ATP Podcast #109: Working Your Land: I Motion for a Follow-Up Podcast! ;)

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ATP Podcast #109: Working Your Land

By dave
May 24, 2017

This episode is a little different from our usual gardening topics. Today we discuss some of our thoughts and ideas of living a semi self-sufficient lifestyle, and we talk about growing animals for food.

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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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DogsNDaylilies
May 30, 2017 1:15 PM CST
Dave and Trish, thank you for the insight into your experiences with homesteading! I found it really interesting, and I appreciated the candid responses about the challenges involved in it. It was also really nice hearing you give permission to people to not do what isn't fun anymore...although there are responsibilities, sometimes people get so caught up in thinking of what they 'have to do' that they forget that they opted to do ____(fill in the blank)____ to begin with and that some responsibilities can be forgone or changed somehow.

I have to admit, when I read the email you quoted from the listener, I had a completely different take on what they were looking for. I interpreted it as more of a 'how many of what veggies should I grow and how do I make the soil work for those veggies?' sort of email. You guys launched into a very informative info-session on the basic livestock that will help a farm be self-sustaining...which helped me because I would ultimately LOVE to have a property where I could have chickens, goats, and beehives, personally; all of which you touched on....and all of which I think you could easily expand on, too! (And you could always tie it into plants by talking about what feed to grow for those animals, where to place bees in your garden so they pollinate most effectively, etc... Rolling my eyes. )

...I was hoping, though, that there had been time for you to discuss the vegetable aspect of homesteading and what you do. Did you have to till your soil? If so, how did you do it? (I still don't know how people 'work in' good soil into compacted clay soil...) How do you manage your time on your farm...what is the realistic expectation time-wise each day on various activities?

You started to go into how much of different types of food your kids consume--very useful!--and I would have loved to have found out more about the veggie consumption, too, and what that means for you and your gardens. You guys have a LOT of acreage...do you farm ALL of it, or just a portion? How do you manage it all? How much of it do you 'need' for your family?

Sorry, I'm beginning to ramble. Suffice to say, I would love to hear a follow-up podcast (next week, perhaps? Whistling ) that continues the discussion.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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dave
May 30, 2017 2:26 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Great feedback, DnD. I will use your post here as a kicking off point for part 2 of this podcast. Big Grin
Name: Stewart
Pinehurst, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Plumerias Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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PlantMania
May 31, 2017 1:17 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Can't wait

(we moved last year from a HOA neighborhood and now reside on 3.6 acres that the former owners did nothing with - one day when I grow up I want to be a Whitinger Rolling on the floor laughing )
Oma and Opa
Living to Learn
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World Champion of Athletes Tongue
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[Last edited by PlantMania - May 31, 2017 1:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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DogsNDaylilies
Jun 1, 2017 8:16 AM CST
PlantMania said: one day when I grow up I want to be a Whitinger Rolling on the floor laughing )


I agree Hilarious!

Dave, did you and Trish homeschool at one point? For some reason I thought you guys did. But either way, I'm inspired by the fact that you've raised your kids to help out on the farm, the fact that you guys HAVE a farm (and a large one, to boot!), and that somehow you manage that in addition to garden.org/programming/podcasting/etc. Your interests and your lives sort of overlap with mine a bit, although I am much farther down the totem pole of experience. If you're looking for additional ideas on podcasts, I wouldn't mind finding out more about your experience with your own market stand, including how you got started, how much time you spend on it, and what is involved in it. Someday, I'd love to have a market stand on my own property. (In fact, I just got off of the phone with someone talking about participating in a very modest farmers market in my area where I might be able to go in for a day or two a season and sell agricultural products such as daylilies and fruits/veggies, etc.) Sure, I'm a marketing major and have some ideas on how to get started, but there's no sense in reinventing the wheel if you and Trish already have some great ideas for venues to get the word out about produce, etc.
Name: Stewart
Pinehurst, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Plumerias Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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PlantMania
Jun 1, 2017 8:33 AM CST
My wife and I have talked about using one of our weeks of vacation to "Will Work for Knowledge" but life keeps smacking us in the face. We now have three acres and are our own 5, 10 , 15 yr plan (1st year has been VERY busy).

From the podcast it sounds as if they did try different things, but for them as a family, it works out better just to work on garden.org and keep the farm up and running just for themselves.

