Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce



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Jun 19, 2017

Today we walk through the process of canning green beans along with tips on how NOT to contract botulism on accident, I’ll share with you how the power of social capital is moving our coffee business along, and we will have an update on Hey Hey, the orphaned baby chick. But before we do that: I wanted to share with you a new experience I had: Swarm.City.

  • What it is
  • Why you might care
  • The “Slack”

  Resources for today's show:

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store. Swimming in Squash. Nasturtium are up and harvestable ALL THE VEGGIES, minus tomatoes, BUT GUESS WHAT?! Companion carrots are looking great

What we are preserving this week Where we share what we are preserving for winter storage Green Beans Pickling Beets Ramping up for peach season! Should be making Jam but I am not

Garden Economics project I was given a half bushel of beets in exchange for 4 jars of pickled ones I bought ½ bushel of green beans for $12 and it will yield 14-16 jars I spent $3 on pickling salt because we were getting low - I buy a bag about every 2 years  

Canning Green Beans What you need: All the stuff you always need: Jars, lids, jar lifter Canning salt Fresh greenbeans The process - cold pack Prepare the beans, while also sterilizing jars and making boiled water Fill jars loosely with beans that are de-stringed and broken into 1 inch long pieces. Dont cram them in Measure in your salt: Pour in boiling water with 1 inch head space Cap them Put them in your pressure canner Put the lid on and move stove heat to high Let steam vent for 10 minutes Then place the regulator on top of the steam exhaust pipe Watch as pressure comes up over 11, and adjust heat to keep it there Processing time 20/25 below 1,000 feet Turn off heat and let the canner cool until the pressure indicator drops and stays down for 5 minutes Be careful of steam upon opening the canner Remove jars and let cool overnight Any on-sealed lids either have to be reprocessed, or put in the fridge and eaten  

Well everyone, Make It A Great Week!

Song: Tripped Out by Sauce

Jun 12, 2017

Today, we are back on track with an episode about homesteading life. I will talk a little bit about going off grid, when it does and does not make sense, as well as share with you the analysis that my friend Shawn over at HackMySolar did here at the Holler Homestead. And no, he isn’t paying me to talk about this. But if you have not checked out his website and you are interested in solar and other off-grid things, check out his site.

I will share with you some of the chaos of raising both chickens and ducks and what happens when the duck hatches baby chickens. I’ve got a good question in about coffee roasters and what to consider when upgrading. Samantha the Savings Ninja has a special message you may want to listen to before Father’s Day. And finally, I’ll share a personal story of pain that ended well because my animal first aid kit and human first aid kits were well stocked.

Support me on Patreon

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

Green beans, chard from the market, cabbages, green tomatoes, fresh basil, squash blossoms

What we are preserving this week




Drying Herbs

Garden Economics project:

I spent $15 on Beets and ended up with 15 jars (22 pints) of pickled beets. Total out of pocket was $20 with the vinegar, lids, etc. That’s $.90 per pint. This is between $.50 and $4 per jar cheaper than we can buy them, and I know what is in the jar and I get to use my aunt Helen’s recipe.

Show Links  

King Coffee in Olympia Washington: Ask me for an introduction.

Make it a great week!

Song: Special by Sauce

Jun 6, 2017

Happy Birthday to LFTN launched on May 21, 2016 with our first ever episode:

With the pig roast, Holler Roast Kickstarter, and sudden influx of awesome visitors who descended and started knocking out our new coffee roasting room, I missed it! Today, we will go over the third canning project just in time for Tennessee Berry Picking Season: How to make and can jam, and I will give you all an update on the Holler Roast Project.  

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Zucchini!!! YESSSSSS!
  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Green onions
  • New potatoes
  • Green tomatoes
  • On the wild side: Day lily blossoms, honeysuckle blossoms, elderberry blossoms (fritters)What we are preserving this week

Where we share what we are preserving for winter storage

Learn canning in 8 projects, project 3 Jams and Jellies Pectin Making Recipe Link:

An update on Holler Roast. Check out some of the videos we are making over on YouTube - Ive set up a playlist called “Coffee Manic” where I will be documenting the mobile roaster unit progress, as well as other coffee related things, including the process for this year’s tasting.

Starting, and growing a business is some of the most exciting energy to be involved with. And this spring is not disappointing. And somehow, we got our garden planted, albeit a bit behind schedule. This episode isn't really about homestead life, it is more about lifestyle design of a homesteader. Thanks for listening and Make it a great week!

Song: Dr Feeley, Dr. Skinner by Sauce

May 31, 2017

Today we have an interview with some folks who I have known for a long time, but who I never met until this past weekend. We talk about building resilience into your life on LFTN, but we don’t examine very closely how communities, real communities work. Communities of people willing to put aside small differences of opinion to help one another. Self reliance and taking care of yourself is important.  So we will talk about how a scrappy group of independent people who love homesteading, learning new things, and increase stability in their lives and in the lives of those around them found each other, built trust, and became a tight community despite having never really met. I’ll also give you an update on how the pig roast went and tell you how the Holler Roast Kickstarter went!

