Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

Kevin Hauser of Kuffel Creek Nursery in Riverside, CA joins me to talk about growing apples in warm, dry climates. Despite popular myths many varieties actually do really well and thrive in these types of climates.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP097-11282014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 6:02am PDT

This episode is a replay of Dr. Elaine Ingham’s keynote talk, Building Soil Health, from PV1. To introduce the talk, Dr. Elaine Ingham says…

A revolution in our understanding of soil has been taking place. “Conventional” agriculture requires ever-increasing inputs and energy into the system to maintain production, while natural systems reduce the disturbances in the system, while increasing production. Historically, soil science ignored or dismissed soil life as important, in large part because the methods used to study organisms in soil were mis-leading, inaccurate and missed about 99% or more of the species present in soil. With the advent of microscope methods and genetic assessment of soil life, we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the soil. Understanding soil life is critical if we want to be sustainable; we need to work with nature, instead of waging war on natural laws as we do in our agricultural systems, to the detriment of people and the planet.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP096-11232014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

If you are doing the life that everyone expects of you, what are you doing to explore that. Everyone has the capacity to really make the choice to really live life, to be engaged, and live a life of vitality. It's never too late to start living.

That’s what Matthew Abrams of Mycelium and I are exploring today. Creating the conditions for pull learning, learning about what you are interested in, doing work that you love, finding out about what brings you alive and living your life.

Show Notes:

PV2 Info @

Direct download: PVP095-11222014.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Steve Gabriel author of Farming the Woods joins me to talk about forest farming. Growing agriculture crops within the forest, beneath the already existing tree canopy. We could grow things like mushrooms, ginseng, medicinal herbs, berries, all while harvesting nuts and tree saps. Economic yields coming out an already established perennial system, no plowing required.

Show Notes:

PV2 Info:

Direct download: PVP094-11212014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 7:23am PDT

This episode with John Pugliano is meant to get you to start thinking in a different way and to plant some seeds in your head. I think that everyone can benefit by starting thinking more like an entrepreneur.

We will touch on business idea generation and John will cover some value add type businesses that anyone can start with low capital. They aren’t directly permaculture, but they are related. The theme being like start where you are, take a step in that direction.

Show Notes:

PV2 Info:

Direct download: PVP093-11202014.mp3
Category:permaculture,business -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Maddy and her partner Tim started the magazine back in 1992 out of their home office. At that time the readership was tiny. But they had a vision for something bigger. A vision of world where permaculture could provide solutions to some of the problems that the world was facing. But in order to make that vision a reality, they had to help get the word out there.


And going from the home office with a readership in the hundreds to the hundred thousands took some work.

As Maddy says, "I'm not going to pretend it was easy. It was really, really tough."

But she put the work in with her team and today they are a working model of a 22 year old permaculture business, one that looks at the business through a whole systems lens, minding the triple bottom line, not just the single bottom line. Let’s get into it and see what’s possible when you mix business with permaculture..

Show Notes:

PV2 Info:

Direct download: PVP092-11182014.mp3
Category:permaculture,business -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This show is a conversation that I had with Mark Shepard about the process of starting up his farm, New Forest Farm, in Viola, Wisconsin. 

How did he start?

What was the process like - both on the land and off?

What were the real life financial struggles and challenges that he went through and faced?

Hint... It wasn't easy.

Show Notes:


Direct download: PVP091-11182014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 6:17am PDT

How can we start to broaden the reach of permaculture and start to involve areas outside of permaculture in the greater movement of permaculture? How can we use the permaculture toolkit to make more effective use of resources in other areas? How can we start to include willing, able, and highly skilled individuals and groups that don’t’ have a land focus and have previously felt excluded from the permaculture conversation in the conversation.

I am joined by Jessica Schilike and Nick Wooten to talk social permaculture. They both have done a lot of work on the social side of things and are actively involved in bringing more groups into the permaculture conversation.

Show Notes:


Direct download: PVP090-11172014.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:40am PDT

Joel Salatin's talk on Stacking Fiefdoms from PV1.

"The whole idea is to create customized fiefdoms so that people are autonomous and have the authority to run their own fiefdom within your own umbrella, and you can't believe how many things you can get done that way."

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP089-11142014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming,business -- posted at: 2:19am PDT

Engineer and permie Rob Avis from Verge Permaculture talks about building and designing passive solar greenhouses.

Key Takeaways:

Orientation. In Northern hemisphere orient it South or within 45 degrees of South.

Higher the glazing transmisivity is, the better it is for the plants.

Don't underestimate the value of good insulation in the walls of the greenhouse. Rob uses R-20 in Calgary. Keep in mind insulation doesn't stop heat loss, it just slows it down.

In lower light conditions look to plants that are adapted to growing in lower light conditions. A hoop house may be a viable alternative in lower light conditions.

It is very important to have thermal mass in the greenhouse. Thermal mass absorbs the surplus heat during the date and radiates it back out at night.

Know what your goals are for the greenhouse. Why are you building it?

You can't over-vent a greenhouse.

Thermal curtains can cut heat loss drastically through the glazing.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP088-11072014.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

Luke Callahan author of The Complete Guide to Growing and Selling Microgreens and the co-founder of Seedwise joins me to talk about starting and running a microgreens business.

It’s a business that can make some serious money when you are selling the product of that business for $50 to $150 per pound. With those prices, and selling at scale we are talking about the very realistic possibility to generate $1000 to $2000 a week in sales.

This isn’t conjecture, these are real numbers. The real sales numbers that my guest today, Luke Callahan was taking in running his microgreens business. It was a very successful business that generated some good revenue. The prices that he was getting per pound for his product, $50 to $150, and the $1000 to $2000 are a week are attainable. It isn’t some get rich quick scheme.

You are going to have to go out there put in the time and grind, it does take hard work. It does take a lot of relationship building and pounding the pavement. But it’s doable.

Show Notes:

Direct download: PVP087-11042014.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming,business -- posted at: 7:55am PDT