Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

While American Guinea Hogs are suited to a wide variety of environments and will do better than most breeds on low grade forage, they prefer lush pastures with clover along with access to minerals, kitchen scraps, quality hay in winter, clean water to drink, access to a muddy wallow, minimal shelter from precipitation and wind, dry bedding, and perhaps a small amount of grain. They thrive where ranging and grazing is a constant activity giving them plenty of exercise. They are minimal rooters when good grazing and adequate feed is available.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP086-10312014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This is the very real story of Chad Stamps and his unromantic journey into farming.

It's the reality of life that makes this story unromantic, versus the common romantic notions that you hear when someone speaks about going into farming. Long hours, driving, and hard work are par for the course. Entry into farming is often a grind. But it is that grind that has become some people's destiny.

People like Chad.

Chad has gone from no farming experience to now full time farmer. He looked for land for 6 years and started with just 4 feeder pigs and the rest is history. As Chad says in this episode, "The perfect time will never come. Start before you are ready. If you wait, you'll never get there."

And, oh yeah... This episode was recorded 4 days after Chad quit his job to farm full time. This is as real as it gets.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP085-10282014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming,business -- posted at: 5:54am PDT

Today’s guest is Joe Baird.  Joe and his family are taking on the task of restoring the village of Veglio. It is a place that has family ties and ties to when things were much simpler. The way of life in Veglio, then and now, is a stark contrast to the way of life in Joe’s current home in Orange County California. Despite the contrast to today’s technological world, much of what was done in Veglio for hundreds of years provides incredible lessons for us to thrive for hundreds of years into the future. And it those lessons that we are talking about today. Building the future by uncovering and rediscovering the past, The Veglio Project. with Joe Baird..


Small village in northern Italy near the Switzerland border.

Originally only accessible by foot.

Estimated to be about 1000 years old and at one time it supported 250 people.

Currently restoration efforts are underway to restore many of the original stone buildings.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP084-10242014.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Key Takeaways:

-Even if the worst happened and the business failed. How bad would it actually be?

-Learn stuff as you need to. You don't have to learn everything up front. Doing is more important that constantly trying to learn more and know it all.

-Often times a hard commitment or commitment to deliver is what can really make you go out and take something on and work it out and make it happen.

-If it has been done before, then it can be done.

-Realize the power of saying no. You can't do it all.

-Don't over complicate the model. Get it up and working and stable, then innovate, tweak and push the limits.

-Consider the value of your time. Are you spending your time doing high dollar activities?

-80% of your profits come from 20% of your crops. What crops are you focusing on?

-80% of land is dedicated to high and medium value crops.

-You don't have to quit your job to do this. Start on the side.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP083-10212014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 7:45am PDT

-Key Takeaways:

Hugelkultur mounds are usually positioned perpendicular to the wind.

Sometimes used as a staging process to dispose of wood and build soil which can then be spread onto crop land.

Think of a hugelkultur as a produce aisle raised bed.

Make sure the design fits into how you live your life and how you want to live your life.

-Hugelkultur Benefits:

Soil building structure.

Semi-permanent planting bed.

It creates microclimates.

Lifting the soil surface towards the sun and that adds degree days.

with Javan Bernakevitch of Permaculture BC.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP082-10172014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This episode is a compilation of interviews that I recorded during PV1 - March 13-16, 2014.

The general theme of this episode is how business can benefit from permaculture. How we as the permaculture community can positively impact the future of business.


Bill Bean of the Green Planning and Coaching

Ryan Harb of

Curtis Stone of Green City Acres

Dave Boehnlein of Terra Phoenix Design

Paul Greive of Primal Pastures

Xavier Hawk of Permacredits and Colony Earth

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP081-10142014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This show is an interview with Peter McCoy of Radical Mycology.

Radical Mycology is a movement and social philosophy based on accessibly teaching the importance of mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological health. Radical Mycology differs from classical mycology in that classical mycology generally focuses on taxonomy, identification, mycophagy (eating mushrooms), and the more personal benefits of working with fungi while Radical Mycology is about using fungi for the benefit of larger communities and the world.

As a concept, Radical Mycology is based on the belief that the lifecycles of fungi and their interactions in nature serve as powerful learning tools for how humans can best relate to each other and steward the world they live in.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP080-10102014.mp3
Category:permaculture,mycology -- posted at: 4:25am PDT

In Woody Agriculture, crops would be planted only once in a lifetime. The use of woody perennials for agricultural staple commodities production would result in little or no use of tillage, as well as the presence of a permanent cover during both the growing and the dormant seasons. Not only would this lead to a vastly lower rate of soil loss and less runoff into water supplies and aquatic environments, but there would be a reduced need for the fossil fuels consumed in plowing and tilling. In addition, use of pesticides needed for the establishment of annual plants could be sharply reduced. A further important benefit would be the reduction of soil compaction, since far fewer trips through the fields with heavy equipment would be required.

Key Takeaways:

Breeding: You cannot work with more than two traits at the same time. The most important trait is to have a population that actually survives.

When you sell products off of your farm (like nuts) you are exporting a lot of minerals. It is important to remineralize your soil. You can use sheep and chickens in hazelnut systems to remineralize and fertilize the soil.

Hickory and Pecan work well with hazelnuts. Chestnuts don't do as well given different soil pH requirements. Find the old timers growing tree species that you want to grow in your area. They may have long tested genetics suited for your area.

Hazels are wind pollinated, so you don't' need immediate close proximity for insect pollination.

Coppicing to the ground every 10 years can help to rejuvenate the plants.

Direct download: PVP087-10072014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 8:40pm PDT

This is an interview with Neal Spackman. And while you probably haven’t heard of Neal the work that Neal is doing to regreen an area of the Saudi Arabian desert is monumental. The work that he is doing is every bit as great as the work that Geoff Lawton has done. And I mean that. We are talking about regreening a portion of the desert that gets 3 inches of rain a year on average, but lately they aren’t even meeting the average. Greening the site by using true cost water accounting, meaning that they only use the equivalent of water that falls onto the site to establish the vegetation. With minimal rainfall, no pre-existing plant life and 100 plus degree summer temperatures, it is no easy task. Throw in the economic and social challenges of the village that he is working with and the task becomes even harder. But despite those challenges, progress is being made, and the sounds of crickets are now being heard. Life is coming back. The upside potential here is huge. And as Neal says, “"There was some real risk, but in the end I didn't think I was going to end off any worse than I was.... And the potential opportunity was exponentially greater than what I was doing at the time."

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP078-10032014.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT