31 episodes

Self-Sufficiency Made Simple podcast is here to share practical tips and hacks helping you overcome confusion about how to grow your own yummy food, keep healthy and happy chickens and even venture into the world of bees. And, do it all in your own backyard. Your host Jo Flintham from SoH Farmlet is all about making things simple, fun and easy in the garden. With many years of food growing experience and lessons, Jo shares how to start where you are with what you have to create your own self-sufficient source of food in any space and enjoy an endless source of homegrown goodness.

Self-Sufficiency Made Simple Jo Flintham

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

Self-Sufficiency Made Simple podcast is here to share practical tips and hacks helping you overcome confusion about how to grow your own yummy food, keep healthy and happy chickens and even venture into the world of bees. And, do it all in your own backyard. Your host Jo Flintham from SoH Farmlet is all about making things simple, fun and easy in the garden. With many years of food growing experience and lessons, Jo shares how to start where you are with what you have to create your own self-sufficient source of food in any space and enjoy an endless source of homegrown goodness.

    #31 We have exciting news

    #31 We have exciting news

    This is it!! The last episode.. Booooooo, BUT, where there is some exiting news... YAYAYAYA.

    Find out what is happening and how to keep listening to informative, fun and supercharged discussions and interviews.

    Appologies in advance for the audio quality. We had some tech challenges and we just ran with it. That's just life sometimes.

    • 14 min
    #30 Big Picture Garden Planning

    #30 Big Picture Garden Planning

    This is the last episode for 2022.. I feel like this year I have achieved so much but haven’t even scratch the sides at the same time… anyone else feel the same?

    This week I am working on my goals for 2023. We have some big plans for SoH Farmlet including starting a fortnightly food swap where it’s a bring what you can take what you need no money food swap.

    A produce swap where people can come and have a cuppa, cake, conversation and go home with a stash of fresh goodies.

    Self sufficiency for me isn’t about being a solo crusader, it’s about doing what you can with what you have. This means learning from others be it books, YouTube, courses, podcasts or just having a chat to someone, it’s observing, testing and measuring, failing forward over and over and over until you work it out, and it’s sharing what you have and what you know with others.

    I have to admit that I’m not usually one to get overly involved in community groups as I don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with the drama that can sometimes come with them. But, one of my goals in 2023 is to connect with more likeminded people to learn from them, add value where I can and have more fun.

    I have in the last few weeks joined my local community garden and am looking forward to getting involved and meeting other garden nerds. I am actually really excited which I’ve surprised myself with.
    For the last ep. of the year I thought I would share with you my process for big picture planning my garden.

    I used to try and plan from big picture all way way down to the small details of each garden bed, each fruit tree which ended up with me either getting stressed that I can’t follow it because it’s too rigid or throwing it out all together and going way off track.

    I now use a set of basic principles to work out what I can achieve. This allows me the flexibility I need to change for unplanned events like crazy weather or if I need to be away from the garden for a while or purely if change my mind, which will absolutely happen.

    It gives me a framework to work within.

    I have found so far this has been pretty effective in preventing me going off on garden tangents like buying a heap of plants on a whim and not having a plan for them. I have killed so many plants that have languished in pots for way too long waiting for me to plant them out. And I admit, I still have some.. I did say it’s pretty effective, not fool proof.

    The principles I use are broken into 2 Tiers

    Tier 1
    How much time do I REALLY have to dedicate to my garden.
    What resources do I have or need. Ie Help, cash, seeds/plants, items I can reuse/upcycle, swap
    Growing vs infrastructure - what can I get growing and what needs more work

    Tier 2
    What do I like and want to eat
    What do I know grows well
    What will improve my soil

    By applying these I can break down each section of the garden into what need attention and then plan for when I can give it the attention it needs.

    For example I am still working on building fenced garden beds that stop rabbits from pillaging and also allow the chickens to be directed over beds at the end of the season.
    I have several of these yet to build but there is no way I can do them all in one go. I don’t have the time, budget or endurance. But I know I can build 1 in 1 day.

    I Also know that I need make compost for each bed and I know I can build a hot compost in one day that will be ready in about 3-4 weeks.

    These garden beds are all no dig so I need to laying paper or cardboard down, cover it in soil and compost and add mulch on the walk ways. I know that doing this part is achievable over a weekend.
    If I give myself 4-6 weeks to build a single bed ready to plant, I can have them all finished by the end of the year and if I...