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • The first beets are upon us! Root bake recipe
  • New Potato Salad
  • Green onion, kale and beet green fry
  • Squash is at the farmers market, but I just have squash blossoms.
  • Day lillies are blooming and the flowers taste great on salads
  • And of course we have 9 toms of cabbage.

Getting the Gardens Ready

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

  • Germination is looking great, particularly under that peach tree. Its noticeably cooler under there and we have a set of carrots, radishes, spinach and other plants, alongside squashes.
  • Planting another round of butternuts and green beans.

Link to the "CB" channel that we talk about on the show:

Make it a great week!

Song: Calling My Name, Sauce

May 22, 2017

Today we get to have some fun with lots of different topics. We’ve had quite a few questions in the last two weeks, and with a looming weekend pig roast in the offing, I thought today would be the perfect time for a Listener Q&A show. So we will talk about grinding your own wheat for flour and the pros and cons of that, give a shout out to a small craftsman who made me something extraordinary - sounds mysterious I know but it will make sense when we get there, talk about hindsight on my homestead, talk about my favorite itchy rash a bit more, cover raised beds in year one when you are using commercial dirt, and then wrap it up with a question about a doggie first aid kit.

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Lambs quarter should be coming on but I haven’t gone searching for it
  • Cabbage everything and the first squash is at the farmers market
  • Radishes and spinach
  • Last garlic scapes
  • Salad dressing recipe of the week: Mustart, bbq sauce, balsamic, honey, water, salt, smoked cayenne, mainnaise

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

  • The garden is in and one of our chickens is in danger of being processed - she killed SIX cucumber plants!
  • Putting in the okra seeds and sweet potato slips - why not earlier?
  • Seeding tomato trays for the fall garden

  Grinding your own flour

  1. Cost
  2. Flavor
  3. Health
  4. Time
  5. Equipment


  • Less per pound
  • Tastes better
  • Makes me feel better


  • You still need to buy flour for very fine applications unless your equipment is expensive
  • It’s another appliance you have to buy - unless you have a vitamix
  • Relearning to bake

Overall: two thumbs up The belt: A shout-out to OMG Leather Works: Poison Ivy Feedback

  • Neosporin plus jewelweed is a winner
  • The poke weed root rub method did not work (But there is the boiled poke root bath method I have not tried)
  • The Poison Ivy Guy

From Ford in TN: If you could change one thing about your homestead what would it be?

Frank in Wisconsin: Raised garden beds and how to make the dirt good?

As a bald man when you wash your face, where do you stop

Willow in east TN: What are some items you would keep in a homemade first aid kit for animals?

  1. Tailored for your animals - learn a bit about what they need.
  2. Know where to go before you have the emergency and write it down on actual paper
  3. Look for crossover with human first aid needs

That said, this is what I have

  • gauze and animal wrap tape - in fact I use the horse leg wrap for humans too
  • Clippers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clamps
  • Tweezers
  • gloves
  • Peroxide - spray bottle
  • Povidone-iodine
  • Sani wipes
  • bleach
  • Neosporin
  • Bluekote
  • Probiotics
  • Kickin Chicken vitamin mix
  • Antibiotics and a syringe
  • Benedryl
  • aspirin
  • Extras of medication if you have animals that require them (My dog has congestive heart failure)
  • I wish i had suture thread and needles but I dont yet
  • Cayenne pepper, ground
  • Topic herbals like comfrey/plantain/etc

Our kickstarter is LIVE! <link> We’ve almost broken the $600 mark!

Also, on Wednesday I am being interviewed by Jack Spirko over at The Survival Podcast if you want to hear more about the coffee business! With that - get out there and Make it a great week!

Song: Sauce, Every Way

May 15, 2017

Today we are going to take on a topic that many of my fellow homesteaders are having right now: How to use an abundance of eggs. I will share with you how storing food has put us on a much more stable footing as we have navigated my recent professional transition. Plus, there will be a big announcement about Holler Roast at the end of the show that I hope you will like.

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • New Potato Salad RecipeSalads are winding down, but we hope for an uptick again in a week or so
  • Kale, cabbage, broccoli, green onions
  • On the wild side: not much happening aside from the hairy vetch and honey suckle blossoms.
  • EGGS - the topic of today’s show

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

  • Stuff

Garden Economics project: Added $3 for pepper plants and now I know why my plants have not sold!

