Episode 24: Preserving Potatoes, Dances With Ducks, and Garden Economics Project

Do you ever give some advice to people, then realize the person who needs it the most is you? That’s basically how last week went here at the Holler Homestead. The ducks discovered the creek resulting in a cascading series of projects that were of top priority, and not originally on my list.

Today, I will cover something promised from last week: potato preservation, go over questions to ask as a result of reading chapter 6 of Gaia’s Garden, there will be the first in a series of gardening economics discussions, and, last but not least, Dances with Ducks – a view into how keeping animals means you can’t depend on any plan you ever make.

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Episode 23: Four Strategies to Manage a Busy Spring on the Homestead

Today we will take some time to review four strategies for managing a busy spring on the homestead without losing your mind. Spring has begun early this year and with it, a dangerous situation is in the works: The potential for an early April deep freeze.

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But what if it doesn’t?  What if we just go straight into a spring that no longer gets below 26 degrees and ends in a super hot May that kills all the peas and  lettuce? Our daffodils are blooming. Our trees are budding out. Our bees are madly bringing pollen to the nest. We might have swarms soon – they are already starting in Texas. And I am just one person on a homestead with a job, starting a new business, with limited time. Read more

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Episode 22: Holler Homestead Progress Report

Today we will talk about progress we are making here at the Holler Homestead, and along our own pathway toward more independence in Tennessee. I’ll give you an Independence Fund update, tell you how the newspaper is doing, share some of the progress we’ve made on or new farm concepts – and how they have already changed, and tell you some exciting things about the cookbook.

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Episode 21: Storing and Using Oyster Mushrooms

Thanks for humoring me last week as we took a step back together and walked through a how to podcast episode. I know you may be wondering what does that have to do with a walk to independence or homesteading? Well there is this thing we all need on the homestead – cash. And one way to generate income is to use tools like podcasting to promote your products. Plus, a podcast is a great way to capture what you are learning as you start on an adventure. You get the double bonus of helping others as they start a similar adventure.

This week, though, we are back to a homesteading topic with a show about mushrooms. I have never seen so many oyster mushrooms as we have had this year here in the south and that has taken me on a bit of a foray in what to do with them all – Because when nature gives us bounty, it is best to take advantage of it! There must be a reason I need vitamin D this year because the mushrooms have the D – and come to think of it – it has been darker than usual this winter.

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Episode 20: 8 Lessons Learned From Starting a Podcast

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Today is Monday, January 23, 2017 and this is episode 20 of Living Free in Tennessee. When I think back to that first episode, all the ums and edits, the starts and restarts, it is with lots of gratefulness. I am grateful for that special friend who helped me get the one piece of equipment I needed to grow from built-in computer mic to a nice recording setup. Grateful for my friends over on the TSP Zello channel who have kept me going through that low point we all get to on a podcast. And to Jack Spirko and Nick Ferguson who probably have no idea that they inspired me to get off my bum and do something for myself last summer as I was watching all the other parts of my world start to crumble. And then there is Ford. You know who you are. That day I was going to trash the whole project you asked me a simple question: “When is the next podcast coming out?” That simple question was what it took to make me ask myself. “Am I really gonna do this thing? Why? Where could I take it if I did it right? How can I arrange my schedule to make room for this?” And a week later, Living Free in Tennessee became something that happens on a schedule rather than a weekend afterthought.

Today, I will depart from the normal homesteading stories and share with you some of the lessons I have learned about launching a podcast. A few of you have asked me questions about podcasting because you are interested in starting one and I though, why not share my top lessons learned with everyone? Maybe this episode can help one or two of you start telling your stories. Read more

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Episode 19: Ten Things A New Homesteader Should Know

With episode 20 looming large I decided to talk longer about some of our regular segments today and to review ten things that new homesteaders should consider as they start working on a their piece of land. We have a new development! Samantha the Savings Ninja has agreed to give us a monthly savings segment. I asked her a question about couponing because I am just now relearning how to use them in the modern age of rewards cards, cell phones and rapidly intensifying technology. Do you have a question for Samantha? Send me an email with the subject line: LFTN Savings Ninja and I’ll see about getting your question on the next show.

Things to ask a consultant before bringing them to your property:

  1. Who have they worked with before and what do those folks say about them?
  2. How forthcoming with their experience are they? Have they done a PDC or are they rather new to the discipline?
  3. Will they let you come visit their farm before you decide? (which can tell you what they have implemented.)

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Episode 18: Planning the Spring Garden

With a fresh year in front of us, I thought we could take some time today to review a strategy for planning your spring garden. We will also talk about three minor changes you can make this week to set yourself up for a great year. It’s a great time to tap into your perception of a fresh start to change just one thing. We often underestimate the power of how a few small changes can have a long term impact for the better for us, our families and those around us.

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Episode 17: Getting Set for a New Year

Today we will talk about how we did with our family strategic plan this year, begin diving into a book I’ve been reading about home-scale permaculture, and talk a bit about where I hope to see this show go in the coming months.

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The Night Before Christmas Episode


Listed to a reading of The Night Before Christmas – both the traditional version and one from down under.

Merry Christmas all!

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Episode 16: Advice from a Savings Ninja – Interview with Samantha Comfort

Today is Monday, December 19, 2016 and this is episode 16 of Living Free in Tennessee.

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12/20 Update: Re-recorded the first five minutes to fix some unpleasant audio.

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