Pantry Paratus Radio, Episode 016: Interview with Erin from Black Chicken Host

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Meet Black Chicken Host . . . 


Homesteading, web hosting and some great advice on maximizing the homesteader’s number one commodity—time



Okay, so it is 11 PM on a Sunday and things are positively wonky your e-business, who can you call?  Say you want to use more natural cleaners or you are feeling that everyone else is getting this homesteading thing but you, where can you go?  We all depend so much on the internet for information, but who are the people taking care of all of the infrastructure out there in cyber space?  Meet our heroine Erin, she runs Black Chicken Host.  Besides being a great person who is very technically savvy, she is also a homesteader herself.  Come along and listen as Chaya gets the straight scoop about the journey that is homesteading and the secret technical leverage that you can apply to maximize the homesteader’s number one commodity–time. 




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We talk about: 


-Chaya’s love for the outdoors


-Erin’s Bio


-Balancing the time-sink known as the computer with the rest of life, homeschooling and running the homestead


-Doing little things like taking a phone call outside makes a big difference


-Chaya learned that she needed to be outside more from taking her PDC (while camping out in the back of the wagon)


-People love sunshine and natural light


-Reinforcing the fact that your kids know that they are loved despite the fact that you have to be on the computer


-Confessions about time and chocolate


-Love of the sciences (great kindred spirit!)


-Responsibility in ecology and sustainable practices


-How to make the computer a meaningful addition to the daily work load all the while skillfully advancing the message of homesteading—brilliant! 


-Chaya’s tip: never go cheap on technical support, you need to find someone like Black Chicken Host



-The nightmare of losing a website and the heroine we now know to be Erin


-What is a web hosting service?  Who else is on the masthead over at Homestead Host?


-Technology on the homestead, really?  Yes! 


-Inspiring a love for learning in children about practical application


-Automated chicken coop functions: lights, open and closing doors for access, webcams—wow!


-Solar leasing and the sticker shock for initial buy in for solar power conversion for a home


-Adding layers of self-sufficiency


-Every homesteader has a “project list” of things to get done


-Permaculture, Paul Wheaton and



-Using old pallets for fencing


-Getting more perennial plants in the ground


-Planting more native plants, raised freeze beds


-Grass, hmmm cannot eat it, no one wants to spend lots of time mowing it, so finding more useful things to plant on the homestead


-Chaya’s reading stack in the winter


-Taking a PDC


-First rule of Permaculture is observe


-Knapweed, the allelopathic effects of the Niacin secretion in the soil


-Rent-a-goat vs. the dangers of keeping an animal that may be smarter than you! 


-Making the natural transition from ecologically minded urbanite to homesteader—be careful, when that self-sufficiency bug bites!  Sustainability, it is the gift you give to your future self


-Owning a small business and homesteading—how do you juggle all of that? 


-Getting the first person raw feed (warts and all) from someone who struggles with getting everything done while scaling the learning cliff


The Simplicity Primer by Patrice Lewis, 365 short ideas to scale back from the over romanticized to the reality of dealing with the hardships of the lifestyle so that you can reap the rewards of the homesteading lifestyle


-Making note of the success metrics for how you can know how you are doing in your homestead venture


-Chaya tells (confesses?) about her experience in planting wild flowers with children


Natural cleaners and the sustainable household: vinegar (with lemons), water, baking soda and some essential oils


-Natural deodorant formula: coconut oil, baking soda, corn/arrow root starch and essential oil(s).           


-Oregano oil, the natural cleaner and other good uses *does not constitute medical advice*


-Comparing homesteading in the city vs. being in the country in terms of having community 


-When your Permaculture homestead does not jive with the neighbor’s yard who uses harsh chemicals


-Making the house more energy efficient


-Finding joy in the routine—doing the best you can with what you have despite the tedious nature of pulling weeds or digging post holes


-If you are a vegetarian and you cannot do that 100% of the time, then negotiate on the best terms that you can; the same is true in the journey of self-sufficiency.


-Seeking your independence from CAFO’s or just-in-time logistics all the while we are doing the best you can and not being a slave for to “the list”


-Watching homesteading videos thinking that you may not be able to do all of it, so you realize your need for community


-The irony of living in an agricultural area, but still having to import organic produce so that you do not have eat the GMO chemical laden food that is


-Raw milk in Michigan is legal via herd share programs


-Once you discover raw milk, it is so hard to go back to pasteurized, homogenized milk (still waiting to see the death toll from raw milk . . . )


-Food sovereignty, not giving up your freedom while trying not to be political


Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell



-Wrap up






Black Chicken Host


Homestead Geek (Erin’s blog)

-Blog post by Erin, The Meaningfulness in Work.  One of the most concise, honest and heartfelt blogs I have read in a long time by someone trying to balance personal and professional goals

Engineir, aka Mr. Homestead’s super useful website for all things hardcore DIY computer programing  Truthfully, most of it is over my head, but I am so glad that there are people this smart out there that are willing to help other people in need! 


-Jill from


-Adrienne from


-Laura from


-Ellen from


-Sarah from


-Millie from


-Jessica from


Chicken Coop automatic light circuit wiring diagrams


Video on using pallets for fencing


Erin’s formula for natural deodorant


Weston A. Price Foundation





Nothing in this blog constitutes medical advice.  You should consult your own physician before making any dietary changes.  Statements in this blog may or may not be congruent with current USDA or FDA guidance.



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