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The Prepared Homestead
37 minutes | 4 years ago
Podcast Episode 125 – Blake Akers – Agritrue
On today’s program we interview Blake Akers, one of the partners, designers and promoters of Agritrue, which is a private alternative food Certification to USDA Organic Certification. Blake explains what Agritrue is and what it is trying to accomplish. Agritrue is a community policed, beyond organic food certification and labeling program. He talks about the problems with USDA Organic Certification and gives us the requirements and principles to follow when seeking Agritrue Certification. This was a really interesting interview, check it out! One of Blake’s latest projects Blake’s web development company Blake is an Air Force Veteran who worked in radio frequency communications. He has spent the last 14 years working in information technology. He holds four college degrees including an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and an MBA. Blake lives in Alabama with his wife and son.
36 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 124 – What is the Prepared Homestead?
On today’s program, Monica and I discuss the purpose of The Prepared Homestead. We talk about several aspects of our operation and what they mean. We discuss what preparedness means and our approach to the concept. We talk about what it means to homestead. A lot of these terms have a wide array of meaning depending on the approach. We feel that homesteading means you are actively working on some level of self-sufficiency and production from your land. It doesn’t mean a certain percentage level you are achieving but more of a mindset or a way of thinking. Community interdependence is a healthy concept and we promote and recommend this be developed. At the same time, community interdependence implies a certain level of independence or self-sufficiency. The two are not mutually exclusive or contradictory. In fact they work together synergistically. Ultimately, we do what we do so that people can experience and embrace liberty and freedom. We seek to counter the steady march or statism through dependency.
41 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 123 – Growing Food Simply
On today’s podcast Monica and I discuss some considerations for growing food without getting complicated or spending a lot of time working on the property. Set good goals – most people either don’t set goals at all or they say say, “I want to live off the land.” That’s a dream or a vision without a plan. Grow things you use in everyday cooking – it does no good to grow crops you won’t end up using. The analogy here is the preparedness minded person who stores wheat berries, rice and beans but doesn’t know how to cook with them. It’s also ok to expand your palate as long as you actually use the crops. For example, there are many benefits to eating kale. If your family doesn’t currently eat it, try it out (buy some from the store) and see if they like it. Grow for your site and season – you can work around our site and the season to some degree but keep the bulk of your crops within the “boundaries.” Grow cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach and kale should be grown in cool weather and warm weather crops like tomatoes and peppers in summer. Grow crops that are shelf stable – crops like squash, potatoes and beets store, if done properly, very well. This is a key point if your goal is to subsist, to any degree, year round. Plan for food preservation – if you grow a ton of tomatoes and plan on preserving them think it through. Drying? Canning? How many jars will you need? What size? Meat, milk and eggs – for most people, this needs to be a part of the equation. This is entirely possible, even on small properties. Having a small flock of chickens or ducks for laying eggs is very easy and can provide a substantial amount of calories toward a subsistence goal. Raising some of your own meat is not hard and very rewarding!
