Return of the Giant Sunflowers!

Last year, we planted some different sunflower varieties at the end of some of our garden rows and let them go to seed for various reasons. This spring the seeds that had dropped started to come up in our Alaska peas and other veggies.

Rather than pull them up, we decided to let them go. When fall rolls around and they die, we will chop them up and return them to the soil, but for now we’ll enjoy the beauty they offer and let our Potawatomi lima beans crawl up their massive stalks.

The sunflowers we planted last year were tall and short, yellow and burgundy, single-head and multi-headed, so far this year, they all seem to be quite tall – the tallest over ten feet – multi-headed, and yellow, though there is some maroonish burgundy showing through on some of the petals.

I assume they’ve all been hybridized and that’s what we are seeing. It will be curious to see how the genetics sort out in next years generation.

Ferment the Harvest with Sandor Katz – Episode 021

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 21 on Libsyn.

For the 21st episode of Homesteads and Homeschools, we enjoy a cold fermented beverage and have a discussion with fermentation guru Sandor Katz. We discussed some of the basics of fermentation, as well as the health benefits of not just fermented food, but bacteria and some of the problems with humanity’s desire to create a sterilized environment. There is an extra bonus episode for supporters of the show.

The Links

If you’re enjoying the show, please support it by becoming a patron on Patreon and get access to bonus shows, seeds, and merchandise (and if you don’t like Patreon, you can sign up to support the show on BitBacker!) You can also do your Amazon shopping through our Amazon link. Please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too. And don’t forget to join the The Homesteaded Homeschool Forum to be a part of the conversation.And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

Link to show notes for episode 20 with Kayla Fox.

The Urban Homesteader’s Nightmare – Episode 019

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 19 on Libsyn.

This week the Liberty Hippie had the pleasure of speak with Lloyd Cowan of Madison, ME. Lloyd is your typical urban homesteading type who spent some years out west before coming back to Maine and using his urban lot to grow vegetables, house show chickens, layer hens, and keep a handful of goats for dairy and soap. The show opened with Lloyd giving a little run down of his history and how he came to be an urban homesteader, but it’s the happenings of his town that drew the interest of the Liberty Hippie. In June 2018, the town board held a meeting and took a vote by a show of hands on a ordinance that would effect everyone in town with a lot smaller than 1.5 acres. The ordinance was not advertised as anything to do with farming, or produce, but was tacked on under a property ordinance and looked to have more to do with loose and barking dogs, than actual livestock. In the morning, residents started to find out about the new ordinance that was passed by a mere 50 people in a town of 5,000. As the days would roll on, and appeals were filed, new information has come to light and once again, we see government force being used to entrench protectionist policies despite the desires of the local community.

As the current situation stands, the next town meeting, June 10, 2019, it looks as if the turbulence will finally be decided. Please feel free to call the town and let them know that this oridinance is not only contradictory to the Food Sovereignty declaration the town made, but is also anti-business, and is unconstitutional that a small handful of individuals can dictate how owners of land can use said land. The town manager, Tom Curtis, and the code enforcer, Susan Hathaway can be reached using the information provided.

Tom Curtis – 207-696-3971 – edd@madisonmaine.com
Susan Hathaway – 207-696-3971 – code@madisonmaine.com

Pictures of Lloyds Backyard Homestead

The Links

If you’re enjoying the show, please support it on Patreon and get access to bonus shows, seeds, and merchandise (and if you don’t like Patreon, you can sign up to support the show on BitBacker!) You can also do your Amazon shopping through our Amazon link. Please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too. And don’t forget to join the The Homesteaded Homeschool Forum to be a part of the conversation.And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

Link to show notes for episode 18 with Shane and Meredith Hazel.

Foraging for Freedom with Nicki Lynne – Episode 016

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 16 on Libsyn.

This week on Homesteads and Homeschools, the Liberty Hippie welcomes Nicki Lynne to the show. Nicki is a mother of two and the curator and creator of Foraging for Freedom. Nicki is an author and homeschooling mother of two from Florida who does a bit of homesteading and is hoping to do even more in the future. During the show we talk about her experiences homeschooling and what they do on the homestead. We talk about how she manages to take her kids across country, plant vegetables, write countless words, and make it all educational. Go check out her books on amazon, and dig into all the content she produces on her website!

Nicki’s Links

After the show, the Liberty Hippie delves into some mycology stuff, and examines a few of the different uses for mycellium based projects from Ecovative Designs. (Unfortunately, in 2017, despite being concerned about climate change, Ecovative took a $9.1 million grant from the worlds largest producer of CO2, the US Dept. of Defense’s DARPA, but the technology is out there!) After talking mushrooms, again, the Liberty Hippie announces his participation in Agorafest 2020 along with today’s guest Nicki Lynne, Sherry Voluntary, Derrick Broze, and Gary Chatier. Stay tuned for more details.

