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Permaculture & Stories From The Homestead ft Rebekah And Justin Rhodes

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Show Notes

Join Nicole as she talks to Rebekah and Justin Rhodes about permaculture and stories from their Abundant Permaculture Homestead!

What You’ll Learn

  • What is permaculture
  • 5 permaculture tips for beginners
  • Honduras chicken experience
  • Justin & Rebekah’s successes and failures

Our Guest

Justin and Rebekah are a family working together to grow most of their own food in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Dedicated to serving their followers, Justin and Rebekah enjoys teaching others how to grow their own food, become a better family member, and a better citizen.

Their YouTube channel and DIY Abundance Member will get straight to the point with DIY instructional videos and a vibrant private community where you won’t feel so crazy for growing your own food.

Resources & Links Mentioned

*Denotes affiliate links

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    Announcer: 0:01

    Welcome to the Backyard Bounty podcast from when we talk about all things backyard poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living, and more. And now here's your host, Nicole.

    Nicole: 0:17

    Hello everybody, and thank you for joining us for another episode of Backyard Bounty. I'm your host Nicole and today we're joined by Justin and Rebecca Rhodes of Abundant Permaculture and today we are going to talk about permaculture so thank you guys so much for joining me today!

    Justin: 0:32

    Oh yes, thank you so much.

    Nicole: 0:34

    So I know that you guys have an interesting background and how you got into the permaculture farmstead life that you are now would you mind sharing a little bit of your backstory with us?

    Justin: 0:46

    So I think that we grew up like most everybody else and eating like most everybody else. I lived in the country Rebecca lived in suburbia, so we kind of have, you know, down in Florida she and I live in North Carolina, so sure I lived in the country, but we weren't necessarily doing what we're doing now, our parents weren't homesteading or anything like that, which is what we're doing now. But I would say that Rebecca at some point got started getting excited or convicted about her health and what we were eating. It seemed like at one point, she was telling me, well, we can't drink this milk anymore. We've got to drink organic milk.

    Rebekah: 1:23


    Justin: 1:24

    And so it started with organics. We ran out of our conventional milk and we bought some organic milk and kind of ended up doing that with all our things. And then the cheap wad that I was said, "Wait a minute..." we were living in the country, thankfully, on family land, and basically, it came down to "Well, this is really expensive, eating healthy, but this is good. And you can buy a bunch of kale at the store for $3.50. Or you can buy a seed pack of kale at the store for $3.50 and get 1000 times the amount of kale" so we're like, "Alright, let's let's, let's start growing some of our food." And long story short, 12 year journey of blood, sweat and tears and some kicks and giggles. We're here and now are sitting with 10 fridges, freezers, full of our own homegrown meat and veggies.

    Nicole: 2:14

    That's amazing. And where are you guys doing all of this at? Where in the country are you?

    Justin: 2:18

    Near Asheville, North Carolina.

    Nicole: 2:20

    There in North Carolina, what is the climate like? Like here in Colorado, you know, we've got well pretty much anymore we just have summer and winter. So that really makes some challenges. Is your weather there a little bit more temperate?

    Justin: 2:34

    Yes, we are. We are a cold temperate climate. We have traveled all of America. And once we went west, we really began to miss the magic that water just flowed from the sky. So you know, we get rain, but here in western North Carolina, we also get four seasons. And so now that we've been to all states, we really can compare and see and really have come to appreciate what we have here. It doesn't get too hot. It doesn't get too cold, like today it's the beginning of February and it's like 30 this morning.

    Rebekah: 3:05

    Yeah, we definitely have a temperature fluctuation. But we were not too cold, which is nice. I mean, we have cold snaps where it gets right and...

    Justin: 3:14

    We get some snow so we get to enjoy so we get a little but it's not like no way is it here all winter long.

    Rebekah: 3:20

    No, it's very nice.

    Nicole: 3:23

    That sounds perfect. Here in Colorado we had a somewhat unexpected snowstorm and we've probably gotten about a foot or so and the schools and the banks and everything were closed today and so you know, it's Colorado, it does whatever it wants.

    Justin: 3:39

    If that happened here, they would call it the blizzard of 2020.

    Rebekah: 3:42

    Oh, I know... I mean, we would be shut down. Let's see we got when so I moved here with my family in 1996. And we had a very nice snowfall in early of 97. And we were out of school for like three weeks.

    Nicole: 4:03

    Oh my gosh.