Using and Storing an abundance of eggs Egg storage

  • Unwashed at cool room temperature for 90 days if they are uncracked
  • Washed eggs in the fridge for 30 days (they say)
  • Hard boiled eggs 1 day at a cool room temperature, but they can last longer or go bad sooner after boiled
  • Canning eggs (Pickled)
  • Freezing eggs (water expands)
    • Scrambled
    • Whole in ice cube trays, then in a bag
  • Dehydrating eggs

Egg Recipes

8 eggs - Crepes

12 eggs - Deviled eggs

4 eggs - Flan (Ive never made this):

12 eggs - Angel Foodcake:

2 eggs - spinach brownies (11 oz greens, flour, 1 cup milk, ½ cup onion, 2 stick butter, mix it, 1 tsp bk powd, 1.5 cups grated cheese, bake it in the for about 45 minutes at 350) (8 eggs - Quiche Like Substance with No crust)

8 eggs - Spatzle

Stories from the Holler

Brooding Ducks Food storage

TSP Episode

Holler Roast Kickstarter

With that - get out there and Make it a great week!

Song: Grandpa's Song, Sauce

May 8, 2017

Today I will share a Holler Homestead update and coffee progress, talk a bit about the health care bill that passed last week, and what I have been able to find out it, then walk you through project two of the Learn Canning in 8 Projects series.

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Saladpalooza goes on and cabbages are beginning to hit the farmer’s markets! Fresh lettuce from the garden (or my friend’s garden, radishes, carrot greens, pea shoots)
  • A NOTE ON TOMATOES - they aren’t from here, or they are coming from a greenhouse and, frankly, don’t taste as good as the real thing
  • Kale, cabbage, broccoli, green onions
  • On the wild side: dead nettle is gone, chickweed is too large, watercress is VERY peppery, poke weed is getting large, jerusalem artichokes are well into their leafing out. BUT - day lilies are still yummy, dandelions can be found young from time to time
  • Theoretically, there are new potatoes but I haven’t looked
  • EGGS - just like last week, leading to lots of “sandwich salad”

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

  • The last of the garden planting for a bit will happen this week
  • Attacking the bramble we should have handled
  • Spraying the trees with garlic and pepper tea
  • Operation shade creation
  • Bee food

Healthcare WTF Late last week, the House passed a bill to “fix” The ACA, or Obamacare. Since that time there has been so much spin that it is difficult to stand up I am so dizzy.

  • Individual mandate is gone in this version
  • Some taxes added by the ACA are gone
  • Pre-existing conditions are mostly covered
  • Medicaid cannot be expanded in any additional states, but will remain expanded in the states where it was expanded
  • Republican spin that this reform is somehow different than the ACA is way off. This will ultimately hurt their credibility when the system continues to crash since they have not addressed any of the underlying flaws, they have simply managed to pass a bill that lets them claim a "victory."
  • Democrats spin that rape is now a pre-existing condition is bull. The steps that would have to be gone through to make that a pre-existing condition are so convoluted that making claims like this only hurt their credibility.

What should I the homesteader do about this? Nothing. Basically this process is out of our hands. They are using this topic to control us. The divide us to pit us against one another. So consider not being a jerk about the whole thing. Personally, I am going to do my best to support our innovative medical providers directly, with my business. I am going to also plant poppies.

Holler Homestead Update


Garden is a mess - video tracking what can be done in a week a little at a time:

Coffee update - we are going to go for it: I found a roaster that will allow us to launch a subscription service and sell a ton more Holler Roast coffees - but we will need to add blends.

Project 2 of canning in 8 projects: Canning Peaches

Method: Waterbath, raw pack

Risks: Low


Why? Sugar   Link to processing chart:  

With that - get out there and Make it a great week!

Song: Learning What Leaving Is, Sauce

May 1, 2017

The show content today is near and dear to my heart. I don’t know why, but it seems like every year, no matter how careful I am, I get a bout of poison ivy. Mankind has had problems with poison ivy for a very long time. And that is why it is surprising that we only seem to know as much about it as we do the common cold. Become a Patron! Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Saladpalooza! Fresh lettuce from the garden (or my friend’s garden, radishes, carrot greens, pea shoots)
  • Dryads Saddle Mushroom
  • Goats milk, which means cheese season is here
  • EGGS

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

  • Progress report on the weed experiment

Garden Economics project

  • A store in Smithville is trying out my eggs
  • Plant sale announcement: tomatoes for sale in a joint project between Purple Maize Farm and the Holler Homestead - click here to order.

Poison Ivy Remedies Remedy 1: Scrape it until it bleeds Remedy 2: Jewel Weed Salve/ointment/juice Remedy 3: Poke Weed Roots

  • Dig up the roots and smash them up than rub them into your outbreak. It will burn like the dickens, but then the poison ivy dries up.
  • Never tried this and forgot to give it a go this time – will try it if I get another poison ivy gift this year.

Remedy 4: Pramagel/ Calamine

  • Oatmeal + Baking soda, etc
  • The hot water scratch

Remedy 5: Technu and related products

  • ZanFel – (Mama Sauce says it is the only thing that ever worked for her)

Remedy 6: Hydrocortisone cream

  • Over the counter does not work
  • The prescription also does not work
  • But you know what works really really well? My prescription for chlobetasol.


