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Cultivate Simple Podcast
79 minutes | Mar 3, 2014
Cultivate Simple 67: Good Morning and Good Bye
Tips for brewing a great cup of coffee! We roast our own beans, head on over to see the process in this post I wrote a few years ago. Coffee Beans Figure out what kind of coffee you like, do you like dark and chocolatey or bright and acidic. Fine tuning your tastes will help you settle on the best coffee for your palate. Buy beans in small batches or roast your own. Use them up. Don’t let them sit around Store them in an airtight container (don’t put them in the freezer). If you buy a large quantity keep some in a small jar for daily use so that the majority of beans will not be exposed to the air. We store ours in a Le Parfait Glass Jar Buy a good grinder A burr grinder is essential. Uniform size won’t let the water get through the coffee faster than it should. Only grind what you are going to use You can get a really nice hand cranked burr grinder from Red Rooster Trading Company Try different types of coffee makers Espresso Chemex French press Cold brew coffee Vacuum Brewers Moka pots Drip coffee makers Maintain Your Coffee Brewing Device Clean your machine Filtered water Drink after brewing. Don’t brew ten cups of coffee and drink them throughout the day. Better to brew twice and have good coffee all day. Sources for green coffee beans: Sweet Maria’s (this is where we buy our beans) Dean’s Beans Sweet Maria’s article about Getting Started Roasting Coffee at Home. Here’s their article about using a hot air popcorn popper to roast coffee. Finally a link to a great article on the health benefits of coffee. If you really want to use up several hours, visit Coffee Geek or Home Barista and check out the forums. At 10 people, get 12 opinions. Are you a coffee drinker? How do you take yours: cream, sugar, black? Related posts: Cultivate Simple 18: The Family Cow An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a... Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious... Cultivate Simple 24: Say No to GMO This week on Cultivate Simple we talk about random topics...
104 minutes | Feb 24, 2014
Cultivate Simple 66: Here Chook, Chook, Chook
This week on the podcast we talk about chickens, how to care for them and why you should have them. I’ve had lots of requests to talk about keeping a small flock of chickens. Before we moved to Maine I’d been longing to have a flock of my own chickens. I love having animals around, and chickens seemed like a valuable addition to our life. Not only do you get eggs, but you also get manure, insect control and scratching. I think everyone should have chickens or rabbits, they are a great way to increase your food independence and produce some of your own protein as well as valuable fertilizer for your garden. Whenever you can close the loop you’re better off and you’ll have great, healthy food for your table. Considerations: How much time to they take? Chickens really don’t take that much time each day, especially if you’re feeding chicken feed. I mix and ferment my own chicken feed and it takes me about 10 min per day preparing their feed and gathering eggs. Since I practice the deep litter method I only clean the coop once or twice a year, usually in spring and sometimes in the fall if I need fertilizer. How much do they cost? That depends entirely on what kind of chickens you get and what you decide to feed them. Mine are very inexpensive to keep around because I buy grain from local farms and mix my own feed. Even if you’re buying organic feed you will still come out ahead if you’re buying organic, free range eggs. Keep in mind that you’re also getting fertilizer and insect control from your chickens. What are their requirements? Chickens really need very little. A place out of the elements, with shade from the sun, protection from the wind and rain. They will also need protected from predation. Most important thing is protection from predators. These depend on where you live. This also depends on your flock, how you want to manage them. Do you want to risk losses for free ranging? Where do I start? Look for a spot in your yard where they can reside. Somewhere convenient to your house is best since you’ll be heading out every day. Decide if you want them to free range around your yard or be contained to a specific area. They will scratch in your flowerbeds and eat your plant, especially your garden plants. Do they smell? No – a properly managed chicken yard doesn’t smell – I recommend the deep litter method. So far there have been no smells in my chicken coop. Just keep adding litter. The same thing can be done in their run. What kind of coop do I need? It