24 minutes | 4 years ago
Episode 122 – Prepping Your Garden for Spring
One of the main activities we’ve been engaged in on the homestead is getting our gardens ready for winter, and prepped for an even more productive spring. One thing to keep in mind when prepping your gardens for winter and spring – it’s all about your soil. Keep these in mind: Feed your soil, not your plants. Fertilizer tea and other natural fertilizers work best since they act slower and amend the soil rather than just feed a particular plant. Increase your organic matter through the use of compost (decayed remains and waste products of animals and plants) to increase the availability of the minerals in the soil and create more spaces for air and water. We have three primary gardens and frankly our soil is not so great in two of them. We have made big efforts the last couple of years to increase soil fertility in our food forest and, with the addition of our herb garden this year, we’ve made the same efforts. Like anything natural, amending soil takes time, this is not an overnight fix. Here are our three primary gardens: East Garden – our perennial and annual garden which houses fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, strawberries, and this year, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, carrots, and lettuce. West Garden – our culinary and medicinal herb garden. We are growing a few trees, some bushes, a selection of spring flowers, as well as many perennial herbs (and self-sowing annuals) – chamomile, echinacea, russian sage, lavender, parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon balm, catnip, yarrow, comfrey, and more. Food Forest which is pretty self-explanatory – we are growing many fruit and nut trees, bushes, support species, and, since we are cooperating with succession, some annuals like garlic and flowers to attract pollinators Remember, our focus was soil, we wanted to do something to increase “life” in our soil, we did this through the use of materials we had on the homestead. We are always looking to create “closed systems” which basically means we aim to use natural and sustainable resources we have on hand instead of bringing products in. We have podcasted and talked about the types of fertilizers we use on our homestead: Comfrey Fertilizer Tea Rabbit Manure Rabbit Manure Tea Compost from the deep bedding removed from the chicken coop last winter These are the fertilizers we poured and added to each of our gardens to help improve the biological activity in the soil. In the Herb garden I was dealing with soil that had very little biological activity and organic matter so our big goal was to increase the organic matter. This spring we had planted a lot of red and white dutch clover which was growing beautifully. Instead of plowing the “green mulch” into the soil I decided to pour our fertilizer tea on top, drop some extra rabbit manure around each plant and top it with 3-4″ of wood chips. This will help the clover break down and become part of the soil composition. I also planted several different bulbs for spring flowering. We are excited to see what spring will bring in the area of soil fertility in the herb garden. In the East Garden we decided to leave the roots of all the plants in place. Chopping the corn stalks gave me great material for decorating my front porch which was an added bonus! After cutting down all the plants we covered the garden beds with some compost from the chicken coop and a couple of inches of wood chips. This garden is the area with the best soil since it had been used as a garden by the previous owner, so it requires less inputs from us at this point. The Food Forest is becoming much more productive. We just finished our second summer with the trees in place and have done our best to utilize the space available right now for annual plantings until the trees canopy out those spots. In August we spent some time “solarizing” two sections of the food forest with the intention of killing the grass and weeds allowing for us to grow some annuals. Though it’s a bit of an experiment we took one of those sides and turned it into a pretty big garlic bed (you can never have enough garlic!) the other side we fertilized and covered in wood chips to prep a little more for spring planting. We spot covered areas with the chicken coop compost, poured rabbit manure tea and placed wood chips around the trees and bushes being careful to leave a little space around the trunks. Winter can be tough for an anxious gardener to endure, it also serves as a reminder for us to slow down and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Many times our spring/summer/early fall are so busy we don’t sit and relax. Winter is that natural break, allowing us to rest (and plan next year’s gardens!)
35 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 121 – Mike Leister – Battery Bank
In today’s podcast we discuss building resiliency with our new battery bank. You can buy it here. We are joined by the innovator and owner of Tactical Woodgas: Mike Leister and go over, setup, employment, capabilities and limitations of TPH Battery Bank. Bottom line: The battery bank brings options and capabilities to the table that increases your emergency preparedness exponentially. It also is great for working in a remote site and even general camping. There are too many capabilities to list here. Listen and enjoy the podcast. The Prepared Homestead is now partnered with Tactical Woodgas to bring you this awesome product. Our standard for promoting products is that we own it, use it, like it and believe in the company that produces it. Buy it here.
41 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 120 – Sun Oven: Solar Cooking and More
On today’s podcast Monica and I interview Paul Munsen, the president of Sun Oven International. We discuss solar cooking as well as some of the great things his company is doing in developing countries. Paul and his Sun Oven are improving the health of indigenous people in developing countries by harnessing the power of the sun instead of burning wood, charcoal, or dung to cook food. From Paul’s website: “The acrid smoke from cooking fires subjects women and their children to levels of smoke that at times are often 100 times above the international safety standards. This results in 3 deaths a minute, totaling over 1.6 million deaths each year.” “The use of SUN OVEN® solar ovens reduces the amount of acrid smoke from cooking fires by up to 70%.” From a preparedness perspective the Sun Oven is extremely valuable. And in this podcast we cover all the great things that the Sun Oven is capable of doing including: cooking, baking, boiling, steaming, purifying water, sterilizing equipment, dehydrating, sprouting, using it as a “wonder box” for heat and cold and much more! We, at The Prepared Homestead own, use, and love our Sun Oven. We are affiliated with Paul and Sun Oven International because we believe it’s the absolute best one out there. Paul has generously offered our listeners a $70 discount on the entire Preparedness & Dehydration Package by using our affiliate link. We will be following our podcast up with a webinar which allows Paul to give a how-to class and answer any questions. If you’d like to register for the free webinar, please contact us and we will make sure you’re on the email invitation once the date is set.