Today’s Links

If you’re enjoying the show, please support it on Patreon and get access to our fortnightly bonus material (and more!) (and if you don’t like Patreon, you can sign up to support the show on BitBacker!) You can also do your Amazon shopping through our Amazon link. Please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too. And don’t forget to join the The Homesteaded Homeschool Forum to be a part of the conversation.And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

Link to show notes for episode 15 with The Mt. Troll.

The Bottle Babies are Here!

A couple of weeks ago, we had the neighbors come over and show me how to stretch some woven wire fence. It wasn’t long after that we got our first goat, Cinnamon Sally. There’s no telling what she is, the vet we got her from called her a brush goat, so basically she’s a meat mutt. The first couple of days we had her, she was alone and sad. The books and such warn you that keeping a single goat is tough, and Cinnamon Sally proved them right. She was tough to get a hold of and was very untrustworthy, and on top of that, she was hardly eating despite having sweet feed and a couple acres of pasture. She was supposed to come with a buck, but unfortunately, the buck didn’t make it and so Cinnamon Sally came alone and we just had to hold on until the bottle babies were ready.

Cinnamon Sally
This past weekend we were able to make the 2.5 hour trek (one way) to pick up two more bottle babies, Paige and Rosey. They were three weeks old when we got them, and need to be fed four times a day; thankfully, we’ve been able to use this as a learning experience for the kids and feeding the goats has become their job.

Bottle Baby 1
I will admit, I had no idea what to expect when they first came, but I learned quickly: goats are loud, and they get angry! The other night I went out to do some weeding in the garden and feed the chickens, well, the goats heard me. At first they came over to the corner of their pasture and did some maa’ing at me. When I didn’t respond, they got louder, and the maa’s were almost tinged with a bit of distress, but when I continued to ignore them, their maa’s became angry and petulant.

Paige 1
They have quite the personalities, and while we don’t plan on eating these particular goats, I can already say for certain, that butchering any future kids is going to be a tough job.

Privatizing Education with Arvin Vohra – Episode 014

Arvin Thumb Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 14 on Libsyn.

This week the Liberty Hippie is joined by the former Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party, the one and only Arvin Vohra. Arvin is an author of a number of books, including How to Get Into an Ivy League College, and Lies, Damned Lies, and College Admissions: An Inquiry into Education, and the creator of the Vohra Method, a highly specialized tutoring and college preparatory program.

In this episode we talked about privatizing the public education sphere and the potential of what that might look like. We also discussed why the public school model is failing students and how children can benefit from enrolling in an alternative schooling method – homeschooling, private school, etc.

The Links

After the show, the Liberty Hippie carries on about one of his pet peeves around this time of year: the Vidalia Onion packing season. He gets into the problems with government protection of crops based on where they are grown or produced, and questions why the state should hold a trademark on an entire crop.

The Onion Links

If you’re enjoying the show, please support it on Patreon and get access to our fortnightly bonus material (and more!) (and if you don’t like Patreon, you can sign up to support the show on BitBacker!) You can also do your Amazon shopping through our Amazon link. Please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too. And don’t forget to join the The Homesteaded Homeschool Forum to be a part of the conversation.

And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

Link to show notes for episode 013 with Jason Carrier.

Turning Up the Homeschooling Volume with Raylene Lightheart – Episode #010

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 10 on Libsyn.

The Homeschooling Liberty volume got cranked up to eleven this week as Raylene Lightheart of the Launch Pad Media and Blast Off with Johnny Rocket and Raylene Lightheart stopped by to do some talking about homeschooling. We talk about some of her experiences with public education – which are pretty daunting – and get into what it’s like homeschooling five kids with a wide variety in ages. Raylene also mentioned some excellent resources that provide both information and motivation for homeschooling families of any variety.

All the Links

After the interview with Raylene is over, the Liberty Hippie moves on to another free-market solution to climate change and carbon sequestration when he brings attention to a company called BioCarbon Engineering. BioCarbon works with drones to map land that has suffered from deforestation – man-made or natural – and then plants trees from the air!

Don’t forget to join the facebook group, The Homesteaded Homeschool Forum Facebook Group, to share your thoughts, ask questions, and make suggestions to help shape and direct the show!

If you really want to help the show grow, please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too.

If you feel so inclined to support the show financially you can click on the Amazon link in the side bar, or by checking out the Liberty Hippie’s bitbacker.io account, where you can show your support by donating Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

And subscribe to the show!

Link to show notes for episode 009 with Julie Kirchner of Sadie-Girl Farm.

Getting Down with the Poultry Queen on Sadie-Girl Farm – Episode #009

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 9 on Libsyn.