depends on how many chickens you’re going to have and how much time they will spend in their coop. Also consider the size of the run if you have it. Consider building the coop above with a run area below. This will keep it dry and give them an area to get out of the rain/weather. Chickens don’t care what their coop looks like, they’re happy as long as it’s dry and draft free. Biggest consideration is ventilation to keep the humidity down. I have a board on Pinterest full of coop ideas and other chicken information. What breed of chicken do I get? Find a local breeder or find someone who has barnyard mix – the “mutt” of the chicken world. If you live in the South you want a heat tolerant breed and if you live in the North a cold tolerant breed is best. This is why it’s a good idea to get them from a local breeder/farmer. You know their chickens will do well in your area. Don’t trust chickens from Craigslist, most of the time they’re not the greatest and can be diseased. You want chickens from a reputable place. What about diseases? A well managed flock won’t really have issues with diseases. The deep litter method also helps with this. As with anything, making sure you’re feeding them well so they’re healthy is your best way of controlling diseases. What else should I consider? How you will manage your flock. Willl you make them your pets or are you going to take a hands off approach. Consider that you will have to deal with death and possible have to put down a chicken in case of injury or illness. What do I feed them? you can go with chicken feed, but you’re probably better off mixing your own feed. If you’re on the fence, do it. I really don’t think you’ll regret it, you’re more likely going to wish you had done it sooner. Think about maybe sharing a flock with a friend or neighbor, split costs and work. Then you have someone to watch them while you’re gone. Though many people are more than happy to check in on your chickens in exchange for free eggs. Related posts: Cultivate Simple 26: Plowing with Pigs with Hank Will A note from Mr. Chiots – We had some problems... Cultivate Simple 29: Stew 1.0 An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a... Cultivate Simple 48: Building Community On this weeks episode we celebrate one year of podcasting...
65 minutes | Feb 10, 2014
Cultivate Simple 65: 5×5 Challenge
This week on the podcast we talk about the 5×5 Challenge and why you should join in. If you are new gardener, joining the challenge is a great way to get your hands dirty! For the experienced gardeners, the 5×5 challenge offers a good structure to mentor a new gardener. Check out the 5×5 Challenge Posts from last year’s challenge. Books of the Week Related posts: Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious... Cultivate Simple 26: Plowing with Pigs with Hank Will A note from Mr. Chiots – We had some problems... Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a...
52 minutes | Feb 3, 2014
Cultivate Simple 64: We’re Having A Party
An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode and today we are talking parties! Books of the Week What theme have you used for a party Related posts: Cultivate Simple 28: Our Menagerie Today on Cultivate Simple we’re talking about what’s going on... Cultivate Simple 31: Five Things Today we discuss the 5 things that would we like... Cultivate Simple 36: MicroBusiness First of all we want to apologize for the audio...
64 minutes | Jan 27, 2014
Cultivate Simple 63: Stew 6.0
This week it’s a Stew episode so you never know what you will find. First we discuss Home Improvement and share some tips that we have learned (most the hard way). Then we discuss our process for making big decisions in our life. We have a doozy of a decision coming up so we have […] No related posts.
90 minutes | Jan 20, 2014
Cultivate Simple 62: Guilty Pleasures
Finding a balance can be tough nowadays, we’re constantly bombarded with information and advertising a lot of which is not true. Also, people are very polarized. You have to be 100% in or out about absolutely everything. You can always find a blog, website, podcast, or person that will reinforce your position. Identifying with one ‘thing’ can also be dangerous because it can become an obsession. Our society is also flash in the pan, things change rapidly so there’s always something new and exciting to do/see/buy. Today we talk about having a balance in your life and come of the things we do that don’t necessarily fit into the ideal of ‘simple living’. Brian’s Geeky Corner Use shortcut keys for performing various tasks within programs to save time. You can also use a program to assign shortcut keys for common tasks. Books of the Week No related posts.