  • Get this friggin vine off your land
  • Wash every night with a good lye based soap with activated charcoal – this also helps with chiggers and other lovely Tennessee bugs
  • Don’t re-wear the same clothing
  • Think before you burn
  • Watch your animals

  In sum – what works for me:

  1. Prevention
  2. The hot water scratch
  3. Pramagel (Pramaxin)
  4. Jewelweed salve plus Neosporin

Stories from the Holler

  • Rains and Bees
  • I fired a client this week and here is why

Support the show:

  1. Coffee
  2. Plants
  3. Patreon

Make it a great week! Song: Calling My Name, Sauce

Apr 24, 2017

I am coming to you today from a place called Highland Rim Retreats near Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee!  Today, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. We will talk about the five elements of homemade salad dressing.

Seasonal Eating and Tales From the Prepper Pantry

  • Quarterly freezer re-organization
  • Seasoning a pork belly for bacon: salt, rosemary, sage, turmeric, brown sugar
  • Garden kale and lettuces, pea shoots, hairy vetch, redbud, baby bamboo shoots, poke weed
  • The morels are out there my friends – IF you can find them

 What we are preserving this week

  • Drying for tea
    • Blackberry
    • Raspberry
    • Stinging nettle
    • Bee balm

 The Five Elements of Homemade Salad Dressing

  1. Sour: Vinegar, Lemon Juice, lime juice, pickle brine, caper juice
  2. Spicy: Mustard, hot pepper sauce, peppers, onions, garlic
  3. Creamy: Mayonnaise, sour cream, whipped cream cheese, cream
  4. Sweet: Honey, sugar, jams and jellies, sorghum, maple syrup
  5. Emulsifier: Olive Oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, any infused oils, oil, oil, oil. 

The process:

  1. Define salad’s core flavor
  2. Choose complimentary flavor elements from the five above
  3. Make your dressing recipe!

Example: Watercress, kale based salad.

  • Core flavor: spicy
  • What will complement that? Sweet and sour
  • Dressing recipe – Basic balsamic vinaigrette: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fig infused balsamic, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp salt. 

Example: Spinach salad

  • Core flavor: nutty, flat
  • What goes with that? Almost anything - try spicy and sweet
  • Dressing Recipe – honey mustard: 1 tbsp, mustard, 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp water, salt, pepper and shake! (You can sneak in a tbsp. of balsamic on this one and it is really good)


Example: Peppers, tomatoes, kale leaves, a little corn, spinach

  • Core flavor: sweet and nutty
  • What goes with that? Lemon and spice and everything nice!
  • Dressing Recipe – basil lemon zest: 2 tbsp lemon, onions, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, sliced fresh basil, 2 tbsp water, shake and let sit overnight in the fridge. Remove from fridge 30 mins before using so that it reaches room temp.
  • A Hack: soak the onions in the lemon for 30 minutes, then mix all the other ingredients directly into the salad if you are in a rush.

Other recipe ideas from Zello:

  1. BDHutier: Oil, vinegar, favorite jelly
  2. Kirtus: Olive oil, anchovies - canned, Italian spice mix, leave for 24 hours in the fridge – likely added vinegar

Stories from the holler

  • Torrential downpours
  • Did a walk through of a friend’s new piece of land – and It has some interesting features, including a really cool run off area that many people would see as a problem but that we see as an asset – now it is just very important to properly identify zone one, which is an interesting amoeba shape because of how his outbuilding is situated.

We are setting up a page – soft launch – over at to share premium content to show supporters.

Cider Hollow Farms – He’s put the rest of his comfrey on sale at an extra $1.50 per plant for spring closeout and if you use the coupon code LFITN5 you will get an additional 5% of anything you order. Go to

This spring has been the usual whirlwind with lots of activity and shifting priorities, but things are going well because we have done a good job of always re-orienting toward our primary family goals of making time for recreation and fun, local stable income, and paying attention to our health.

Get out there and make it a great week!

Song: Sauce, The Flood

Apr 17, 2017

The past week has been full of strange misadventures. We’ve demo’d a new coffee bean for Holler Roast Coffee, run it by a friend, found someone willing to help me grow the business by loaning me a few extra roasters, opened the cabin rental for the season, out the newspaper to bed and even decided to put out tomatoes before May 1, my usual planting date. And it has made me think about how it is so easy to prepare for some things, but getting ahead in finances can be really tough. So today, I thought I would run through my thought process as I decide if I will grow the Holler Roast business beyond it’s extremely limited market.

Direct Download

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry
This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Wild Mustard, watercress, hairy vetch, last of the dead nettle, arugula (story of the Easter Salad)
  • Crappie, fish stock
  • Hitting the canned peaches because it is about to be canned peaches time again!

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

  • Trimming and chipping the pathways
  • Planting the last of the fruit trees
  • Beating the wineberries BACK
  • Shade cloth is on the greenhouse and that made the tomatoes really happy

5 Questions to Ask When It's Time to Grow 

  1. Do I love this enough to really do it?
  2. How does it pencil as I grow? (time, extra licensing, etc.)
  3. How am I going to expand sales, is my market growing or am I planning to increase market share in my existing market?
  4. Why am I better than my competition? Why are they better than I am?
  5. What are the do or die items that if they are not in place, I will pull the plug?