Dave & Trish, you guys really are an inspirations to others in both large and small areas of knowledge.
Oma and Opa
Living to Learn
--------------------------
World Champion of Athletes Tongue
--------------------------
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
dave
Jun 1, 2017 9:24 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I never found market growing to be worth it but as with everyone, YMMV. We know several people who do it and apparently succeed. But it's really really hard and success is never easy (or even sometimes possible). A big part of it depends on where you live. We're in a rural area and only a small handful of people want to buy produce from a farm. If you lived on the outskirts of Dallas, TX or Portland, OR or San Fransisco things would be different.

We do homeschool our children and always have.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Jun 1, 2017 12:30 PM CST
I thought so (on the homeschooling)...something in the last podcast made me question if you still did, though. As for the market stand, I remember you and Trish talking in previous podcasts about selling your different veggie plants...I thought you set up a stand for it, but maybe I misinterpreted that. If so, whoops! *Blush* Good to know that market stands are challenging. You mentioned that it is area-dependent, and that makes a lot of sense. I wonder what the market for markets ( Big Grin ) would be here. Either way, homesteading/farming is something I love learning about from you guys. Can't wait for the next podcast!! Lovey dubby
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jun 1, 2017 2:28 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We will have 2 in college next year, so that may be where you understood that we aren't homeschooling anymore. I still have 6 to go, so it will be awhile before I retire Green Grin!

When we do market, we sold soaps, handmade goodies, homemade breads and canned goods, plants of various types, and veggies.

The best way to test your local market is to visit your nearest one. We have several within 30 miles, but only one in our little town. The ones in the larger cities do pretty well, and one could do reasonably well, I think...but that's all relative. Weighing the time to prepare for market (1-2 hours_, drive to market (possibly around an hour), market hours _2-3) hours...we ultimately decided that *for us* our time was better spent elsewhere.

Now, having said that- we have much more fun teaching people to grow things rather than sell them our veggies. We sell them the plans to the people and let them grow their own. We started selling plants with the county Master Gardeners at their plant sale about 7 years ago, and 3 (I think) years ago, we branched out and started doing our own, plus still supporting the local MG sale. We have traditionally done 2 plant sales per year, but are experimenting with just doing 1 and seeing if that works for our time/profit rational. Meaning- is it monetarily worth the time we put into the project, or can we spend that time with better rewards (financial or otherwise) elsewhere.
That's largely up to the children. They know we have a finite amount of time, so if we are spending a whole day doing market, we can't do other things. They grew the plant sale to both make up financially for the weekly lost income as well as the lost time that they spend in other ventures. Now that the baton is passed down the line, we'll have to see what the next group decides. Abigail is now the oldest in charge, and she has big plans to expand the operation without leaving the house (smart girl). However, she doesn't like to sit in the heat, and is a bit of an introvert. Other children may enjoy getting out more, and if the market climate changes in our town- that would be a better fit for them.


NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

HomeGrownMomma
Aug 16, 2017 2:51 PM CST
I have listened to so many "Gardening" podcasts and "Homesteading" podcasts and I think this was one of the most informative I've ever come across. I'm an aspiring homesteader and I'm trying to get as much REAL information as possible. I don't want to go into homesteading with a false reality. I want real information and to know that it can be done without having to invest a fortune. I would LOVE to hear any and all information you have on starting a farm/garden/homestead. Thanks for taking the time to do this podcast... I really do get a lot out of them.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Aug 16, 2017 5:05 PM CST
@Dave and @Trish , did I miss Part 2? Or is it forthcoming....?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Permaculture Raises cows
Beekeeper Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
dave
Aug 16, 2017 5:21 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We've been especially busy these past couple months and recording episodes has taken a low priority for us.

Trish mentioned to me recently that if we don't podcast soon, people will think we're in the middle of a months-long quarrel!! Hilarious!
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
DogsNDaylilies
Aug 16, 2017 5:24 PM CST
dave said:
Trish mentioned to me recently that if we don't podcast soon, people will think we're in the middle of a months-long quarrel!! Hilarious!


Hilarious! Hilarious!
...wait, you mean you haven't been? Rolling my eyes. Just kidding!

I hope things aren't too crazy for you guys. When it gets a little more settled, it sounds like there is still interest in another homesteading podcast....or six. Rolling my eyes. Hilarious!

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