15 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast 119 – 30 Days Off-Grid Cooking & More
On today’s podcast Sean and I discuss my upcoming video series “30 Days Off-Grid Cooking & More.” During this series I will be covering the use of several items we own, use and endorse including our Back Up Battery Bank and All-American Sun Oven. I will be sharing successes, failures, recipes, length of cooking time, and other tips so you can learn along with me. Some days I will be using the items to purify water, dehydrate herbs, vegetables, and fruit, and sterilize equipment for use in a field emergency.
30 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 118 – Homestead Goals
Today’s podcast is up! We recorded on Facebook Live this morning so don’t forget to check that out and subscribe to Live notifications! On today’s podcast Monica and I talk about one of our main homestead goals: By August, 2016 to provide 80% of our caloric needs from our property averaged out over any given week when we are at home. Did we reach this goal? Short answer: no. This podcast is about what went right and what went wrong. We have hit a significant milestone in that we are providing more than 50% of our caloric needs. Why didn’t we reach this goal? Was it because we didn’t work hard enough or did we set an unrealistic goal? Find out on this episode of the podcast! Plant profile: Juglans Nigra (Black Walnut), USDA hardiness zone 4-9. A deciduous tree that has many edible, medicinal and timber uses. Here is a book about Black Walnut for lumber. Verse of the day: Psalm 33:4-5
33 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 117 – 5 Ways to Make Money on the Homestead
Today’s podcast covers the important subject of creating multiple streams of income. We are not focusing on making these things your primary or only source of income, rather we are trying to get you thinking about ways you can add an income to an activity you already do on your homestead/farm to diversify your income streams. We only give five ideas to get you started brainstorming, but there are MANY more out there – 1)Selling eggs – we discuss pricing, reasons it makes sense, and ways to add value 2) Processing wood – do you have a log splitter (or strong teenagers)? This is one way you can easily make a little extra money. Especially as winter looms closer! 3) Poultry & Rabbit Processing – This totally makes sense if you are working toward self-sufficiency, if you’ve invested in a defeatherer why not help pay off the investment and get more proficient at processing by making extra income butchering other people’s birds? 4) Plant propagation and nursery – Starting 20 plants is not much more work than starting 1. If you are interested in starting your own trees, herbs, annuals, or perennials yourself, take advantage of starting extra to turn around and sell for profit. 5) Canned goods – there is a HUGE market out there for cottage foods. Selling fresh berries is a good income, but selling prepared jams and jellies makes even more income. This is an added value product! As always, with all these suggestions you need to know what your particular state and county regulations are. Don’t just stop with these ideas, use them as a jumping off point. We know every person has a different property, different skills, different interests, explore ideas within your world and have fun doing it!
