Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

Homesteading, food, freedom and fun!
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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce





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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

On today’s show, I will walk you through a specific recipe you can try at home with produce purchased at the store for your first canning project. This is in advance of our soon to be produced youtube series: Learn Canning with 8 Home Preservation Projects. Also cued up for the show is another segment from Samantha the Savings Ninja! She will give us her top picks for phone apps that can save you money.

Also, Holler Roast coffee is officially for sale online at It is $14 a pound plus shipping, and of course the best shipping rate is for 5 pounds, but two pounds ship for a fairly reasonable price too!

More show notes at

Feb 20, 2017

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.

Justin Rhodes chicken tractor plans


Eating Seasonally

  • Wild Garlic and Watercress still going strong
  • Dead Nettle, Lamium purpureum , Identifying it (Salads, sautee’s and with eggs)
  • Chickweed, more on this next week

Getting the Gardens Ready

Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running.

  • Sweet Potato Slip Update: The first slip is starting to poke out! 
  • Organized seeds

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

How we are keeping our winter stores interesting.

  • Freezer Audit: (Notebook is awesome, in theory)
  • Sweet potato, potato puree
  • Green beans as breakfast
  • Renewed effort on the pickled things - Man! Dilly beans are fantastic!

Stories from the Holler

Bee mentor/ Hive inspection 

Potato Preservation

  • Drying.
  • Canning - The guide:

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway

This week: Chapter 6
Next Week*: Chapter 7


  1. What do I want/need to support with my plants? (shade, forage for animals, shelter from wind, food for us, enjoyment, pest resistance vs attracting beneficial bugs - or wildlife for that matter?
  2. What problems do I currently have that plants can help with? (Deer destruction, sad soil, etc)
  3. What do I really love? How can I plan my homestead to support those things?
  4. What balance of mulching, soils loosening, nutrient mining, fungal growth sparking, and so forth will be best for my land - and therefore what plants should I integrate to set this up?
  5. What areas should I develop first with intensive planting, versus setting the stage for a longer-term play?

Garden Economics

Do home gardens save you money?

Dances with Ducks


It is so nice at this time of year to go outside in the morning with my cup of coffee and watch the world go by for a few minutes before diving in. And despite the ducky duties this week, things are still moving forward at the Holler Homestead. Thank you so much for joining me today here on Living Free in Tennessee and make it a great week!

Feb 13, 2017

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.

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.

It occurred to me, those of you listening to this for the first time probably have no idea what the segments are or why we have them. Living on a homestead requires a different, more simple approach to living, eating and planning. In the first few episodes, I was haphazardly sharing some of our experiences and eventually the fell into categories. So today, along with each segment, I’ll share a bit about what the segment is.

Eating Seasonally
This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us. In the winter, things slow down, but here I talk about what is still growing in the woods that we can eat. For free. Having done nothing to make it grow. Well sometimes I throw garden items in, but not for much longer because it is time to have a stand-alone wild foraging section.

  • Wild Garlic and Watercress have come into their own
  • Eggs - I launched the subscriptions - ! First ones going out today :-)
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • And the Deadnettle is starting to peek up at me

Getting the Gardens Ready
This is a spring segment where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running.

  • Sweet Potato Slip Update
  • Cider Hollow Farm Workshop on Grafting! in Savannah, Tennessee: This will be a half day grafting workshop. Start time will be 9am on Saturday March 18 and will run until approx. 2pm. Cost is $45 and Registration

Tales from the Prepper Pantry
It is so easy to stock your pantry, but not always easy to remember to eat the food from it. In this section, I share with you how we are using what sounds like the same things all the time but in different ways to

  • The weekly squash - week 8: Rotting Spaghetti Squash

    Cushaw Squash Pie - Just like pumpkin but better!

  • Onions - 1 grew! Making French Onion soup this week, but with the wrong kind of stock!
  • A sweet potato in every salad
  • Salad Corn
  • Pottage: Lang, goat and beef with canned corn and beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes with curry and onions. Serve over rice with freshly diced onion, salad greens and chutney.