Stories from the Holler

Make it a great week!

Song: Suicide, Sauce

Apr 10, 2017

The eight week time-pressure episode has arrived! That’s right, Center Hill Sun goes to press this week – though there is still time to place an ad if you want to reach 20,000 people who love the outdoors, rural living and country fun. 🙂

Today we have a chat with Dori Mulder, the person who was getting ready to close on land and has written in a few times. She bought a fantastic 40 acre place with a house built unto a CAVE right on a RIVER.

Middle TN Learning Opportunity: Mushroom Event April 22:

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry
This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us – and talk about ways to use what we store.
Light this week because I didn’t eat.

  • Wild Mustard, watercress, hairy vetch, pokeweed is poking up!
  • From the pantry: Sweet potato chili with wild garlic
  • Baby lettuce is here!
  • Asparagus

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

  • Late bed preparation – with advice from Karley
  • Potatoes up and a little burnt and some bugees are nibbling our radishes.

Garden Economics project: no additional moneys have been spent

New Land – New Adventure, and Interview with Dori Mulder
When you first get a piece of land, there is so much time to learn about your land. And Dori shares with us what her first days on her new property are like. She also takes some time to share her dreams for the property long term.

Stories from the Holler

  • The dying box elder tree by our guest cabin is no more
  • Friends saved the day this week

Support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee! Order here.

Make it a great week!

Song: Special, Sauce|

Apr 3, 2017

We’ve gotten lots of feedback n that episode from folks who wanted to go to that workshop and have never been able to. It got me to thinking. What if we do a homesteading workshop right here this coming September? In former years, we have had one or two orientations followed by lots of raucous camping fun, but wouldn’t it be fun to do something that allows us all to share best practices from Tennessee on what we are best at?

Deal: Cider Hollow wants to offer 5% off their bare root trees and comfrey. Get 'em while you still can!

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store
  • Wild Mustard, watercress, dandelion roots, hairy vetch
  • From the pantry: garlic and onions are gone so we are depending on wild garlic chives and early green onions from the garden
  • Watercress is almost done for the season, though we have another cold snap on the way which may give us a reset
  • The season of tea is almost here: Bee balm, blackberry leaves, mint

Getting the Gardens Ready

  • Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running
  • Greenhouse tomatoes are growing strongly and will be for sale soon
  • Potatoes up and wood-chipping the walkways is in process

Selling watercress online this week

Wild Forage Nutrition in the Spring
Beta-carotene (Vitamin A pre-cursor), B vitamins (B1/Thiamin, B2/Riboflavin, B3/Niacin), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Iron, vitamins, and fiber

Stinging Nettle:
Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Calcium

Observing your local forest
Right now as spring is springing - it is a great time to see what likes to grow in you area - and glean inspiration from it
Wild raspberry and blackberries
Hairy vetch and other vines
Poke weed

These all grow on the edges and also provide us food in my area
We also have
Walnut trees
Hickory nuts
Wild persimmons
Wild cherries

These varieties are already acclimated to our region - look at where they grow on their own

Stories from the Holler

  • Facelift for spring
  • Ducks are back in synch with us
  • Communities versus guilds

And with that, remember, if like the show you can support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee!

Make it a great week!

Song: Sauce - Wolf

Mar 27, 2017

This week I took the opportunity of being in the car for 26 hours with the famous Mike Vertrees to record an interview with him about the workshop we attended at Jack Spirko's place. This workshop was fantastic - and exhausting. There will be expanded show notes on Wednesday, my friends.

Song: Dr. Feeley, Dr. Skinner - Sauce

Mar 20, 2017

Today we will talk about how important it is to build flexibility into your life because it helps make you more resilient when things change. We will also talk about what has happened since we started getting serious about the egg and coffee business, cover how the paper is doing and I will share with you a bit about how the Grafting workshop went over at Cider Hollow.

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Wild Mustard, watercress, dandelion greens
  • Baby kale from the super kale plant
  • From the pantry: there is half a box of potatoes left and we are par boiling them, then making hash browns about once a day!
  • Corn and green beans on salads as usual
  • Hitting the pickled goods hard.
  • Forgot to can the extra pork stock from the shoulder roast so here is what we did...

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

  • Operation Eyesore
  • Transplanted the tomato seedlings and moved then to the GH
  • Beets, carrots, lettuce, radish, etc seeds are in the ground and the radishes have germinated!
  • Working on more woodchipping for areas where we want better weed control
  • Someone dug the horseradish plant - wtf?

Why Build Resilience in Your Life Part of our lifestyle here on the homestead is about building resilience into our day to day activities. Because no matter what happens, we only know one thing: change is coming. This idea that you work one job your whole life and retire to play golf - and that this is the norm - was a nice dream, but it is really a fiction.