    Rebekah: 4:04

    We didn't have school. I mean, Justin and I think we were dating then and we were out of school and driving around. It was hilarious. It was actually kind of funny because he would come pick me up and bring me out here and we'd sled and drink, you know, hot cocoa

    Justin: 4:18

    And we'd tellyour mom were snowed in.

    Rebekah: 4:20

    I know. We're gonna spend the night at his dad's house and yeah, is this kind of funny cuz we just were...

    Justin: 4:30

    We were driving all around.

    Rebekah: 4:31

    I know. We'd go into town, like, Oh, we want to go do this. So we're just gonna go. So yeah, we we shut down big time. If there's any sort of snow here.

    Nicole: 4:41

    How funny. Well, I bet it's nice to live somewhere where you can experience all four seasons.

    Justin: 4:46

    So nice.

    Nicole: 4:47

    So your business or your social media being Abundant Permaculture. I feel like the word permaculture is thrown around a lot and it's kind of a hot term right now but what exactly is permaculture? What does that mean?

    Justin: 5:01

    Well think it might mean different things for different people. But if I were to give you an elevator answer it would be it's a way of designing things that works with nature rather than against it to give you more abundance with less input. And I say designing things. Mostly it is for designing a homestead or urban backyard or a farm. Some of it is life design as well. So a lot of it's principles can be applied to life in general.

    Nicole: 5:28

    And as you guys built your permaculture, what are some of the challenges and successes that you've faced along the way?

    Justin: 5:35

    First of all, the permaculture, so we got into this food growing venture and like so many things I do if I get into something like and I try to make a living on it. And I'm an entrepreneur, and I go pro, I can't just be a hobbyist. I just got to go pro. So we went pro with market farming.

    Rebekah: 5:55

    Well, yeah, so we started market farming.

    Justin: 5:57

    But then I began to suffer from the symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease and had to slow down drastically. And we were farming at that point organically. But having to slow down and having less energy and being in physical pain and bills go up and ability go down, I started to feel in my heart, man, there's got to be a better way. Like, I feel like here's my chickens, here's my garden, I shouldn't have to... couldn't it be connected or something. Uh, what could I do to be more efficient,

    Rebekah: 6:28

    I think to at that time because he was dealing with illness and we didn't know what it was. And we were delving deeply into what some would call alternative medicine or holistic medicine. We were kind of like realizing that not everything is separate, that the body all works together. And so like why on our farm, are we so segmented? Like, why is it the chickens over here? And this over here, and why aren't things working together?

    Justin: 6:56

    So that was a major struggle early on was the physical disability, you know, not being who I once was physically or mentally and it was driven by my heart because, you know, the mind and body wasn't necessarily keeping up. I knew that there was something different out there. And so when a friend pointed out a permaculture video online, it was a it was a Geoff Lawton Zaytuna Farm tour. And I got into that tour, and it was absolutely amazing. It just blew my mind. And ultimately, what happened was one of the permaculture principles that really sunk in and touched me at that time was permaculture, you know, it'll teach you something about gardening, It won't teach you how to raise a chicken. But what permaculture does is make connections so it doesn't dive deep and specific in any kind of element like a garden or, or chickens or cows or whatever, but it makes the connection so permaculture is like the toolbox that the garden and the chickens can sit inside of. So that was one major obstacle that we overcame, actually through and because of permaculture.

    Nicole: 8:05

    And I know that you mentioned before that we started recording that you use your chickens a lot to kind of help you with some of the tasks that you have around your farm. And I assume that that's kind of one of the components of the permaculture as well.