Stories from the Holler

  • The sinkhole
  • A visit from Mike Vertrees, soil expert
  • My dog disappeared 

Four strategies for navigating spring...

Strategy 1: Get Real on the garden or homestead plans.

  1. Cut in half your current garden plans unless you are a seasoned garden planner -
  2. More plants, less space=good
  3. Take 10 minutes to look at your journal from last year and look for trends: What i am doing
  4. If you don't have a journal from last year, go to the dollar store, but a notebook and start one. Write in it at least once a week.

Strategy 2: Take a step back and breathe when you feel overwhelmed and remind yourself to visit the three changes you can use for you can make for a great year from episode 18

  1. Decide the 1 thing you want to do best this year (Did you? What is it?)
  2. Set a weekly time to reflect on your progress and set a small, attainable forward step (Are you? Why not?)
  3. Remember the small things are the most important. (What is one small thing you can do this week?)

Strategy 3: The List of Minimums 

  1. There can be only 3 - this part is hard - and do them first. You will find there is more time for everything else if you do this.
  2. Trust your gut on putting things off 
  3. Link choices to your personal strategic plan.

Strategy 4: Have some fun man!

Spring is one of the busiest times. Oh who am I fooling? We only really get to slow down in the winter. And with lots of project piling up it is easy to get overwhelmed. Yet sometimes the worrying about getting things done is worse than just choosing one thing and doing it. But not at the expense of your health, happiness or relationships, right? Thank you for joining me today here on Living Free in Tennessee and make it a great week!

Song: Cilly's Song, Sauce

Feb 6, 2017

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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Eating Seasonally

  • Wild Garlic
  • Watercress
  • Elephant garlic shallots
  • Eggs
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Time to harvest the last of the carrots - they are about to become woody

Getting Ready for Spring Planting

  • Sweet Potato Slip Update
  • Preparing potatoes for planting early
  • Getting our beds ready with lots of manure and mulch
  • Tree and vine trimming time - wish I had done this in December
  • Horseradish Plant propagation
  • Comfrey Propagation
  • Moving the day lilies

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 7: Squash A’Gratin
  • Bake fried potatoes
  • Roasted potato salad
  • Pre-grated sweet potatoes for salad toppings
  • Salad Corn and Green Beans soaked in a bit of pickled beet juice with mandolin onions

Announcement: we have our first Holler Roast event order! Workshop in Savannah, Tennessee: This will be a half day grafting workshop. Start time will be 9am on Saturday March 18,2017 and will run until approx. 2pm. Cost is $45 and Registration

Independence Fund

This is our make it or break it year.
We built in online subscriptions for folks who want to get the paper from our of our distribution area.
Building websites for small businesses and giving short start up advising sessions.

Holler Homestead Progress
Holler Roast Coffee: Local story carrying it, workshop presentation, online sales kicking off this week at both and
Egg subscriptions: Woefully behind promotion for this. I’ve reached out to restaurants and run into a USDA issue that I plan to research and write about. WTF? But either way, we are about to have duck and chicken egg subscriptions.
Financial benefit: Covers feed and power for the poultry and keeps us in eggs, and then only about $200 a week profit between all the products.

Seasonal cookbook might shift to the story of Darby’s Restaurant paired with seasonal recipes because I found a goldmine of information in Oregon when my grandmother died.

Canning series 

Lessons Learned from Toby Hemenway

This week: Chapter 5
Next week: Chapter 6


  1. What can I do for my soil this year to help increase its natural ability to hold and/or drain water?
  2. What plants might I put in to help me move my property toward more abundance, better shaded soils, and water retention?
  3. Do I need earthworks, or is the work done well before I got here?
  4. How hard would it be to build grey water systems?
  5. How should I build in water collection to help in times of draught?
  6. Would large scale water/soil changes increase the stability of springs and river near me?

Today was a great day to reflect on progress we are making so far this year and I hope you, too, have time to do this some time soon. 

Song: Wolf, by Sauce