91 minutes | Jan 13, 2014
Cultivate Simple 61: Fermenting for the Flock
In this week’s episode we discuss fermenting your own feed for your chickens and other animals. Why should you consider fermenting chicken feed? it increased availability of nutrients for the chickens it actually increases the amount of vitamins in the feed and produces new vitamins makes the food easier to digest because it’s soaked and soft provided beneficial probiotics to help chickens absorb more nutrients from their feed and keeps them healthier decreases risk of diseases like salmonella and healthier digestive tracks decreases the amount of feed chickens are consuming and they produce less waste makes poop small and less stinky (I know amazing). egg yolks are bigger and shells are stronger. your chickens will be healthier and happier! Here’s a post from Scratch Cradle with all the scientific studies linked – etc. In fermented feed phosphorus levels are increased and sugar level decrease, fermenting the feed also increases protein content in the feed by about 3%. There have been studies to show that hens fed fermented fed develop more villi in their intestines and thus absorb more nutrients from their feed making them more efficient at feed conversion. Books of the Week Related posts: Cultivate Simple 53: Reading is FUN On this weeks episode talk about some of the books... Cultivate Simple 20: Sugar Me Maple Topic: Maple Sugaring Maple sugaring is fun – everyone should... Cultivate Simple 24: Say No to GMO This week on Cultivate Simple we talk about random topics...
76 minutes | Jan 6, 2014
Cultivate Simple 60: Seeds of Change
On this week’s podcast we discuss buying seeds for your garden. The seed catalogs have arrived and it is time to think about planting even though you may be buried in snow. Thanks for the support Misti from Wildscape Photo and Samantha. Also a big thanks to Melanie from CA for the lovely food care […] No related posts.
77 minutes | Dec 30, 2013
Cultivate Simple 59: New Goals for the New Year
Today on the show we discuss our process for setting goals and achieving them. Here are some tips we discuss on the show: Be realistic, but don’t be afraid to dream, just be able to put goals on the back burner Break a task down into manageable pieces. Figure out what you’re going to have […] Related posts: Cultivate Simple 13: More Better Toast Calendar Winner: Debbie B Geeky Corner with Brian Backblaze Online... Cultivate Simple 16: Ready, Set, Grow An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a... Cultivate Simple 30: Everybody to the Limit An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a...
83 minutes | Dec 23, 2013
Cultivate Simple 58: Preparing for the Worst
With a half of an inch of ice on the ground and more to come, we discuss being prepared for power outages and natural disasters. South River Miso a great source for naturally fermented miso and tamari. The Basics – Prepare for the basic essential needs first: warmth and water – If you live in a cold climate you need to have an alternate source of heat, at it’s most basic a small propane heater works well. – An oil lamp works well for providing light for a room, it works much better than flashlights Power – Batteries (if rechargeables make sure they are all topped off, including cell phones) – Have a GOOD flashlight – Inverter to power appliances from your car (less expensive but your car is not ‘built’ for this) – Generator (more expensive but made for the job) – A generator is only as good as the supply of fuel you have – Turn off all your stuff so when the power comes back on it doesn’t overwhelm the grid Steve Harris’s Website has lots of good information on power. Food – Cook a pot of soup the night before, it’s easier to heat up one pot of already prepared food than try to cook without power, if the power doesn’t go out you have food for the next day – Always have a weeks worth of food on hand – Canned food is good, raw ingredients are better – You need a way to cook it. If you don’t have a gas stove that will run without power, make alternate plans (grill, coleman stove, cook over fire) – If there is an extended power outage, eat perishable food first – Freeze gallon jugs of water in your freezer (thermal mass) Water – Do you have a well or city water – Gather water in containers for drinking and cooking – Having a Berkey water filter will save you from having to boil – Fill the bathtub with water for washing and flushing (tub bladder) – Your hot water tank is an often overlooked source of water Supplies – Have some cash on hand – First Aid Supplies – Sanitary supplies – Extra items above can be used for trade/barter in extended outages Security – People are stupid and stupid people do stupid things when society breaks down Entertainment – Have things to do without power/electric: knitting, crocheting, reading, puzzles, games, etc – Movies on laptop Book of the Week What is the longest stretch you have been without power? Related posts: Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious... Cultivate Simple 26: Plowing with Pigs with Hank Will A note from Mr. Chiots – We had some problems... Cultivate Simple 29: Stew 1.0 An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a...