    Justin: 8:20

    So I said to you that permaculture rescued us in a sense and being able to make connections so we had a market garden and it was out there separate and then we had our chickens over here or wherever somewhere separate. But then what permaculture taught me was basically look, look at your different elements. Let's say let's take a chicken and let's take a garden. So what does a chicken need? Well a chicken needs food. A chicken needs buddies. A chicken needs water. A chicken needs to move about and scratch or what what does a chicken give? So a chicken gives eggs chicken gives me a chicken scratches a chicken gives food that could be a fertilizer. So we have that so what does a chicken get and need? And then now let's look at the garden. So the garden, what does it give a need? So the garden needs, it needs fertilizer, it needs water, it needs weeding, it needs debugging. What does a garden give? A garden gives food, it could give mulch, you could give some various different things. So all of a sudden, we're seeing that a garden needs debugging, or needs weeded. Needs fertilizer. Well, those are things that a chicken gives and a garden gives food. Well, those are those that that's a thing that a chicken needs. So all of a sudden you see that these two should be connected and at the very least, your garden and your chickens should be next to each other. So that in preferably the garden in between you your house and the chickens so you walk out there, you pick through your garden, pick some weeds, pick some extra produce on your way to the chickens and throw it into the chickens for some food. And your chickens are near the garden. So there that's one side at least, I mean, you could put your chickens all around the garden and have complete wall of bug control surrounding your garden but you'd at least have one side and you throw your veggies in there and the chickens love it. Theoretically, you could harvest their manure from them, you know being in coop all day, half their manure load is dropped at night, and you can put that in a compost pile nearby, and you pick up the eggs. And on your way back, you could toss your the manure into a compost pile while you're in the other hand, you're carrying eggs inside. So see what i'm saying? Just at least making that connection putting them next to each other. Now we've gone a step further and we have chickens go ahead of the garden, and they till and they fertilize and they therefore get it ready and then we cover it with a gardening silage start. And then we pull that tarp up and we plant. And it's some of the most beautiful soil and beautiful crops you've ever seen.

    Nicole: 10:55

    So it's really like one big symbiotic, you know everything kind of supports and helps everything else.

    Justin: 11:02


    Nicole: 11:03

    And so along this journey, I imagine that you, I'm not gonna make any assumptions here, but you might have made a mistake or two along the way. What are some lessons that you've learned from that?

    Justin: 11:14

    I made so many mistakes. And, well, I'm making a mistake every day. My goodness. Right now I'm working on putting stuff back where it goes. Making a special trip and putting it back where it goes. Right now I'm working on becoming a better listener to my wife. so, mucho mistakes every single day, you don't arrive. But some of the early mistakes because of lack of knowledge or experience, I would have to say because your your audience is probably going to be more. I've got stories across the board, from pigs to cows, chickens, but let's go with the chickens.

    Nicole: 11:49


    Justin: 11:49

    Our first chickens. we affectionately call them Uno, Dos, Tres and Quatro, we got four chickens.

    Rebekah: 11:56

    We got these chickens because we had spent some time in Honduras and we had spent we were in charge of chickens while there.

    Nicole: 12:02

    Oh, okay.

    Justin: 12:03

    They put me in charge of 1200 chickens.

    Nicole: 12:05

    Oh my goodness!

    Justin: 12:06

    Day two. I knew nothing about farming at the time - nothing. Here was my mistake we went to serve there and I made it was a mistake maybe it's good but I said I'll do whatever you want me to do and I speak one word of Spanish, I can speak "Hola". And they said all right well we're gonna jump on that because there was only 14 to them and 400 kids.

    Nicole: 12:18

    Oh, wow.

    Justin: 12:23

    So among other things, they put me in charge of the chickens 1200 of them!

    Rebekah: 12:32

    Those were the meat chicken and there's also layers that...

    Justin: 12:35


    Nicole: 12:36

    Oh my gosh!

    Justin: 12:36

    So long story short there is that they put me in charge of this but they told me exactly what to do.

    Rebekah: 12:42

    Yeah, they did.

    Justin: 12:43

    And I was successful. We got those chickens. In Honduras, you butcher the meat chickens that's only six weeks old. They like a little bird and a little carcass and so I got them to six weeks we only lost a few which is like incredible, as you should at least lose like 10% so I could have lost 120 but I only lost like a handful. So here I am patting myself on the back thinking I'm pro chicken farmer man. And we come back and we're just talking. And somebody came up to us and said, Hey, would you guys want some chickens is like so crazy because we were just talking about it. And we said yes. And we thought we got this.

    Rebekah: 13:18

    I know.

    Justin: 13:19

    So we got four chickens. And we brought them Oh yeah, we call them Uno, Dos, Tres, and Quatro. And so you can tell by that time I've picked up a little more Spanish.

    Nicole: 13:27

    At least a few more.

    Justin: 13:28

    Yeah. So this is to remind us of our good times and hard times in Honduras. And we got these chickens. We put them in a stall downstairs. We actually live in a horse barn. There's no horses here, but that's a whole different story. But anyway, we put them in a stall downstairs like a typical barn stall. And we just get so excited and we want people to see him I don't know if I can get you to come see him or whatever. But we opened the top stall door.