    • 17 min
    #29 5 Ways Guaranteed to Improve your Soil Health

    #29 5 Ways Guaranteed to Improve your Soil Health

    Ps… I got quite excited recording this episode and there’s a lot of ‘you knows’ and ‘ums’ and ‘sooo’ please do your best to ignore those,🙏

    It's the 5th Dec so that means ‘ Happy World Soil Day!! Today is the day you get a pass to totally nerd out on your friends and talk all day about soil. Fun facts to share around with your non gardening friends.

    There is more living organisms in a tablespoon of healthy soil that there are humans on earth.

    The largest living organisms isn't a whale it’s a fungus that is found in Oregon USA and it’s the size of 1665 football fields, is estimated to be between 200-800 years old and is mostly made of carbon.

    Another fact is that is not so fun is that it is estimated that the world topsoil will be depleted within the next 60 years and some even say it's as little as 30 years. That shit is scary.

    So this week I was planning to do a super short episode because I spend the weekend doing a plant based bush survival course where for 2 whole days we learnt about edible wild plant, bush medicine, survival tactics, tracking, natural fibre rope making, fire starting and lots more. My body is battered and bruised but I am feeling a hugely renewed sense of connection to the earth. But because it’s World Soil Day I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a few things that can help you improve your soil.

    I am by no means a soil expert. I am learning from others and am still making a bunch of mistakes and learning from these as I go. I can share though that early next year we will have a really cool guest on to share her knowledge about soil and compost. This lady knows her shit… especially in compost. So make sure your episode notifications are on or you check in every few weeks so you don’t miss it.

    But for today you and I are going to chat about 5 ways you can support the soil web in your own patch by looking at 5 ways guaranteed to help you improve your solid health. Even if you just did one of these things you will see improvements.

    First one is Increase organic matter. Organic matter is anything that was once upon a time living or has come from a living thing. Another way to say it is anything that contains carbon compounds that were formed by living organisms.

    Parts of or whole plants, grass clippings, manures, dead bodies.. I’m not suggesting to bury someone in your backyard but the beloved pet you buried under the tree added to the organic matter. Feathers, wool, fur, hair, bones, kelp, paper, algae, fungi, all of these break down and add to the organic matter.

    Compost is a great way to decompose these so that the nutrients can become plant available and the compost adds overall structure to the soil allowing for moisture retention and oxygen to reach roots. It also helps maintain a stable PH level.
    Chop and drop is a great way to add organic matter right at the source. When you plants are spent don’t pull them out, instead chop them off at or slightly below ground level and chop them up into smaller bits and leave them to break down. You can also add mulch, leaves and aged manures to your garden directly. Depending on what manure you use you may need to go easy on it to keep a good balance.

    Second way is to stop using pesticides and herbicides. Yep. STOP. I know it’s disheartening when your hard work is getting eaten by bugs or it seems like you are forever battling weeds but I 1000% promise you if you are using pesticides and herbicides you are doing way more harm than good.

    Keep the bugs at bay through companion planting. Plant things that attract beneficial insects that eat the buggers that are attacking your plants. Plant other things that will either attract the pest and use these as sacrificial plants or plant deterrents. To give you an example, if you struggle with aphids (who doesn’t from time to time) then plant things...

    • 23 min
    #28 Responsible Gardening

    #28 Responsible Gardening

    As gardeners it is our responsibility to understand what we grow may have an impact on more than just our little patch. Some plants have a habit of escaping into neighbouring ecosystems causing all manner of problems.

    None of us go out and plant something we know to be invasive in our area but our good intentions aren’t going to be good enough to stop a willey plant from taking hold somewhere we don’t want it.

    Why is it an issue if a plant escapes? this episode we discuss why it's important to keep our plants in check and what to do if they start to escape...

    Shout out to @copper_oak_ cottage_hideaway. ❤️ Thanks for the kind message.

    Mentioned sites

    • 21 min
    #27 Comfrey Power

    #27 Comfrey Power

    If you are a Permie or someone who has practised holistic gardening then it’s likely in this episode I’ll be preaching to the converted. That’s because comfrey is a gardener's magic pixie dust that has been used for aeons. I can’t believe I totally left this amazing herb out of the last episode when we were talking about fertilisers. That’s what middle aged female brain fog looks like. Anyhoo that's a different podcast… Now let’s chat about comfrey.

