Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce






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Now displaying: January, 2017
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!