    Rebekah: 13:54

    We had the bottom stall door open because we didn't account for...

    Justin: 13:57

    Oh, was it the bottom, too?

    Rebekah: 13:58

    We just had the bottom stall door. We have the top one wide open and we all the time

    Justin: 14:02

    you know yeah we yeah so we went down there to see them and one flew up on top of this door and right out!

    Justin: 14:09

    And then two flew right out. So nobody told us that chickens can fly a little bit!

    Rebekah: 14:17

    And that you need to keep them, like really caged in. So this is the thing in Honduras, you keep your chickens because in Honduras.

    Justin: 14:24

    Well, they were meat chickens too. And meat chickens are not going to fly.

    Rebekah: 14:27

    But they were also, the layer chickens were in a house it was a very open air house but because in Honduras the predators are humans so they have to keep them like locked up although they were did have it was very open but it was still very locked up so we didn't like know that you needed to keep them so like we thought they just keep kept them locked up because sure of them getting caught by predators But no, it was because they fly.

    Justin: 14:52

    So we had that door open. We didn't think chickens could fly I guess and two of them flew out that very night. And you know, that's it too, they had just gotten there. So I know now that you know, if we had to kept that door shut at least one day, preferably three, that they would have gotten used to that area and they would just come back at night. But because they had just gotten put in there, they didn't know they were not established there. And so they didn't come back that night. And I saw him one of them, I saw one of them on our roof the next day. And it's reachable from our porch and so I tried to chase it. And it got away and at that time, too, I didn't I didn't know how to chase a chicken. Do you know how to chase a chicken? You can actually chase a chicken. If you want to sprint race a chicken you're toast. You're gonna lose the 55 yard dash you lose every time. You see 'em bolt, you got no chance.

    Rebekah: 15:48


    Justin: 15:49

    But you are an endurance animal, and a chicken is not. So if you just keep that chicken in sight. I've learned this since and you just kind of you know, walk or jog or whatever you do, just keep that chicken in sight. It will eventually tire out, hunker down and you can grab and pick it up, typically less than three minutes.

    Rebekah: 16:11

    But if you don't have the skills...

    Justin: 16:14

    I guess that was our big mistake is going into it with maybe some assumptions.

    Rebekah: 16:20

    Yeah. And we were like, How hard could this be?

    Justin: 16:22


    Justin: 16:23

    And maybe I should have gotten a book.

    Rebekah: 16:26


    Justin: 16:27

    We should have gotten a book about backyard chicken keeping or something. And you know, since then we have, and we didn't count on our really nichified experience in Honduras, to pull us through that our experience in Honduras maybe lit the fire, and got us excited about it and got us thinking that we could do chickens, so I guess sorta we got tricked, but I think that's better. I think it's better to get tricked and get into this and lose a couple than to just steady steady and think you got to know everything because you cannot know everything and not do anything.

    Nicole: 16:59

    Analysis paralysis.

    Justin: 17:00

    Yeah, that's right. So I think it's better to get four chickens and do your best. And yeah, lose a couple I mean you can buy them, you can get them on Craigslist sometimes free because that's a great learning experience. And it could be anything I had in the book no Sure. I could have avoided some of that and had we just gotten a little backyard even, or even asked the owner a few questions. I'm surprised we had a box for them to take home.

    Rebekah: 17:01

    I think they gave us the box.

    Justin: 17:30

    Oh, they probably gave us a box to take these chickens home with

    Rebekah: 17:38

    I should add that I was very pregnant with our first child.

    Nicole: 17:41

    Oh my goodness.

    Rebekah: 17:42

    I was like less than weeks away.

    Justin: 17:44

    So you were waddling out there helping me chase 'em.

    Rebekah: 17:47

    No, I remember you came back in I was probably sitting on the couch or something. So we lost two and I was like what?

    Justin: 17:52

    We didn't give up. We didn't give up. We got more, and Tres and Quatro lived for a little while.

    Rebekah: 18:00

    They lived for a long time they did eventually get got.

    Justin: 18:02

    Yep. And that can be hard sometimes. There's all kinds of things to think about. And so you can't beat yourself up too much. If you lose one or one or one gets sick or die strangely, or it does happen. They've told me when you have livestock, you have dead stock. And that's totally true.

    Nicole: 18:18

    Oh, I've never heard that.