83 minutes | Dec 16, 2013
Cultivate Simple 57: Saving Time in the Kitchen
MINIMIZE kitchen stuff. It’s much more efficient to work in a space that is clutter free. You don’t need more than one set of measuring cups or spoon, rinse out after use and put back. Invest in a few quality items that will make cooking easier and much more enjoyable. It’s also easier to maintain such items. Good quality pots are easier to clean than cheap ones. Don’t fall for the lies, you don’t need 2 vegetables, a fruit, a grain and meat for a meal. sometimes one pot meals are easiest and healthiest! When making biscuits, don’t roll out and cut in circles, pat into a big circle on the cookie sheet (or big cast iron pan) and cut like a pizza, or roll into balls and fit into a cast iron skillet for baking. While you’re waiting for one thing to cook, start something else. One day this past week I was baking something and decided I may as well cut and cook up onions for breakfasts while I was working. Boiling a big pot of potatoes once a week is also a great idea, then you at least always have potatoes for a quick meal or to use for breakfasts. Learn to make a few recipes that can be easily adapted to ingredients. Master the art of making Crepes: they’re so easy and can be used for main dishes when stuffed with savory ingredients or with sweet ones like fruit and whipped cream as a healthy snack. Omelets: are also a good thing to master, they can be enjoyed for breakfast and dinner and can be stuffed with all the little bits of leftovers that aren’t enough for a meal. Soup: is one of the best recipes to learn how to make. Hash: throw everything in a skillet with different herbs. One of the keys for this to work is to learn which herbs/spices pair best with different vegetable & meats.Double or triple every recipe, especially if it’s soup. Freeze them in meal sized containers and you can pull them out of the fridge in the morning before you go to work for dinner that evening. This goes for cookies and stuff as well, double the recipe and freeze half. Or if you don’t want to eat an entire batch of cookies, freeze the cookies already cooked or the cookie dough. Cook up a few staples at the beginning of the week. Onions are always good to have in the fridge so you can make quick omelets. I like to cook extra potatoes to keep them on hand. You can use them for hash brown for breakfast or as a dinner side. Mashed potatoes can also be made quite easily if needed as a quick side. Learn to be creative with leftovers and learn to be creative with ingredients. Make a pot of chili, eat chili on night, skip a night then the third night eat chili over baked potatoes with cheese on top. You could also make chili lasagna and throw it in the freezer if you want a third meal option. Wash dishes as you go when you have bits of time, by the time you’re done with dinner, all the prep dishes will be washed. Maintain a well stocked pantry, have ingredients on hand all the time for quick meals. Have a few meals that are quick and easy in your repertoire and keep those in mind for busy days. I keep a few jars of home canned tomato soup on hand for such days. Having a well stocked pantry will also mean that you’ll have ingredients on hand when you’re cooking. Maintain a pantry based on your need, not what others say you should have. Book of the Week No related posts.
59 minutes | Dec 9, 2013
Cultivate Simple 56: Stew 5.0
Cultivate Simple, a podcast where we discuss trying to live a more simple, mindful life! This week we talk about our vacation and the things we did. It’s a stew episode so there is a bit of everything mixed in. Books of the Week No related posts.
77 minutes | Nov 25, 2013
Cultivate Simple 55: Piles of Pork
In this weeks episode we discuss butchering our pork. We get into the supplies that you should buy and our suggestions for easier and more efficient processing. The first time you do something is always the hardest. Books of the Week: No related posts.
77 minutes | Nov 18, 2013
Cultivate Simple 54: Think Before You Eat
Today we slaughtered our pigs. This event led to a discussion about our food, where it comes from, and what is involved in it finding its way to our table. We continue this conversation in the podcast. I made a batch of these sourdough crackers to snack on during slaughter day and they were fantastic. This picture perfectly portrays the somber nature of our day yesterday. My friend Sierra from Picturing the Ordinary posted this yesterday: words from a speech Theodore Roosevelt delivered in 1910: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….” Books of the Week Related posts: Cultivate Simple 7: Going Local Sourcing food and products from local producers is good for... Cultivate Simple 51: Get a Job In this episode we discuss jobs, the jobs we had... Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a...