    So what is it?

    Comfrey is a herbaceous shrub that's native to Europe and Asia but now grows in most parts of the world. It produces large dark green leaves that are hairy and soft. The stems have soft spikes that are similar to borage. In fact comfrey and borage care cousins.

    It produces little purple, pink and or white flowers during late spring into summer.

    There are 2 types of comfrey referred to as Russian or Bocking 14 comfrey and True or common comfrey.

    True or common comfrey produces white flowers and produces seeds which means it can be spread. In some areas this is a benefit but in other areas it can become an invasive weed.

    Russian or Bocking 14 comfrey is sterile and won’t self seed. It’s easily propagated so this is the variety I grow and recommend to anyone. More about propagation soon.

    Comfrey is super resilient in most gardens. It prefers protection from hot afternoon summer sun and prefers free draining soil but will grow in just about anywhere. Ours is thriving in super heavy clay soil that has been waterlogged for the last 6 months and it’s as happy as a pig in mud.

    I threw about 10 starters in the ground in 2019 before the heat wave that saw the east coast of Australia was on fire, temperatures reached over 40deg c + (104f) many days and the whole place was like a tinderbox. Everything on our property was brown and crunchy. We didn’t water anything in an effort to save what little precious water we had. I think I threw a few buckets of water from the shower on them. That was it. We had a 50% success rate and that was 50% more than I was expecting.
    So you can see that they can take a beating and still find a way to thrive.

    Why is it a must in every garden ?

    Comfrey has super roots. They can penetrate down to 2 metres or more in ideal conditions.
    The roots essentially mine macro and micro nutrients that other plants can’t get to. They then store these delicious nutrients throughout the plant with a good portion being stored in the shrubby leaf mass. It’s often referred to as a dynamic accumulator for this reason.

    This means when we use comfrey in the garden the nutrients are returned to the soil but are now available to the shallow rooted plants.

    The super roots can also help to break up compacted earth and their leaves add organic matter back into the soil.

    The flowers provide nectar and pollen for many species. The thick growth provides habitat for small insects and it attracts some of my favourite pest management buddies. Lacewings lay eggs on comfrey leaves and parasitoid wasps and spiders are often seen around or on comfrey.

    Another benefit is the dense nature of the plant. Because it grows so thick and clumps together it often crowds out anything else in it’s way which is awesome if you have a weed or grass invasion of the unwanted kind. Be aware of how comfrey may impact on its neighbours before planting.

    Before we get into the usage side of things we need to know how to propagate our comfrey.

    Listen very closely as it’s a bit complex… You dig up a whole or partial plant, you take cuttings from the root about 5cm long and lay them horizontally in a prepared garden site or in a pot. Keep it moist until several leaves appear.

    So you see… super complicated.

    Now we have comfrey growing. What and how do you use it?


    • 18 min
    #26 5 Awesome Edibles That Anyone Can Grow

    #26 5 Awesome Edibles That Anyone Can Grow

    In today's episode I'm sharing with you the top 5 edibles that I think are a must in every garden and anyone can grow.

    This episode is for you if you are a beginner gardener just starting out on your edible growing journey. If you aren’t sure what is good to grow and are procrastinating on getting started I have you covered.

    And, if you are a green thumb who has been growing your fave for years, take this as an opportunity to add something new to the mix or share your top 5 with us.

    There are sooo many varieties of vegetables, fruits and all manner of edible plants out there. We can't grow them all, but not for lack of trying by some of us.

    One thing to always remember when choosing what to grow is what you will eat. No point growing something that you and your family or friends won’t eat unless you have plans to swap or sell your produce. Your precious efforts need to be rewarded with something yummy that you look forward to harvesting and eating.

    There is something so soulful about picking fresh produce you have grown and tucking into it. Organic, nutritious and so damn tasty.


    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Althefarmergardener ,


Just discovered your podcast and this is just wonderful! Thank you for all your insight and advice ❤️🌻🪴

patchofparadise86 ,

Experience is the best teacher

Thank you Jo for taking the time despite your hectic workload to share your wealth of experience and helping us like minded ones to persist through the challenges of reaching our self sufficiency goals.💙💙💙👩‍🌾

keatsihan ,

Love love love

I’m learning so much totally soaking it all up and planning my food forest at my one day home ❤️👨🏽‍🌾

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