    Justin: 18:19

    Yeah. And the more you get into it, and the more success you have in success being numbers of animals, like if we have right now 50 chickens, five cows, two pigs, seven sheep. I mean, what's the chances of something happening to somebody as if I only had one pet dog, so my chances are up so as you increase and succeed and become abundant, you're also going to experience more loss.

    Nicole: 18:47

    I know that when I only had six chickens, you know, I didn't really have too many problems. And then once I started getting 20, 30, 40, 50 I started having these problems crop up, but if you think about it is like purely statistics. You know if one in 10 get sick or whatever and you only have six, then that's a half of one, you know. So the more you have the the numbers stay the same, you're just more likely to experience that stuff. I think as you grow.

    Justin: 19:13


    Nicole: 19:14

    So I mean, you mentioned if you had maybe done a little bit of research, but I feel like you can read something, and that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to follow the rules that you read, you probably would still end up chasing a chicken on the roof even if you had read. Not all chickens follow the rules.

    Justin: 19:32

    Yeah, and nobody's getting there. Something's missing like that. Like, if a chicken gets on a roof don't get on it. Like, there are some rules missing.

    Nicole: 19:41

    But that being said, Do you have any resources that you like to recommend to people?

    Justin: 19:46

    Yeah, one of our early books, because we have some grassland here was Joel Salatin's "Salad Bar Beef", which talks about how to raise cows then we got his book, "Pastured Poultry Profits". We got Harvey Ussery's book "Small Scale Poultry Flock", which is a wonderful book for getting started with chickens and doing some amazing things with chickens. If I could only have one book and you were gonna erase all my experience and knowledge and start me over somewhere else, but I could take one book it'd be "Intro to Permaculture" with Bill Mollison. One of our first adventures with getting a cow for raising it for beef. Once you buy that you buy the steer in the spring, a steer's a castrated male, he's not going to be interested in mating, he's not going to want to run off and stuff. So you buy them in the spring when grass is heavy, and then you harvest, they're one years old, and then you harvest them at the end of that growing season. So you don't have to worry about hay. It's a good way to get into that. So you know, and I went off of Joel Salatin book. Well, his book didn't tell me not to just get one cow. Okay, so if you get one cow, I learned the hard way. Well, it's not terribly happy and may want to break out.

    Nicole: 20:10


    Justin: 20:58

    And I knew enough to get a steer, my mentor had told me that or whatnot. But when the guy who I bought the steer from actually showed up with a heifer, which is a female cow that has just not become a mom yet. I said to my friend, you know, is it okay Can I just grow a heifer from from spring to fall? And he said, Yeah, and it is okay happens all the time. You can do male or female doesn't really matter. But Joel Salitin's, book didn't tell me, make sure you get more than one cow, and make sure if you do only get one cow that it's a steer because if you only get one cow that heifer is going to come in what you call a heat, her cycle every three weeks, and she's going to be antsy, and she's gonna bust the fence and you're going to lose her for three weeks.

    Nicole: 21:38

    Oh, no...

    Justin: 21:39

    And you've done sold her and you're gonna have to deliver her but she gone. You've already sold her as as hamburger and steaks and whatnot. Yeah, they're like I was telling you, there are some gaps in books. So really, after ten, twelve years, the ultimate problem in homesteading is that you are lonely. You're inept. Because grandpa and grandma didn't pass this down to mom and dad, and sure you have Mr. Google pants, and you can ask him all kinds of things, but he's gonna give you all kinds of kinds of crazy thousands of crazy answers. Which one can you trust? And how can you fill in the gap? So, you know, after our experience, we so we began to document this, much like you do a podcast, we started creating content, just making fun YouTube videos about what we were doing. And then we're like, there's a gap here. So really, what we did is we created online community where folks can through the YouTube videos, get in there and kind of build community and get help through each other. And we created a member area where folks can come in and get an a Facebook group and do that and then actually made myself available to them in that like via direct text, so I kind of wish Joel Salatin was my uncle. And wouldn't that be cool? Because I don't know Joel Salatin is like somebody who's been doing this kind of farming for 50-60 years, his whole life 60 years. And he would know a lot. And wouldn't it be cool if you could just call up an uncle and say, Hey, you know what? This this one cow is prancing back and forth every three weeks what's going on? She's in heat, you better get a partner.

    Rebekah: 23:13


    Justin: 23:14

    You know.