  • First and foremost: flexibility
  • Secondly: responsibility - no excuses
  • Finally: more control of the things you can control

Four ways to get started:

  1. Simplify and frugalify
  2. Grow some of your own food
  3. Find ways to build ongoing income from your local area that you control
  4. Develop a real community around yourself

Holler Homestead Business Progress Center Hill Sun Update Stories from the Holler

And with that, remember, if like the show you can support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee - order here.

Youtube channel -

Well my friends, next week it is a 50-50 chance that the podcast will be skipped - sorry about that. I will be down at Jack Spirko's not getting enough sleep for five days, giving a presentation and learning a TON from other homesteaders. And in two weeks, we may have a very special interview lines up with one of our listeners who is this very moment one her brand new pice of land. That should be fun. Anyway - go out and make it a great week! Song: Sauce, Tripped Out.

Mar 13, 2017

Today we are going to talk about what NOT TO DO when you first move to your new homestead. These are three things that I really wish we had known before we dove into the Holler Homestead. Also today, a brand new gluten free, dairy free, soy free potluck recipe. I’ve got some updates to share about the Holler Homestead and we will go over Toby Hemenway’s 8th chapter of Gaia's Garden.

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Wild Mustard is everywhere
  • Wild Salad
  • Harvesting Dandelion Roots
  • Harvesting Sassafrass Root
  • Prepper Pantry Recipe: Roasted Garlic Spread
  • Gluten free, dairy free, soy free potluck dish

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

  • Operation Eyesore
  • Final bed preparation is in process and it will take a few weeks to finalize
  • Blackberry Propagation
  • Seedling light update

3 Mistakes to Avoid on Your New Land

  1. Don’t rush in
  2. Don’t do everything at once
  3. Don’t underestimate

Three things you should do on your new land:

  1. Take time and observe
  2. Set clear priorities with your big picture goal in mind and stick to them
  3. Double your estimate in time and money for everything so that you have enough resources to complete your projects

Toby Hemenway Chapter 8 of Gaia's Garden

Questions to ask yourself about this chapter

  • What one community do I want to set up this year?
  • How can I make plants, insects, soil organisms, birds and mammals work in concert on my land?
  • Where can I try out polyculture in my garden this year and what succession will I aim for?
  • Do I have time each day to oversee a succession planting project in my veggie garden?

And with that, remember, if like the show you can support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee! Order here.

You want to drop me a question, topic idea, or comment, feel free to email me. And for those of you who prefer youtube, we have the show up over on a youtube channel, but they won’t let me do a vanity domain until I have 100 followers - apparently this is something new. Youtube Link

It is funny how simplifying your life, putting more energy into gleaning a living from a piece of land, when done well, can add resilience to your household. Next week we will talk about this resilience a bit more when I share with you s big change that has happened in my job. I am so glad to see spring springing here in Tennessee - along with its new plants, snow, 70 degree days and more visits from friends. Living this way is great fun, really hard, sometimes scary - but it is always rewarding to know that we have made what we have with our own two hands. Make it a great week!

Song: Sauce, Belly Dancing Vamp Song

Mar 6, 2017

And a listener shot me an email last week after hearing the garden section with a pretty important question that has led to today’s topic: Starting Seedlings for the Newbee. Also today, a comment on some of the divisiveness we have all been experiencing and some thoughts on why certain words are triggering bad behavior - especially online. More importantly, we will talk about something you might do to de-escalate these situations.

Also, we will be re-upping the Toby Hemenway segment not THIS WEEK, but next week - Honestly - chapter 8 is taking me a long time to develop because there is so much information in it and I just don’t want to do a bad job for you. Be ready next week for that one.

Notes at:


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.

Direct Download

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

Jan 30, 2017

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.

We’ve passed a benchmark. 100 listeners!

What mother nature is providing

  • Wild Garlic
  • Watercress
  • Stinging Nettle Abounds
  • Chickens are laying eggs again! Just in time for Fat Tuesday Crepes!
  • Comfrey is peeking up and the garlic looks happy
  • Make your own sweet potato slips

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 6: Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Salad Corn
  • Bread, bread, bread!

Stories from the Holler

  • Many hands make light work
  • A weekend of fun and good living
  • 120 pound of green beans have arrived

Storing and Using Oyster Mushrooms

Dry and in the fridge for a week
Dried and vacuum sealed
Diced and frozen

Pickling Brines can be found here.


  • Sauteed in butter - always try this!
  • Add to soups and stews
  • Oyster mushroom/corn chowder
  • Pizza
  • Stir fried vegetables
  • Wild mushroom turnovers
  • On your hamburger
  • Wild Mushroom Crepes

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway

This week: Chapter 4
Next Week: Chapter 5

Observation about this chapter:

  • Growing soil seems to be the best place to focus my attention.
  • A test can be helpful, but if you can’t get one, don’t let it stop you. Look at what grows there, how well it grows and learn.
  • There is no silver bullet
  • Questions to ask yourself:
    What is the state of my soil and what can I do to make it better?
    What resources (like forrest loam) do I have access to as I take on the yard?
    Where do I want to start first? The whole enchilada, or just a small part of my land?
    How can I manufacture fertility on my homestead? Chickens, rabbits, table scraps, etc.

