Episode 9: Top Bar Bee Keeping with the “bare foot beekeeper”

Phil Chandler, author of The Barefoot Beekeeper joins us today on the podcast to talk all about getting started in and maintaining a top bar hive.

  1. Learn what equipment you need to get started in top bar hives (not much!)
  2. Learn why top bar hives might be the ticket for many people who wouldn’t be able to handle the heavy lifting involved with traditional framed hives
  3. How to source your bees
  4. Thoughts on honey production
  5. Catching wild swarms
  6. The truth about bee packages
  7. Integrated Pest Management strategies
  8. Much more!

Resources

  1. New Sponsor: The Food Security Knowledge Pack
  2. Must Read Information for new beekeepers – http://www.biobees.com/DownloadFree/so_you_want_to_keep_bees.pdf
  3. The Barefoot Beekeeper
  4. http://www.biobees.com/forum
  5. http://www.biobees.com
  6. Top Bar Hive Plans

Free intro to hydroponics course

Dennis over at gardenpool.org has just recently posted an hour long presentation on hydroponic basics.

I am currently prepping an area in my basement to start my hydroponic operation. Check it out:

Hydroponics 101 from GardenPool on Vimeo.

Hydroponics 101

Episode 8: Backyard bee hives, why I think you should have one and the steps to get started

Keeping bees in your backyard is a low maintenance activity that produces a product and has a great effect on the ecology of your area including your garden.

On today’s podcast I dive into my motivations for starting bee keeping, and my experiences thus far on my journey. Please know that I am NOT an expert in the subject, just an eager first year learner. I’ve been reading books and taking classes, but there is no substitute for practical experience.

This is the first post on what will be a long series on my experiences as a first year bee keeper. I hope you’ll follow along. If you are an experienced bee-keeper I would be glad to hear from you and please feel free to correct anything and everything I have said.

Please Consider keeping bees and support local Bee Keeping.

I left out one point on the podcast, and that is please check your state and local regulations! In Pennsylvania where I am at you have to pay a $10 a year fee to the state to register your Apiary. This is very reasonable, and for that fee an inspector will come out to your site and check on your hives and also offer advice and guidance. It is a great bargain!

Here in the City of Pittsburgh you can pay $250 one time fee and that will register your urban apiary. Once your site is designated in the city as an Apiary that status can never be removed and will pass down to future owners of your property. It might seem like a high fee but I consider it quite reasonable considering the protection it does offer, however I don’t live in the city and am thus not as up to speed on this.

Sponsors of the Day

  • Get 5% of your order and a free knife at Survival Gear Bags
  • Backyard Food Production – Learn butchering rabbits, growing your own food, and more

Show Outline

  • Where did I get my interest?
  • Why do I think keeping bees is so important
  • Bee Keeping benefits
  • Keep bees in the city?? … HELL YES!
  • So how much work is it to keep bees? Checking every other week is enough!
  • Nick’s Action Item List for you to get started
    • Get yourself a copy of First Lessons in Beekeeping
    • Find your local bee keeping organization
    • Find a local mentor
    • Figure out what equipment you’re going to need
    • Find a source for bees
  • How to get bees, the various ways
    • Colonies
    • Swarms
    • Nucs
    • Packages

Beekeeping Reading and Resources

Note: By the way, i mentioned several times “fiscal year” i meant “calendar year”, so just a little pre-emptive strike on a would-be commenter wanting to correct that point. 😀

Episode 2: Build your own electric car… CHEAP!

In this week’s podcast we learn how to build our own electric car cheap. Ben Nelson from 300mpg.org shares with us his experience of building his own EV (electric vehicle) with little more than ambition and a library card.

Ben also sells a great instructional 2 disc DVD set which goes over all of the details of building your own electric vehicle. If an EV conversion is something you have ever considered then Ben Nelson is the man to talk to.

How to smoke your own homemade beef jerky!

I love beef jerky and no store bought jerky can match your own homemade jerky.

Step up to some real jerky.

Here is the basic recipe:

  1. Choose a cut of lean meat such as top round, buffalo, venison, etc
  2. Cut it into thin strips
  3. Basic Jerky Marinade:
    1. 1/2 Soy Sauce
    2. 1/2 Worcestershire Sauce
    3. Spice to taste… suggestions include hot sauce, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, etc (just go wild!!)
  4. Marinade overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours
  5. Put in smoker at a steady 150 degrees until done. Typically about 3 to 6 hours. To see if it is done give it a taste!

Tips

  1. Your Jerky will become more “Jerky like” after sitting around a few days. Don’t overcook your jerky!
  2. If your fire is too cold that is FINE, if it is too hot for too long you will RUIN the jerky.
  3. You can always pull the jerky out of the smoker after a few hours and finish it in the dehydrator or oven

Checkout this youtube video of the Jerky I made this past weekend. It is SO GOOD it is like crack to me right now. It’s all the self control I can manage to not eat the entire bag in one sitting.

Episode 1: Dennis McClung showcases his amazing backyard aquaponics operation

http://saveourskills.com/podcast/episodes/sos-episode-1.mp3

I’m not in iTunes store yet. For now please

  1. Go to the advanced menu in itunes
  2. Select “subscribe to podcast
  3. copy and paste in the following url:

I’m going to submit my feed as soon as I get this posted.

I’m very excited to be posting my first podcast. Dennis McClung is our first guest. We talk all about his amazing backyard aquaponics system Please head on over to http://www.gardenpool.org to check it out.

  • A catfish is used for a natural method of population control
  • Evaporative Swamp cooler powered by the sun
  • Self sustaining system
  • The fish eat chicken poop as part of their balanced diet
  • Permaculture system based on observations of pond habitats
  • Fish scraps are composted using black soldier flies
  • Lots more cool features and aquaponics tips

DIY Cider Press Review: “Anyone can build a whizbang cider press!”

In this video I show you the basics of a simple cider press I built from plans I purchased from whizbangcider.com. I actually built two cider presses and grinders. One of the presses was a gift for my uncle who plans to grow a lot of fruit at his lake house.

Here are 2 key things that attracted me to the ‘whizbang’ design:

  1. Uses a 6 ton tube jack to press the cider rather than laboriously turning an acme screw
  2. Uses a garbage disposal to create the mash, which I thought was a great idea.

In the book Herrick Kimball recommends that the disposal unit you choose should be modified with a more powerful electric engine to avoid overheating. I got antsy and decided to try it without the modification and it has worked fine for 5+ batches, however I do notice it does rather warm. I don’t run it for very long periods of time since it does such a nice job of crushing up apples.

Please check out Herrick’s blog post here: New Techniques for Cider Making for a more detailed explanation of the cider making process. You can purchase his book on his website as well.