In this episode Paul sits down and has a chat with his friends Wilson and Kya. Wilson and Kya run Pantry Paratus selling homesteading gear. This Podcast was recorded in their booth at the 'Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference'. It is a conference so there is a bit of noise in the background, but not much.
The conversation starts with a new product Pantry Paratus are selling. A reusable food-grade plastic canning lids. Paul seems apprehensive at first because “its plastic” and concerned about it leaching. Kya goes on to explain that this particular plastic is used in all kinds food processes and that most people are already exposed to it. She further explains that if you reach temperature that this plastic leaches at you're doing something very wrong. They also also say that “its the lesser of two evils” by comparing it to the other options. Both brands producing metal lids are owned by Jardon and the quality is going down. Customers have been complaining that the lids are getting thinner and just aren't as good. Whereas the plastic lids are quite thick and have good rubber rings.
Then they talk about the philosophy behind Pantry Paratus. They believe everyone has a surplus, whether that's a fruit tree or a weed. They want to educate people how to harvest, prepare and preserve those surpluses. So if hard times come for you or a neighbor there is something readily available.
Wilson and Kya go on to ask Paul a few questions:
1. Vermiculture as a protein source for chickens.
Paul talks about the slow turn around and eventual fire he had when trying to farm earthworms during winter. Then mentions that mealworms have a much higher reproduction rate. The fact that they'll live on chicken feed is very convenient as you can just throw the whole lot into the feeder and not worry about it. Wilson talks about his experiences with earthworms. This is all interspersed with Paul talking about the struggles he had with Cornish rock cross chickens he had at the time.
2. Hugelkultur, mulching and woodchippers “If you're using a wood chipper your doing it wrong” is the main point of this of this topic. Paul describes why he doesn't like the wood chipper and how wood chips are also very uniform in size. Where as branches, twigs and logs vary in size allowing for more diversity in the garden. They also talk about natural edge and how hugelkultur creates more edge.
3. Subsoil fences
Wilson asks about subsoil fencing to keep out rabbits and coyotes. Paul's overwhelming response was don't. He explains that rabbits are good eating and that live stock garden dogs will chase off the coyotes.
4. Plant Spacing and weeds
Kya asks about the correct spacing for plants as some of her plants are getting smothered. Paul then launches into the evils of knapweed and how to get rid of it. He talks about smothering it, pulling it out, and buying Russian bugs that only eat knapweed. Kya better defines her dilemma and Paul suggests Sepp Holzer's approach to spacing. Which is make as much edge as possible, get a bucket of seeds, fling them, kick over the dirt and see what happens. Wilson then asks what he should do with eurasia milfoil in his pond. Paul suggests bringing in snails as they should eat the milfoil and trout will then eat the snails. Then a passerby briefly talks about buying a pond scum culture that will lock up some of the nitrates that would reduce the nuitients available to the milfoil.
5. Paul's story
Wilson asks about how Paul got to where he is now and Paul, loving to talk about Paul, obliges by talking about Paul.