Spring is coming. Make it a great week!

Song: Strange Child, Sauce

Jan 23, 2017

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.

Now, you may be wondering how this relates to self reliance and homesteading --- or freedom for that matter. There is a quiet revolution that has been happening in rural communities all over our country. One where people are realizing that simplicity is good for the heart and soul, good for the body. One where people are opting out of the expensive rat race that leads so many into debt - and opting in to lives of hard work and healthy living. One where people who have very different political and spiritual perspectives manage to come together in their communities and redefine how our political leaders and the media seem to want to define us. One where people are quietly deciding to get along with one another despite sometimes disagreeing, despite differences.

THESE are the stories we need to share with the world. The stories of a family whose crop got taken out by a tornado and the next day a bunch of neighbors came over to help them replant. Or the Nashville flood of 2010 where folks jumped in their boats to snatch people and pets off roofs. Or the kid with leukemia near here who was going to be locked in a sterile room with just the hospital tv for months, whose family could not afford a computer, and the community gave him a iPad.

These are the stories that give me hope, and these are the real pieces of a peaceful revolution of people who have opted out of hysteria and negativity and are doing something to make a real difference.

What mother nature is providing

  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Watercress
  • First EGGGGGG!!!

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 5: No squash this week - I just can’t this week. So Ford shared a baked spaghetti squash idea.
  • Search for the rotten potato...remembering to look at the things in the root cellar
  • Root vegetables! The Blue Cheese Beet Bake
  • Venison tacos (Green chili)


8 Lessons Learned From Starting a Podcast

  1. Just Do it
  2. Use what you have on hand
  3. Define your core and stick to it
  4. Not all podcast hosts are the same - find a good one and learn what they do well
  5. Four areas to consider: Equipment, Content, Production, Marketing
  6. Content (and delivery) is the most important - as long as you don’t foul up the rest
  7. Network, network, network
  8. Block time and be consistent

Area 1: Getting started with technology

  1. What do you already have? Computer with built it mic? Cellphone that records? High end recording setup? Hand held recorder? Whatever it is - just use that and get started!!
  2. Recommendations from another podcaster: Nick Ferguson
    "I asked some professionals and got a studio condenser mic, desk stand, Scarlet Solo, and I record directly into Adobe Audition. That's basically it. Pretty simple but not cheap. If I had to go cheap, then I'd get one of those blue yeti mics and record into adobe audition. The biggest thing is acoustic control of the room. Sound absorbing panels 360 degrees around you with panel above. Simple cheap cubicle panels work."
  3. What I use

Area 2: Content development

  1. Define the core of what your podcast will cover, and stick to that.
  2. Choose something you LOVE.
  3. Try an interview - it yields lots of content
  4. Approach the podcast like a great presentation: Hot beginning, Hot Landing and don’t mess up the middle (Steven Spielberg?).
  5. Integrate stories and metaphors. Integrate them all the time. ALL THE TIME.
  6. Check and triple check your facts - then realize that the random phantom will take over while you are recording and you might still say the wrong thing - don’t stress, just admit it and fix any errors in future podcasts. We are all human.
  7. X number of tips is a great way to focus your content.
  8. Consistent segments are great

Area 3: Production

  1. Less editing is better - especially at the beginning
  2. You do not need a huge file. In fact this will bite you in the bottom - 128kbp/s mp3 is just fine.
  3. What I use:

Area 4: Marketing and promotion

  1. Keep it simple to start, stick to your core
    (Or nothing, just do it and build one thing at a time)
  2. Resource for promoting your podcast:
  3. What I Have: Facebook, Twitter, Website
    • Coming soon: Youtube

Got something to say? Email me at, or drop a comment over at Next week we will be back to our usual homesteading and independence topics. But until then - go out - and make it a great week!

Song: Sauce "Special"


Jan 16, 2017

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.)

What mother nature is providing

  • The last cabbage & a lesson on broccoli
  • Kale
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Stinging Nettle  (Gathering hikes will keep me walking)
  • Watercress is back
  • 2 eggs a day (No yay)

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 4: Roasted Butternut Squash Bake.
    Ingredients: Olive oil, garlic, salt, smoked paprika - Link to the spice mix I use.
    Roast at 425 for 25 minutes
    Place in a casserole dish with mozzarella and butter wedges.
    Broil until there is a nice top crust.
  • The story of the ham.
    1) Ham, mashed and green beans
    2) Sliced for sandwich meat
    3) Ham Tetrazzini
    4) Ham, cabbage and cheese Bierocks
    5) Ham and field peas (Ham and beans)
  • Pickled appetizers - ends up turning into farmer’s platter dinners.

