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Cultivate Simple 14: Small vs. Far

January 14th, 2013

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode 14 and today we are discussing Small vs. Far.

Small vs. Far

Local small farm if possible
Local Organic
Local non-organic
Small farm organic USA
Small farm USA
Small Company Organic (peanut butter)

Chart from Cornucopia Institute about who owns organic labels
Best Raisins EVER!!!!
Chaffin Family Orchards – Where we buy our olives. Watch their YouTube video. They are the real deal when it comes to permaculture on a large scale.

Geeky Corner w/ Brian

Dropbox – Get Susy some bonus space

  • Keep files in sync on multiple computers (home to work)
  • Backup files to the cloud
  • Share folders and files (even large files)

18 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 14: Small vs. Far”
  1. BJ on January 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I think McDonalds has “organic” Newmans Own coffee.

    Reply to BJ's comment

  2. Maybelline on January 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Glad you enjoy California raisins. I don’t know anything different.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  3. DebbieB on January 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The “Grover” riff cracked me up. :)

    As an aside, I really like the theme song. It sticks with me long after the podcast has finished, and it echoes my dreams for the future. It’s perfect for your podcast.

    I’m excited about the eBooks – I’m very interested in both the Seed Starting and the Cast Iron eBooks. Those are both topics for which I’d love your condensed yet comprehensive information.

    I just bought Gaia’s Garden (using your affiliate link, of course!) and I’m eager to glean some good ideology from it.

    Also excited about the 5×5 Challenge garden idea – I’ve only done container gardening (and wasn’t very successful with it) so this is a cool way for me to get my feet wet (or dirty!) The choices of seeds and methods ARE overwhelming – simplicity sounds wonderful. Count me in!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Susy on January 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Container gardening is actually quite difficult, I don’t know why so many places recommend it for beginners. Growing plants in the ground where they prefer to be is the best and easiest option. It’s also much less work!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • DebbieB on January 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        I live in New Orleans. My backyard has never grown anything but swamp and grass and weeds. My husband figured we should start with containers, because we could put in “good” soil in a small controlled space without having to cultivate a larger patch of ground. But the containers CONTAINED very well – they contained the heat of the sun and baked/boiled our plants. We got 3 anemic peppers and 1 tiny zucchini before everything expired. If the plants had been in the ground, the heat would have been distributed evenly and our poor plants might not have cooked. This year I want to actually dig up a patch of ground and grow some food for the table. I’m looking forward to trying again!

        I signed up for a Dropbox account – I hope that sent a little extra storage to you.

        to DebbieB's comment

  4. misti on January 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    1: Chickens…yes please make this a topic!

    2: Bees as a topic too.

    3: The topic of local/organic has been on my mind this last month and I have a post lingering to finish writing about it. It can make your head hurt if you think too hard about it!

    4: Curious about the mineral addition things….which makes me wonder about the source of that mineral and mining. Mined in the U.S. versus out of the country, and what did it pollute to mine it? Don’t get me wrong, I cringe when I think about using fish oil too (we use) because I wonder about what the source was…and I do not believe the words ‘sustainable fisheries’. I stopped eating commercial seafood long before I became vegetarian and get highly upset when people eat farmed fish from overseas…that’s another issue entirely from wild caught seafood.

    But what I’m saying is….we have an impact on our surroundings no matter what we do. I think a little of that came when you were talking about the no packaging after getting something out of the garden. Kinda….there is *some* impact if you get to the root of it from where the water came from (well, rainwater or local water supply system), if you ordered seeds they came in a package and were shipped using fossil fuels.

    We can do our best but we’re humans, we have an impact.

    Good topic, would love to hear more on the subject sometime.

    Reply to misti's comment

    • Susy on January 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      You’re right about the impact and it’s something we need to weigh. The nice thing about adding rock/mineral powders is that they can often be found locally and they don’t need added all the time, often it’s a one time thing you can do to remineralize your soil. If you take care of the soil after that you can limit the need for more inputs. It’s one of those things we have to weigh our option and decide it buying it once is offset by all the food we can grow for ourselves and not buy. There’s a balance with everything and comparing all your options and finding the best one is what simple/mindful living is all about (not to mention, it’s much more interesting!)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Misti on January 14, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        I agree! The rock amendments I will definitely have to read about more, just that the thoughts came to me as I was listening this morning and had to write it down a bit.

        to Misti's comment

      • Susy on January 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm

        Here is one quite & interesting reference:

        to Susy's comment

      • Susy on January 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

        There’s also a lot of information out there on mycelium and how beneficial they are for both mitigating toxic issues in the soil and in improving the soil. I think using them in conjunction with a remineralizing effort would produce the best results both for the soil, for the nutritional value of the food you grow and for maximizing your inputs both in the overall environmental impact and in time and funds invested. It also would most closely mimic the way nature works already.

        to Susy's comment

  5. Melanie in CA on January 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Oh, yes, please, chickens as a topic.
    And cast iron.
    I’m up for the 5×5 challenge too.

    Reply to Melanie in CA's comment

  6. amy on January 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks guys:) I wanted to mention the Maran chicken….You might want to look into them for your property as well.

    Reply to amy's comment

    • Susy on January 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      I’ve been looking at them, trying to find a source that’s not a big hatchery and trying to decide if I want to spend the money on them this year!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • amy on January 21, 2013 at 12:33 am

        Prioritizing can be no fun:) but I understand……completely!

        to amy's comment

  7. Johanna on January 17, 2013 at 3:32 am

    I’m a rather new reader and lover of your site.
    I’m an inexperienced gardener and would definitely like to try the 5×5 challenge.
    Also, if you’re taking requests pleeease teach us your tricks on cast iron. I just switched over from Teflon to seasoned cast iron and terribly miss over medium eggs that don’t turn into grey mushed eggs.


    Reply to Johanna's comment

  8. Lavonne H on January 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I would love to hear a show about food preservation: canning, dehydrating, freezing. What works for you? I would also love to hear more about beekeeping.

    I am also excited about the 5×5 challenge! Great idea!

    Reply to Lavonne H's comment

  9. Candace on January 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I’m very interrested in hearing about cast iron also. Years ago I tried to a cast iron pan. Everything stuck to the pan then it rusted.

    When I heard the part about the 5X5 challange and newbies getting advise from more experienced gardeners, I immediatly thought that Chiot’s Run needs a forum. It would be a great place for us Chiot-ers to connect.

    Reply to Candace's comment

  10. Jessie on September 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I’m super late on commenting on these because I started the podcast late and have to catch up, but, I was so glad to see Gaia’s Garden listed and to hear the recommendation. I bought it on a whim a number of years ago and was so excited about it that I’ve read it a dozen times over and even wrote a 10-page paper on permaculture for a college course. I fully agree that the book is an excellent introduction to permaculture that is easy to read, instructive but not boring, and will completely change the way one thinks about gardening and the environment in general. Thanks for sharing – loved this episode!

    Reply to Jessie's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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