Survival podcast

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Black and Decker 20V Lithium Ion Pole Saw. This item was a needs based purchase and it just happened to be a great one in the end. As many of you know we had to place my Father-in-Law in a memory care facility this last year. Once we did that we sold his house to help keep him at this great facility as long as possible. It really is the best place we found after many months of searching, it is called Silverado and if you ever needs such a place check them out before making a decision.

When I got there I looked at this tree and found limbs I could take without ruining its form for the new buyer. The problem? None were really safe to take without a pole saw, I had no pole saw. So off to the local Lowes I went to find something and found this one, figured I’d give it a shot and get the job done, if it was crappy, I’d just return it same day.


Let me tell you, this little sucker cuts and does a great job. I use it all the time now to lop limbs of the oaks here, this is something I have to do yearly as they constantly coppice back. I want them all pruned up high enough that you don’t take out an eye walking around. I have also used it to top quite a few trees that needed to come down and were far easier to fell correctly once topped.

This tool has its limits mind you, it is perfect for the small homesteader that will use it a few times a month or a quarter for the type of work it is intended for. If you have other Black and Decker stuff with 20V Lithium Ion batteries you can buy it as a bare tool, and if you won’t use it much that makes sense. However as a battery by itself sells for 30 bucks picking up an extra battery and charger for a 35 bucks makes more sense to me.

Research has documented improved plant nutrient and water uptake and resistance to a wide range of soil diseases and environmental extremes. Plants establish and yield more abundantly and require less intensive care. Over 50,000 University studies have highlighted the benefits of mycorrhizal colonization on the health and yield of plants. What is Mycorrhizae? “Mycor” – “rhiza” literally means “fungus” – “root” and defines the mutually beneficial relationship between the plant and root fungus.

Think really hard before going for that 2 pounder! This stuff goes a long way. I just use a sprinkle on the roots of transplants, and about two tablespoons on the roots of larger trees when I am planting them. To put it in perspective if you wanted to broadcast it on a full acre for land restoration, (not a terrible idea) you would use a rate of 10 pounds to the acre. If we take that down to the typical garden, a pound or two goes a long way.

I’ve not found anything that makes as dramatic a difference on a plants ability to develop massive and healthy roots as this stuff does. This particular product is a combination of 4 species endo mycorrhizae which I prefer to single species varieties. It is also one of the most cost effective products by price per pound I have found. If you want to give your plants a tremendous advantage this season give Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation from Sustainable Agricultural Technologies, Inc. a shot this season.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day Bio-Groom Waterless Pet Shampoo and man do I love this stuff. I have never been big on bathing dogs very often. The canine is a species that seldom bathes in the wild yet remains fairly clean. I always marveled at how amazing the pelt of a healthy fox or coyote was during my trapping days, who bathes them?

Last fall I do not know what Charlie got into but he stunk, not awful but not good either. Specifically around his head and neck, he smelled like well, um, a combination of rotten nasty popcorn and Cheetos that sat in the garbage too long. We know he didn’t actually get into the garbage, though it happens. I don’t know what happened but I knew something had to be done.

P.S. – You can get this stuff by the gallon as well. Now that I am totally settled on it that is what I do it is far cheaper that way and any standard spray bottle works fine. Just make sure to label your bottle so you don’t make a mistake. It is blue and could be confused with certain household cleaners otherwise. Just use a trusty sharpie marker.