77 minutes | Nov 11, 2013
Cultivate Simple 53: Reading is FUN
On this weeks episode talk about some of the books we love to read and listen to. We also answer some questions from last weeks podcast. If you add any of these books to your personal library, be sure to use our Amazon Affiliate Link. It doesn’t cost you anything but put a bit of […] Related posts: Cultivate Simple 61: Fermenting for the Flock In this week’s episode we discuss fermenting your own feed... Cultivate Simple 20: Sugar Me Maple Topic: Maple Sugaring Maple sugaring is fun – everyone should... Cultivate Simple 24: Say No to GMO This week on Cultivate Simple we talk about random topics...
101 minutes | Nov 4, 2013
Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings
On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a budget and living by it. Budgets help keep us in line and help give us a baseline as to where we can spend our money. It’s like having a map of where you’re going. Without a budget, you’re spending blind and you might be spending […] Related posts: Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious... Cultivate Simple 24: Say No to GMO This week on Cultivate Simple we talk about random topics... Cultivate Simple 27: Pondering Ponds Today on Cultivate Simple we’re talking about ponds. We went...
89 minutes | Oct 28, 2013
Cultivate Simple 51: Get a Job
In this episode we discuss jobs, the jobs we had as kids, the jobs we did in college, the jobs we have done in our adult lives. One of our favorite recipes is Ginger Beef Stir Fry, you can use any vegetables you have on hand and make it seasonal. Related posts: Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious... Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a... Cultivate Simple 49: The Year in Review It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we’ve...
110 minutes | Oct 21, 2013
Cultivate Simple 50: Simple Holidays
In this episode we discuss ways to make your holiday celebrations simpler and more enjoyable. Around the Run Brian got new welder, well a used one. Welding was one of his five picks in our episode about Five Things we wanted to learn to do. If you haven’t listened to that episode, check out Cultivate Simple 31: Five Things I made this quilt for my dad made of old jeans, old flannel sheets and his boy scout patches. I also made my nephew a super hero cape, see this post to see his super awesome reversible cape. Books of the Week Brian’s Picks Susy’s Picks What’s the best simple holiday celebration you’ve been a part of? Have you received a meaning, simple gift that you loved? No related posts.
98 minutes | Oct 14, 2013
Cultivate Simple 49: The Year in Review
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we’ve started Cultivate Simple. Tonight we look at our first year in Maine and discuss some of our plans for the future. If you need some good viewing, check out Sean’s Allotment Garden. Brian’s Geeky Corner There are forums to fix just about anything. Brian has […] Related posts: Cultivate Simple 26: Plowing with Pigs with Hank Will A note from Mr. Chiots – We had some problems... Cultivate Simple 31: Five Things Today we discuss the 5 things that would we like... Cultivate Simple 48: Building Community On this weeks episode we celebrate one year of podcasting...
102 minutes | Oct 7, 2013
Cultivate Simple 48: Building Community
On this weeks episode we celebrate one year of podcasting by talking about building community. Retail Me Not – great place to find coupons for things, particularly large companies. My favorite accounting software is AccountEdge (formerly Mind Your Own Business). I’ve been using it for years for our personal and business needs. Jeannette asked about which loaf pans I used, you can guess that they’re cast iron. They’re made by Lodge so they’re made in the USA. I love them for yeast or quick breads. I even bake chocolate cakes in them. Lodge Cast Iron Loaf Pan Building Community Get involved Support a farmers market Get to know your neighbors, organize things like community events, neighborhood yard sales, etc Whenever you see a garage/yard sale stop and talk to your neighbors Get outside, sometimes all it takes is getting outside for people to see you and get to know, walk around your neighborhood Attend community events, volunteer to help is possible Develop patterns. Always patronize the same post office, businesses, etc. Take a few extra minutes to get to know those people at those locations, use your local library If you like sports attend local sporting events Read a lot and educate yourself on a variety of different topics so you have conversation starters and fodder for when you meet people Volunteer locally if you can Find a local church if you’re religious, if you’re involved in the local church try to encourage them to have events that benefit the local community Join local clubs, visit your local library Start clubs or events if there aren’t any, book club, coffee klatch, etc. Books of the Week Related posts: Cultivate Simple 26: Plowing with Pigs with Hank Will A note from Mr. Chiots – We had some problems... Cultivate Simple 29: Stew 1.0 An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a... Cultivate Simple 52: Budget and Savings On this weeks episode we discuss coming up with a...
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