Podcasts for the Urban Homesteader

Let’s face it, mainstream radio programming, both talk and music, stinks. Podscasting democratizes the medium. Anyone with a microphone and laptop can make and distribute a podcast and, while quality varies, there’s a huge amount of excellent, highly specialized programming available. So should be on the iPods of urban homesteaders? I’ve got a few suggestions:

Survival Podcast
We just appeared on this podcast, which is hosted by Jack Spirko. Jack is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to gardening, permaculture and a host of other topics. His listeners, many of whom now read this blog, also know a lot about the subjects he covers. And, refreshingly, there’s no conspiracy theories on the Survival Podcast, no need to get out the tin foil hat. I highly recommend this podcast even to those who would not think of themselves as survivalists.

SALT: Seminars About Long Term Thinking
This is a series of seminars put on by the Long Now Foundation, headed by Whole Earth Catalog founder Stuart Brand. As, I believe, urban homesteading is a kind of long term thinking, the topics of these talks should be of interest to readers of this blog. Make sure to listen to the episodes that feature Nassim Taleb, Wade Davis and Philip K. Howard.

KCRW Good Food
Hosted by chef Evan Kleiman, Good Food explores the diverse food cultures of Los Angeles as well as tackling national issues related to the food system. Kleiman explores these topics with a sense of humor.

A Way To Garden with Margaret Roach
I learned about this podcast from the folks at Garden Rant who pointed out that there are very few gardening related podcasts. Perhaps most good gardeners are allergic to spending time in front of a computer? I enjoy this show, though those of you in places that have “winter” will get more out of it.

The C-Realm Podcast
OK, I’m a bit on the woo-woo side of things, to be honest. The C-Realm podcast is a very professional and thought-provoking show hosted by “KMO” that delves into everything from permaculture to zombies. It’s kind of a thinking person’s Coast to Coast AM.

The Kunstlercast
Author James Howard Kunstler’s weekly rant about the mess we’re in. It would be a real drag if Kunstler weren’t so damn funny. While most would call Kunstler a “doomer” I’d point out that he offers plenty of solutions–pedestrian oriented design, rebuilding our rail network, etc.

Boot Liquor
A greater danger to the future of our great nation is, I believe, not fossil fuel depletion, but instead the watered down “country” music coming out of Nashville in the past few decades. We should worry more about Miley Cyrus than turbulence int the Middle-East, in my humble opinion. Boot Liquor is an internet radio station not a podcast, but I thought I’d include it since it’s the musical soundtrack of the Root Simple compound. Boot Liquor plays real country music, songs about boozing, driving big rig trucks and raising hell (sometimes all in one song). If you’ve got iTunes you can find Boot Liquor amongst the country music offerings.

At some point we’ll get around to creating a Root Simple podcast. In the meantime what podcasts do you listen to?

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  1. Out of your list I listen to: Jack Spirko and Boot Liquor radio. I agree with you on what’s coming out of Nashville, it’s refreshing to have an alternative country station. I also listen to Two Beers with Steve, Stumbling Homestead, The Self Sufficient Gardener and the Financial Sense Newshour.

  2. Thanks for the list! I checked out the Survival Podcast earlier this week after y’all posted about your episode. I was initially hesitant with the name and the ammo advert at the beginning, but after that it was a fantastic hour of solid information. Found myself taking notes as I was listening.

    As a relatively long time reader of Root Simple (and Homegrown before that) welcome to the new Survival folks!

  3. I don’t like listening to rambling, and the few podcasts I’ve listened to rambled, so I’ve avoided them. I don’t remember which blogs I used to subscribe to switched to mostly podcasting, but I unsubbed from them after getting mostly podcast posts coming through my feeds.

    Perhaps I’d feel differently about podcasts that followed an outline.

  4. I’m not a fan of podcasts. Most people are better writers then speakers, and when they try to speak, there tends to be a bit of rambling on and on, with lots of ahs and ums, where they loose their train of thought go to another subject, then bounce back, only to, um, repeat themselves and, ah, ramble on.

    And podcasts don’t have pictures.


  5. I just started listening to SustainableWorldRadio, great programme out of Santa Barbara. Mostly permaculture and community oriented. I listened to TheSurvivalPodcast for a while but burned out because I chose to “catch up” by listening to about four or five episodes a day… I drive a lot at work. I’ll be sure to check out your suggestions, thanks.

  6. I’ve just delved into the world of podcasts (I am so 20th century) and so far only listen to NPR’s “The American Life” and “The Story”. Thanks for the recommendations – I have a long commute and need lots of listening material.

    I’ll check out boot liquor too. I am from Nebraska and believe country music should be about hard times and drinking and shooting to deal with it.

  7. Thank you for the great additions to my podcast list! In return, I would like to suggest the Cowboy Cultural Society at:
    They are keeping a part of our musical history alive.

    Also, Marfa Public Radio, in Marfa Texas (Home of John Wells, and his Field Lab (http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com)) has a great stream of varied music and NPR reports at:

    Not quite podcasts, but great to have on in the background while you dream of your own few acres.

  8. How about Deconstructing Dinner? It is on hiatus right now but there is great stuff in the back episodes.

    Agroinnovations podcast has some interesting speakers and is quite permaculture oriented.

    A second for Sustainable World podcast too.

  9. I second the Agroinnovations podcast. It’s the first one I load when a new episode comes out. There’s a treasure trove of back episodes too.
    Nature’s Harmony Farmcast is wonderful as well.

    Also recommended are (in alpha order): The Environminute, Freshly Green, Gardenerd Tip of the Week, Greenhorn Radio, Growing Wisdom (short video podcast), homegrown, An Organic Conversation, Permaculture Podcast by Paul Wheaton, and Treehugger Radio. They can all be found by searching in the iTunes podcast directory.

    There are a couple of other permaculture and gardening podcasts, but they are done by what I’d call earnest novices basically learning as they go.

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