26 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 116 – 3 Excellent Fertilizer Teas
On today’s podcast we look at three fertilizer teas. If you are trying to stay away from chemical fertilizers then this podcast is for you. We talk about comfrey, rabbit manure and vermicompost tea! All of these teas work great. Make sure you either have your own source or get them from a trusted source where you know how they were grown/raised. Comfrey tea (for plants) is simple to make and great as a fertilizer tea. For a very simple start just fill up a container, like a 5 gallon bucket, about 2/3 full with comfrey leaves and add water. Let sit for around three weeks and you are ready to go. Dilute the concentrate with 50% water and you have a great fertilizer to use on your plants. Rabbit manure tea is simple to make and highly beneficial for plants. You can go simple or complex. Start simple. Use a ration of 1 part rabbit manure to 5 parts water, let sit for seven days and it’s ready to use. If you want to speed up the process aerate by stirring a few times a day or adding an aerator. When ready to use, dilute by using one cup of manure tea to one gallon of water. Vermicompost tea (worm castings) is another easy to make fertilizer for plants. Take a couple handfuls of worm castings (poop) and add water. If you stick to the same 1/5 ratio as rabbit manure you will do just fine. Let sit for 1-3 days and it’s ready to use on plants. Again, you can speed up and perhaps, increase the beneficial microorganisms by aerating and/or feeding the solution with a sugary substance like molasses.
23 minutes | 5 years ago
Independence Day! Podcast 115
Remember our founding and what we declared Independence from. Rights are not give us by government but by God. Government is to do nothing but secure those rights. God bless and Happy Independence Day!
27 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 114 – Top 3 Starter Homestead Animals
On today’s podcast mon and I talk about the three best animals to start homesteading with. It doesn’t matter if you are (more…)
36 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 113 – 5 Plants to Grow for Animal Forage
In today’s podcast, Monica and I talk about 5 plants to grow for animal forage. Two main reasons to grow animal forage are (more…)
25 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast 112- 4 Reasons to Grow Hops
http://www.thecourageouslifepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Episode-112-4-Reasons-to-Grow-Hops.m4a In today’s podcast we cover 4 reasons to grow hops. Here’s a great book if you want to get into growing hops. The Hop Grower’s Handbook: The Essential Guide for Sustainable, Small-Scale Production for Home and Market 1. They provide excellent shade at the hottest time of the year. Once established, hops grow around 25′ a year with broad leaves and thick heavy vines. This is an ideal plant for an area that are in need of shade! 2. Hops are a great forage for animals. Our goats rabbits and chickens love to eat the leaves. The fruit has been studied for its effects as alternatives to antibiotics in feedlot cattle diets, impacts on rumen metabolism, animal performance and health. 3. Hops have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Hops have tonic, nervine, diuretic and anodyne properties. Probably the most common use of hops medicinally is for a calming and sleep inducing action. It is not uncommon on The Prepared Homestead to see an infusion from chamomile, lemon balm, mint and hops. Here’s a great book to start with for medicnial herbs: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use 4. Hops are widely used in beer and cider brewing as a stabilizing and flavoring agent. Hops are mainly used to provide bitterness and aroma to beer. Check out our website and consider joining our community membership: www.thepreparedhomestead.org Please take a minute to leave us a review! Sean & Mon
52 minutes | 5 years ago
Podcast Episode 111 – Permaculture Herbs and Guilds
In today’s podcast Monica and I discuss our Medicinal Guild Project as well as our thoughts on Permaculture and the Modern Medical Industry. We encourage everyone to join our TPH community membership for valuable and exclusive content that includes a regular VLOG, courses, PDF downloads, member forum and more. Join Here. Permaculture is a methodology and design science thatis made up of many techniques. It is also very much a way of thinking that is pretty much the opposite of commercial agriculture or even “traditional” gardening. It seeks to reduce inputs and mimic nature as opposed to artificially controlling every aspect of agriculture. We give some thoughts on the subject. Modern medicine is not all bad. Western doctors are the best in the world at patching people up but they are terrible at disease prevention. Somehow we have gotten to a place where doctors treat the symptoms but rarely address the problem. We give a detailed update on our medicinal guild. We talk about element location, preparation, planting and much more. We also discuss some of the uses of goji, calendula, chamomile, and comfrey as an example of some of the plantings in the guild. Join our TPH Community and take a look at our VLOG that shows the early stages of putting in the medicinal guild. Here is a great reference book for putting together guilds: Gaia’s Garden. And here are some links to the medicinal herbs talked about today: Goji Berry, Calendula, Chamomile and Comfrey.