    Nicole: 23:14


    Justin: 23:14

    And so now, I've made that because it didn't exist. There's great books. There's great videos, you know, when we came in, create more videos and videos are more powerful in some ways, because you can show the action. So we created permaculture chickens, and which is a movie on how to raise chickens from hatching to the plate. And then we created one with permaculture pigs, and then we have a member area where folks can get direct help and help from each other. So...

    Nicole: 23:41

    Yeah, that would definitely be a great resource. I know that we can't expand our little homestead where we're at now, but if we are able to move in the future, I really want to get things like goats and horses and a couple cattle and I mean, it probably sounds funny to some people, but I don't know how to take care of a horse. Like lots of people have horses. I don't know how to do it. So I would definitely, you know, need that sort of resource to help me along the way because I would'nt know what to do.

    Justin: 24:11

    Yeah. So you could start old school and go find your book, at the library or at but you know, even now online, you know, there's courses and stuff. And, you know, probably some of it's even better to find a local horse trainer or something like that, too. That's a good example.

    Nicole: 24:27

    Thanks. So what would you say are some of maybe I don't know five? If that sounds like a good number? What are like five tips that you would offer beginners that are just getting started in this permaculture adventure?

    Justin: 24:39

    Number one, they need to figure out what they want. So they have to have goals. I tell my kids, you got to have goals. You got to know what you want, and you got to sit down and that is maybe the fun part. Think about what you want and like you just said, you want horses. You said maybe some cows, some goats. I imagine you probably want some gardens. Maybe you don't maybe that's all you want. So you think about, oh, you probably want bees, you told me you've interviewed a lot of beekeepers. So lay it all out there. And you're gonna probably if you've gotten a bug and you're excited about this, you're probably gonna have way too much. But just have fun with it. Write down all your goals and what you want. And then your second thing would be then to, you've named everything you want, but then figure out your priorities. So for Rebecca and I, it's pretty easy. So we wanted to grow a lot of our own food. But it was when we first got into it, it was for saving money. So we said, what are we spending the most money on? And since we were buying organic meats, well, one you can't find a lot of organic meats. And if you could, it's expensive.

    Rebekah: 25:43

    You couldn't back when we tried to do this.

    Justin: 25:45

    So we said, now well, we need to grow when you start growing a lot of our meat so that would then give us an idea of maybe what we would prioritize. So that's kind of our second step. So you've identified all your goals and wants and wishes, that's the first step and then two, you want to then begin to prioritize based on what you're actually looking to do? Is it to save money? Is it for health? Is it for beauty? Is it for some people get into this for fun. So you have to look at why you're doing it, then you're going to begin to have to prioritize. And people ask us well, when you're going to get turkeys, well, it's gonna be next year, when are you going to get bees, I don't know, we're, we're looking on thinking about it and hoping on it. But our priorities had to get meat in our freezer, because we just couldn't buy it. And if we're looking for growing our own healthy food, I know bees are great for many other things. And I'm not discounting them and we're on our way to get them. But if our priority is to grow clean food for ourselves, and we're buying a lot of meat, then we need to prioritize growing of the meat and then sure we start trickling down that path. So that would be number two. So then you figure that out. Now you got to learn a little bit, and I say a little bit because don't get caught up in learning everything. Cuz you can't! I'm the apron wearing, permaculture, chicken ninja master, and I don't know everything there is to know about chicken.

    Rebekah: 27:07


    Justin: 27:07

    Okay. And that's okay. You learn a little bit. You learn what does the chicken need? Oh, it needs some food. Well, where can I get some food? Well, I don't know. Well, ask Mr. Google pants, you can find some food. And then if you want to go deep into it, then you start thinking about "Well, can I afford chickens right now this is the amount of food they're going to need", blah, blah blah if you need to go into that budgeting thing. Rebecca and I were just always just like, go for it, we'll find a way.

    Rebekah: 27:34


    Justin: 27:35

    So then what would be a couple others Rebecca, that's three?

    Rebekah: 27:38

    Finding the type of stock you want. You, I actually listened to your podcast with the Alchemist's Farm for hatchery and it really intrigued me that you know, so I went and checked out their website but like there's lots of different you can buy from like a typical hatchery or buy from like the Alchemist's Farm or there might be you know, there's Tractor Supply. They have chicks, if that's what you're getting, but like for us, like we got lambs, and we just got them from a local place, but what we failed to realize was that the way that that gentleman raised his lambs was not the way we would raise them. And so we took them from that very conventional system and put them into our holistic system, and it didn't work.

