On Today’s Podcast Episode, Rachel interviews Jonah Curtis. Jonah has a multigenerational family homestead in central Michigan. They talk about growing livestock, preserving food, and the family discovering mastodon bones in what is now their Mastodon Garden!
The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 214 – August 2, 2023
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Introduction to Jonah Curtis
Rachel Jamison introduces Jonah Curtis from the Homestead Front Porch group. Jonah shares insights into his extensive homesteading activities, including gardening, animal husbandry, and more on his eight-acre property.
The Richness of Homesteading
Diverse Agriculture and Animal Rearing
Jonah discusses his multifaceted approach to homesteading, which includes multiple gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, tree guilds, ponds with fish, Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits for meat and fur, and beekeeping. He emphasizes the symbiotic relationship with the land and the existing natural features.
Property Features and Utilization
Landscape and Infrastructure
Jonah describes his property, which combines wooded areas, wetlands, and cultivated sections. He highlights the family dynamics in managing the homestead and mentions their sawmill, essential for their wood management.
Homesteading Practices and Philosophy
Embracing a Sustainable Lifestyle
Jonah shares his upbringing in homesteading and his transition to sustainable farming. He stresses the importance of understanding the source of food, whether plant-based or animal-derived, and the significance of utilizing every part of the harvest.
Specific Homesteading Aspects
Fruit Trees, Mushrooms, and Garden Varieties
Jonah details the varieties of fruit trees, including peaches, apples, and pears, and his venture into mushroom cultivation. He discusses the challenges and rewards of growing different species and adapting to the local environment.
The Unique “Mastodon Garden”
Jonah recounts the fascinating discovery of mastodon remains on his property, leading to the naming of their “Mastodon Garden.”
Food Preservation Techniques
The Role of Freeze-Drying
Jonah explains his decision to invest in a freeze dryer for long-term food preservation. He highlights its efficiency and usage for preserving various foods, including fruits, eggs, and yogurt.
Canning in the Outdoor Kitchen
The podcast delves into Jonah’s outdoor canning kitchen, a practical solution for food preservation without heating the house. He shares the benefits of canning in an outdoor setting and how it facilitates the process.
Homesteading with Family
Involving Children in Homesteading Activities
Jonah emphasizes the importance of involving his young children in homesteading activities. He shares how this involvement fosters a deeper connection with nature and a better understanding of food sources.
Appreciation for Homesteading Life
Jonah leaves listeners with thoughtful insights on the value of homesteading. He encourages appreciation for the connection to the land and the fulfillment it brings, emphasizing the joy of being occupied with meaningful work.