50 minutes | 5 years ago
Kyle Nagy – Orchardist at Sandpoint Orchard
On today’s podcast Monica and I interview Kyle Nagy who is an orchardist at Sandpoint Orchard. This is a great interview packed with a lot of valuable information for the home orchardist. This applies heavily to guilds and food forests as well since we talked about tree health, training, pruning, cultivars, rootstock and much more. For more information related to this interview check out The Permaculture Orchard. Kyle manages an 8 acre USDA Certified Organic orchard containing 525 heirloom apple and pear trees of 68 different varieties, some of which date back to Roman times. He is a certified arborist and nursery professional. His educational background is in Environmental Horticulture where he holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota. It was a pleasure to have this conversation with Kyle! Here is a link to one of our older podcasts where we interview Stefan Sobkowiak of The Permaculture Orchard and our interview with Stefan Sobkowiak here.
64 minutes | 5 years ago
Water Strategies For The Homestead
In today’s podcast, Monica and I talk about building a comprehensive water plan. We start by talking about some very important principles to guide your plan: observe, start at the highest point, start small and simple, slow, spread and soak water, manage overflow and treat like a resources and more… Within those principles we talk about many strategies from water conservation, gray water use, filtering, swales, ponds, soil infiltration and much more. This is a very important podcast that most people, if honest, would have to admit complacency. Here are a couple of simple products to improve your situation immediately: The following is an easy way to build water storage in case of emergency. This is not comprehensive but a good start. Click Here to view. We love our Berkey! It is the best on the market in our opinion. A very simple system that is highly effective. disclaimer: We are Amazon affiliates so if you buy this book via this link you will be helping support The Prepared Homestead, so thanks for taking a look.
46 minutes | 5 years ago
Dan McDonald – Candidate For County Commissioner
On today’s podcast, Monica and I interview Dan McDonald who is running for local office in Bonner County, Idaho. To be specific he is running for the County Commissioner seat in district 3. Why is this podcast important for you even if you don’t reside in Bonner County? Because local politics are crucial in our present uncertain times. The local level is much more important, in our estimation, than the national (clown show) stage. Get involved in your area, you can make an impact! It’s vital we elect men and women who are Liberty minded so it was a pleasure to sit down with Dan McDonald and talk about local issues. If the name Dan McDonald sounds familiar, it might be that you’ve heard him on his weekly radio show, Face to Face, with co-host Bob Wynhausen, Fridays at noon on Blue Sky Broadcasting. Cohosting as the conservative voice of the show has provided Dan the opportunity to hear and discuss the concerns, needs and frustrations of Bonner County residents. Dan is a roofing consultant. He feels this experience is a valuable tool for what he can accomplish at the county level. Knowing what to watch for in projects the county is funding is key to keeping them on track and within budget. With his extensive business background and experience in both managing budgets and personnel, this is not difficult for him. Between his generous help with local charities, and his interest in local government, McDonald has been a visible figure at various local events for some time. Always active in paying attention to government at all levels, he expects the citizens to let him know what is on their minds. Staying informed on multiple issues, he breaks down some of the hot topics for us. Verse of the day: In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:4 ESV) http://www.thecourageouslifepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Episode-108-.mp3
27 minutes | 5 years ago
In this podcast Monica and I give a homestead update. We talk about receiving our first chicks of the season. We plan on doing three meat runs and decided to use Cornish X this year. We had some lessons learned from this first run that were frustrating to us but clearly our fault. We also talk about our five piggies we received and what we plan on doing with them. So far, they are doing great. We have some starts going in the nursery as part of our season extension strategy. We talk about a few other things as well like continuing education and some pond issues we are working through. Our scripture for the day is Proverbs 18:10
58 minutes | 5 years ago
Christopher Herndon – Entrepreneur and Market Gardener
Today we got the opportunity to sit and talk with Christopher Herndon (17 years old). We asked him about his entrepreneurial experience (he started his first business when he was 12), but primarily talked about his current business (and passion), his market garden. He has some great advice for other young people wanting to start their own business as well as some advice for home garden growers. It’s wonderful to see what some young people are achieving today with hard work and dedication!
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