This week the Liberty Hippie had the chance to talk with Julie Kirchner of Sadie-Girl Farm in Western North Carolina. Julie is enthralled with poultry and has made a thriving little side business selling some pretty fantastic chickens and quails. We talked about what varieties she focuses on – Black and Blue Copper Marans, Lavender Ameraucanas, Olive Eggers, Silkies, and Celedon Quail – and how she came to pick those varieties. We got into some of the details of her set up and how she is able to run so many flocks congruently while maintaining variety purity. These are all skills that Julie has learned later in life through non-conventional means, and it’s worth noting that the community is one of superb helpfulness. You can purchase chicks or hatching eggs from Sadie-Girl farm by accessing their website.

All The Links

After the interview, the Liberty Hippie gets into the recent spat of Tim Tebow Bills that have been pushed into Statehouses as well as a bill in Iowa that proposes to distribute public school funds to private and homeschooled children. He looks at some of the pros, but also the overwhelming cons.

All the Articles

And the Facebook Group!

If you really want to help the show grow, please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too.

If you feel so inclined to support the show financially you can click on the Amazon link in the side bar, or by checking out the Liberty Hippie’s bitbacker.io account, where you can show your support by donating Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

And subscribe to the show!

Link to show notes for episode 008 with Steve Kemp.

Schooling in a Corn Crib with Steve Kemp – Episode #008

Direct mp3 download.

Link to episode 8 on Libsyn.

This week the Liberty Hippie sits down with Steve Kemp and discusses a key event in his public education that he still remembers 25 years later, and how it shaped his outlook and the choices he is making as a father concerning education. We also talked about how it was not all bad once he started his homeschooling career. This was another great interview with a wonderful family man, talking about homeschooling, child rearing, and life in general.

After the interview, the Liberty Hippie looks at the EPA’s recent banning of paint strippers that contain methylene chloride. It isn’t just the act of prohibition that gets him fired up, but the fact that it is a government agency making laws without going through the proper channels laid out in the constitution.

All the Articles

And the Facebook Group!

If you really want to help the show grow, please subscribe and leave a review on the Apple iTunes Store (or on any podcatcher, though iTunes is the most important). You can also like us on facebook and share the show from there. We are on Twitter as @HSandHSpod, and sometimes even on Instagram, too.

If you feel so inclined to support the show financially you can click on the Amazon link in the side bar, or by checking out the Liberty Hippie’s bitbacker.io account, where you can show your support by donating Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

And don’t forget to pay Nicky P. a visit either at Sounds Like Liberty, or on bandcamp, and pick up a subscription to the Freedom Song 365 project.

And subscribe to the show!

Link to show notes for episode 007 with Tamlynn Clyde of Clyde’s Dale Homestead.

Almost My Favorite Holiday

I think, pretty much without fail, every holiday, or day of some named importance, has a special food associated with it: Thanksgiving has it’s Turkey, Christmas it’s ham, Valentine’s Day has Chocolate, the Fourth of July has BBQ, and St. Patrick’s Day has Corned Beef. Growing up, I was never really a fan of boiled meat, but it was tradition, and I did appreciate the salty boiled potatoes and green beer, so when I became an adult, the whole boiled meat thing kind of got lost. That was until I had kids.

The kids, of course, need to at least be aware of cultural traditions, and so, we started boiling some meat on St. Patrick’s Day. The only problem was that it wasn’t cheap and it was laden with chemicals and salt. As chance would have it, one year, we split a side of beef with two friends and somehow we ended up with the brisket; now it was uncured brisket, but it was still a brisket and so we figured why not try brining it ourselves? It was a risk, but it was only boiled meat, what could go wrong?

This was a turning point in my boiled-meat-career; it was brilliant, so much better than the pre-brined garbage you get at the grocery store. Unfortunately, the following year we didn’t purchase a cow, and we thought we would be stuck going back to the grocery store. But we weren’t! We had previously come into some venison, and thought this would be an excellent opportunity to try brining some venison roasts ourselves. It was delicious!

We eat corned venison throughout the year these days – not just St. Patrick’s Day – and everyone always loves when we do. Over the years, the recipe has changed, but the flavor is always delicious, and it’s a great way to get rid of those big old shoulder roasts (they just need to be boiled a bit longer and aren’t as tender as the other rump cuts.)

In half-a-gallon of water, boil 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 2 tablespoons of whole allspice, 1 teaspoon of mixed peppercorns, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander, roughly chopped garlic cloves (you know how many you need) and other spices you want to experiment with (we’ve tried dill and fennel, both okay). Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature as you don’t want to cook the meat when covering it with brine.

When the brine has cooled, put your meat into a large sanitary container and add brine to cover. The meat will float so a weight may be necessary. Depending on the size of the container and cut of meat, it may be necessary to flip the meat daily. We usually brine our meat for five days in the refrigerator.

Before cooking, remove the meat from the brine and give it a quick rinse in the sink. Add the meat to a large sauce pot, cover with fresh water and cook just like you would a piece of corned beef you bought at the store.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!