone. Are you on schedule? Only ten months left in the year. You’re either getting closer to your goals or falling farther behind.
If you need a kick in the butt to get yourself motivated…consider yourself notified.
Put together you plans of attack:
- Do your post-winter home assessment. What do you need to fix/repair before next winter.
- Do a spring home assessment. List all internal home projects you need to do. Then list all external projects you need to work on. Order SEEDS! Order TREES! Check gutters, shingles, roof, windows, basement, ac. Start your seeds NOW!!! Work on the gas grill and your outdoor entertainment furniture, etc.
- Make a summer list of projects. Prioritize them from most important to least.
- Coordinate with your spouse/family. Group projects are wonderful for a marriage. Everybody: COMPROMISE!!! Plant flowers for your wife. Give your husband space for his fruit trees/garden. It is a real pick-me-up for a marriage to support and feel supported. My wife LOVES when I dig and plant things for her. And when momma’s happy, EVERYBODY is happy!
There are many things I didn’t mention. Mention them to your spouse. Make a plan. attack.
Two months in 2012 are gone.
The clock is ticking.
Today I clean-up on some articles I published/linked to over the last several days. I just annotate/discuss them a little and add a funny observation about life to round-out today’s podcast.
My Pearl of Wisdom for the Week:
Mainstream Media is just like junior high school:
People who are different are picked-on and ridiculed because they do not conform to what the “cool” kids (mainstream media) consider “normal”
Only people who have a “cool pass” from the bullies (mainstream media) get to be different. Lesbian Wiccan vampires who crochet are okay (in the mainstream) but people who are preppers who are concerned about emergency preparedness and taking care of their families–we’re the fringe. What the
*(&^@#? And to be clear: I’m not attacking Lesbian Wiccan vampires who crochet–I’m just making the point that mainstream media will champion the cause of the strangest, mostobscure groups and attack regular people. GEESH!
The people who were cool in junior high school turned out to be losers/non-factors in high school/ life…MEANING that I cared about the cool bullies for a bout a second in junior high, and I cared about mainstream media and their opinions for about the same length of time. Yeah, the mainstream clowns are irrelevant…and they’re not cool.
- With mortgage rates at record lows, it’s time to refi: see the related article below
- I cover what veggies work well in the shade: again, see its companion article below
- And, finally, I cover the lawn and garden yearly maintenance calendar…and again, see the related article below.
Thanks for listening.
“I’ve been homesteading for 50 years now, so i think I can give you new ones a few pointers.
I live on 3 acres now, and I wish I had more. When I look at the prices then, I could kick myself for not getting more, a lot more. So if any of you have an opportunity to get more land NOW…go for it! If you live in plans in the suburbs or in the city and you don’t have much elbow room AND you always wanted to live out in the country…go for it! A decision I made about 5 years ago was that I was going to be self-sufficient–totally. I have achieved that goal.
The first thing I would suggest to ALL homesteaders is to have AT LEAST one year’s supply of food and essential items–in addition to what you grow or produce. This is absolutely number one. I’ve got my food supplies from stores like Wal-mart, Costco, Aldi’s and sales from the big gracery stores. We are living in very unusual times. Just like land, when it comes to food, you can never have enough.
As I told my son the other day, I don’t worry about power outages for 3 days or more–I don’t go rushing to the stores to stock-up. I have everything I need. The next thing is electrical power. I can live without it. But I also have a 600 watt emergency generator if I need it. I cook on propane. I have a propane heater that doesn’t need electricity, I have a food stove, two fireplaces a half-dozen cords of wood and so on. I have a whole mess of flashlights and a great number of candles–most I get free from my church when they throw out the stubs from the altar. What do you have?
As to my garden and fruit trees, I will be cutting down shade trees to give the fruit trees the elbow room PLUS I’ll be putting in some new fruit trees–probably apple and pear.The garden I’ll try to get to early to keep the weeds out. I had 250 tomato plants and pepper plants last year. My excess I give away. I always have a waiting list.
You people who don’t have too much space–I had 30 tomato plants on my back porch in thrown-out plastic flower pots. They turned-out ok.
I also have blackberry and raspberry plants that produce and take up little space.
It will be spring soon. Order those fruit trees and get that garden going.
I am a veteran. I love my country. I’ve been all over the world. There are some crazy things that are coming out of Washington. Get to be self-sufficient”
I’m working on a raised vegetable bed in a shaded corner of my lot. It’s behind the heat pumps and is dead space without any use. I’ll be showing the videos of constructing an attractive planter with some 2×8 planks and decorative block. Its dimensions ar 10ft long by approx 8 ft wide. It’s going to have a great deal of shade, so I’ve been researching some good plants to put back there. Now I’m also going to plant others as well and do a litle research. I want to see if an hour or two of desert sun is enough to grow some of my favorites.
Here are some links to the articles I researched as I plan my garden for the bed:
the article mentions these specifically:
- Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, and cress.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
- Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
Mother Earth News’ article is a bit more comprehensive: READ
and includes this chart
savvygardener.com also has a great article on shade planting and covers non veggies as well.