Stories from the Holler

  • The greenhouse roof - is back together. For now.
  • Hunting season is over
  • The bee inspection
  • Lessons learned from the gravity honey extraction method

Samantha’s Saving Ninja Segment

Ten Things the New Homesteader Should Keep in Mind

  1. KISS
  2. Build your network
  3. Set Simple, Attainable goals
  4. Journaling is one of the most valuable things you can do for long term success
  5. Profit is not evil - bartering is great but sometimes you need cash to pay the tax man
  6. Failing forward is a thing, so is failing, you will do both
  7. The internet is full of great learning opportunities - and also crap - learn the difference
  8. Seek systems and system thinking to make things easy over time
  9. Build in time for you, your relationship and for living
  10. Take time to re-read your journals and assess progress - and don’t be afraid to adjust the plan

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway

This week: Chapter 3
The Week AFTER Next Week: Chapter 4

Observation about this chapter:
Lots of examples of designs from which to learn, which I found very helpful (even though they are more centered toward a city setting.

Five steps in creating your garden

  1. Observe
  2. Visioning
  3. Plan
  4. Develop
  5. Implement


Questions to ask yourself

  1. What are your priorities when you use your yard? Do you want a great “hangout space? Is food production your number one goal? Do you need to look good and fit into a neighborhood? Do your children need a good, flat play space?
  2. How does the sun hit your property at different times of day and different times of the year? With that information, what sorts of hazards do you need to plan for (safety, deer population, flooding areas, super dry areas, wind patterns?
  3. What plants do you just really love and want to have in my yard? Which ones do you hate?
  4. How much time will you realistically spend tending the outdoor space?

Song: Sauce, Calling My Name

..make it a great week!

Jan 9, 2017

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.

What mother nature is providing

  • Water and snow (Duck Story)
  • Oyster Mushrooms - frozen solid
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Carrots!

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 3:  Sauteed Spaghetti Squash
    Olive oil, garlic, basil --- add parmesan and salt at the end.
  • Using left overs - Venison Stroganoff:
    1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 3 cups diced fresh mushrooms, flour, oil/fat, white wine, milk, cream (or stock and sour cream)
  • Cow Update - It fit! And we had the easiest processing ever - here is what we did
  • Cabbage and grated sweet potato salad - tastes great!
  • Starting Sauerkraut

Stories from the Holler

  • The greenhouse roof - GRRR
  • Spectacular Walks - but wear orange

Three changes you can make for a great year

  1. Decide the 1 thing you want to do best this year
  2. Set a weekly time to reflect on your progress and set a small, attainable forward step
  3. Remember the small things are the most important.

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway


This week: P 21-35

The Problem is the solution

  1. What battles are you fighting?
  2. How can you change your approach to tap into Nature’s natural progression?

The three ecological principles
The niche, the succession, biodiversity


  1. Pioneer plants
  2. Perennial plants
  3. Young forest
  4. Old forest

What will I do here?

  • Abandon tilling (already done here)
  • Mulch
  • Plant communities

Next week: P 36-67

Garden Planning Strategy - Go big, then back off

  1. Find all the things you want - then take time to get real.
  2. Shared buying advantages for seeds
  3. Bed preparations - for real man
  4. Sharpen, polish and otherwise assess your gardening tools

Make it a great week!

Dec 26, 2016

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.

Big news my friends - we have made it to Stitcher! We are on iTunes too!

Today is Monday, December 26, 2016 and this is episode 17 of Living Free in Tennessee. We are on a week off here at the Holler Homestead. For years, the week between Christmas and New Year’s has been our time to rest up, think about the past, plan for the future, clean out and reset ourselves.

What mother nature is providing

  • Mushrooms
  • Fingers crossed: Stinging Nettle
  • Watercress

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 3: Butternut Squash Soup
  • Apples are getting soft - so it is time to make applesauce - and begin to eat the canned fruits.
  • Incoming cow means reorganizing the Pantry because of how the onions are stored.

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway

Gaia's Garden:

  • Are you interested in joining me in this journey? Well, get yourself a copy of his book and we will read a section per week and talk about what we learned. Check your library, friends houses, or buy it on Amazon (above).
  • First up - P1-20
  • Next week: P 21-35

What next year may bring

  • A marketing cleanup - sis you know I am a marketing expert? How would you? This show is a mess!
  • Monetizing strategy - we need one
    • Focus on building the audience first
    • Find ways to add value for listeners so that we can cover our own costs
  • Build in the Holler Homestead project - more on that in the future
  • Our first youtube video series: Learn to can food at home in 5, 6, 8 videos (Outline is not done so I am not sure how many)
  • Seasonal eating in Tennessee book

Want to ask a question or give me feedback on the show? I would love to hear from you! Email or leave a comment over at the website at And if you are an iTunes listener…..

The week between Christmas and New Years is a great time to reassess if you are lucky enough to be able to make some time. Freedom ain't hard - and our little adventure into producing more for ourselves from what we have here as been a freeing time - giving us a bit of flexibility, and the ability to help those around us. So go out there, and make it a great week!


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