    Justin: 28:21

    We expected them to thrive.

    Rebekah: 28:22

    So that's it, I think, like you would need to figure out how you're gonna raise them and then...

    Nicole: 28:27


    Justin: 28:28

    So that would be the study that would be the study so then I think you actually do Yeah, well number four would be like actually do it, like what you're saying. Go and get some lambs, go and get some chickens, r your first chickens are probably gonna be from a conventional hatchery or if you've listened to this podcast and you're in you're gonna go to the Alchemist's Farm. So that's your action. You go and do that. And then you learn. So then the fifth step would be the reworking, or rework and redo the plan. One thing I learned when I was getting my permaculture design certificate from Geoff Lawton in Australia, is he said, it's easier to make a plan on paper, yeah, than in real life. So you make your plan and guys, this could be in your head. Just make some sort of plan, go out there and do. And then you're gonna hit some obstacles, you're going to find ways to make it better, or you're going to find that this isn't working out at all. Like for Rebecca and I, we got these conventional sheep. And we expected them to thrive in this natural environment without any dewormers, and it didn't work. And so what did we do? Rebecca and I said, "Okay, that didn't work. What are we going to do?" We work, we try not to beat ourselves up too bad, even if it meant an animal dies.

    Rebekah: 29:42


    Justin: 29:43

    And it hurt and it was hard. But then we said, you know what we're gonna do, we're gonna get these sheep from another farmer who would have raised them even more natural or at least the same as we will and in that, a year long waiting list. It was like a year and a half before we got sheep again.

    Rebekah: 30:02

    We contacted him in August and it was the next August. Well, we thought we were gonna have to wait like three years. He thought we wanted more sheep, but we wanted such a small number. He was like, Yeah, I can do that next year. So we waited a whole year and got our sheep and they are they are thriving on our system.

    Justin: 30:18

    Yeah. You know, every day we go through this a little bit you know, we have our, our goals for the day. And we have to prioritize the day because you can't do everything in one day. And then we study if we need to, like just the other day, I didn't know how much I had bare ground from where the pigs turned in our garden. We're gonna turn it to pasture, and I didn't know how much seed to cover that amount of area. So I had to come in, do a little bit of study and figure out that I plant .005 pounds per square foot and figured out that I needed two pounds to cover this 5000 square feet. And so I went out there and broadcasted it covered it with hay, we're good. And you just do that every day. In little ways. But you probably want to do it in a big way when you're getting animals or starting a garden or going out on this whole homestead thing.

    Nicole: 31:09

    There's definitely no shortage of things to learn even if you don't add anything to your homestead or or anything just, I mean, even if all you had was a garden, there's always something to learn.

    Justin: 31:20

    Oh, my goodness. Yes.

    Rebekah: 31:22


    Nicole: 31:24

    So I know that you guys have a really great social media. I've been following you on Instagram and YouTube. But where else can people follow your journey and get that information from you?

    Justin: 31:35

    The best way is the And that will actually take you to our YouTube page, which we put up a new video every day of the week, every weekday. So every weekday you get a new video that is going to inspire and encourage you and teach you how to begin growing your own food and a lot of our followers don't grow anything and many of them have, over half of them have less than a half an acre and some of them more broad scale and some of them just come to laugh and get kicks and giggles for watching the kids have some fun. So that's probably the best way to but that's also my handle on Instagram at the Justin Rhodes Show and Rebekah's at Rebekah spelled with a K A H dot Rhodes. And those those are the best ways, Instagram and YouTube.

    Nicole: 32:21


    Justin: 32:22

    And we have a website with all kinds of chicken articles, and all kinds of free resources on raising chickens from hatching to the plate.

    Nicole: 32:32

    Yeah, chickens are as listeners I'm sure no chickens are definitely one of my favorites. So check that out, there's a lot of great resources on there.

    Justin: 32:41


    Nicole: 32:42

    Well, Justin and Rebekah, I really appreciate your time, thank you so much for sharing your stories and your permaculture tips with us today!

    Justin: 32:45

    Thank you for having us on here!

    Nicole: 32:48

    And for those of you listening, thank you so much for joining us, and we'll see you again next week!

    Announcer: 32:49

    Thank you for listening to Backyard Bounty, a podcast by Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show. please email us at [email protected]. Also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at Heritage Acres Market. All the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week!

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