Robert Collins come on the podcast this week. We talk about what a homestead is, how anyone can start homesteading on a small scale, and all of the adversity that he had faced since moving to Wilmington.
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What we're sippin' on this week: Smooth Ambler Contradiction Rye
Each savory sip of Contradiction Rye is a stunning marriage of velvety aromatics and notes of muddled in-season allspice... oh who are we kidding... It’s a blend of whiskey we make in West Virginia and whiskies we love from other distilleries. It’s four mashbills in one and damn if it doesn’t work just perfectly.
How to Find Robert Collins
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Welcome back. This. We have on a guest that has been requested. Yes, sir. A few different times. Just for being a great fella in the, the local community. Mm-hmm his name is Robert Collins. I always mess. I like think him, Adam, him, like, did I say his name? Right? Yeah, luckily it's a pretty generic, I was gonna say that's a pretty easy one. This time. Straightforward. Yeah, they get it's exotic when you get to my middle name. It's S E a N. So, oh, you know, it's always been a point of contention the years when people wanna micro bully me about my name. it's like it's okay. Is it Sean? Like most other people or, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Some people still have hang up about that. I don't, I don't get it. That's how I thought Sean was. And then I got older and we were like, no, it's I was like, bruh, y'all are a little too add, added too many letters. Yes. Too many. Chris is getting ahead of himself and taking the first step too soon. But Hey, I won't complain. Try new things. So we brought Robert on and this week to mix it up we actually brought on a. Whiskey to sip on because, you know, Tyler loves his rise. My favorite whiskey bourbon. We, we picked up, we, I mean, I did the smooth AMR contradiction rye only because I saw it on TikTok and someone was like, this should be in your collection of everyday rise. Like sure. Let's try it out. It's actually kind of cool. They're based outta West Virginia and. It's not a single malt. They actually blend it with a rye from Indiana. And then two different rises outta Tennessee to give you a nice blend. It's 105 proof. So a little bit higher than we're used to a little bit. But it's pretty balanced. It's a pretty long finish on the nose. You can smell a little nutmeg and strawberry. Yeah, you can definitely smell some of that Berry when you're sniffing it. But as a, just a creamy, spicy pallet, nice touch. A mint and orange zest and as a long finish of Oak and cinnamon. Very good description. very thorough. Thank you. Yeah, some days I'm good. Do research brought the, brought the knowledge today. but yeah, I'll set it up. Cheers. Cheer. Ah, love myself, Orry. It's definitely a Ry. It is you can definitely taste the difference. Mm-hmm not a bad way. It's definitely a good way for me. Yeah. yeah. I always feels old timey. It does. Yeah. Peppery and I just picture The old homestead drinking rye. Yeah, exactly. Seems exactly to go well with being outdoors. Yep. I like that. Sitting on a rocking chair underneath the porch and drinking the rye. If we had rocking chairs in here, I'd be in trouble. I'd be asleep. Yeah. All right. So Robert, tell us a little bit about yourself, kind of what you do and how you got to where you are now. Yeah. Originally from Northeast moved down to Greensboro in the ni 95 or so mm-hmm, loved it, got a taste for the you know, the farm to table, scene down there with goat lady dairy and. You know, really got in touch with using fresh high quality ingredients, you know, kind of started the journey up from there. And then eventually ended up in Wilmington, worked a bunch of places had fun with it. Got burned out on. It was pretty much nothing else to really do it. Wasn't fun anymore. Yeah. So that's not my thing. To do stuff that's not fun anymore. Especially when it comes to food and something that you takes time to do. Yeah. It's hard. It's hard just to bang it out after a while. So I I've always been involved with farming and helping and, you know, being involved with make Shelton and a lot of the local folks in the town that, you know, did their, their wears and goods. It just was always a scene that I liked. I always liked being out at the market. You know, helping it, you know, that way I love that scene. Eventually it, you know, probably about 16 years ago before I got out of it, I had bakery downtown that started at the. Riverfront farmer's market mm-hmm oh, okay. Being Chris Hendricks an old school Wilington guy who was, who was moved on and we had, we had fun with it. We went from there, opened up a place on princess. And second learned that you can't do. A lot of stuff without machines these days to keep up mm-hmm mm-hmm so we had a hard time, with, with people wanting to spend $2 for a loaf for bread at Walmart. And this was 16 years ago, we were all organic using local stuff and people didn't understand. Why things were more, a little more expensive. Yeah. And why, what it was, so it was a little ahead of the curve. Yeah. So it, it was, it was an experience and tid Creek bought it and they oh, cool. Did something to it. I'm not sure, but it's not in business anymore. But you know, I've always liked that supporting local folks. Yeah. You know? So I pivoted into, you know, not just cooking the food, but how to grow the food. Sustainably, you know, kind of really took a look at it and challenge myself to start with a small plot and see what I could do with it. Right. Go from there and see what the results would be, you know, after a year or two, just kind of see if this is something that's doable. Probably halfway through that flow came through and that was. The end of that for for the timing. Yeah. Being, you know, being established and getting through it was, would've been tough. So just starting and yeah, I just kind of, before I saw the writing on the wall, so I was like, all right, let me pivot one more time to, so I've done, you know, grocery store, opening, grocery stores and oh, wow. Retail side. And mm-hmm, you know, get a quote unquote real job for a little while. Yeah. And then uh, you know, I decided once, couple years ago and everything kind of went sideways. I was like, this is the perfect time to really hone my skills and teach other folks and how to be self-reliant and how to do things. And just where to start sometimes. Yeah. A lot of times it's people are just overwhelmed on where to right. Start the process and it, I understand it's tough, you know, you overanalyze it, you want to do everything. Mm-hmm perfect. You read all the articles, the YouTube videos you see, you know, I gotta do all the it's just. Sometimes it's you just need to step back and start at the beginning, definitely to go from there. So, yeah. So that's, that's where I'm at now kind of revamping it, trying to get everything working under the same names, you know, all the social media, trying to re re get a new perspective on where I want to go with things and kind of reapproach it a little. Yeah, my, my wife is very into the thought of homestead right now, too. Sure. Not that we have really the, the land for it right now. But definitely the thought of it and the YouTube videos to your point that she watches they're on step. Like. 85,000. Yeah. And they already have like the barn and like multiple cows and everything. And she's like, but I don't know how it starts because they never show like the grind at the very beginning. Yeah. Yeah, no, that's goes with most, most everything you see you don't right. You don't see the fail, you know exactly. You know, that's where you that's those, those are the spaces where you learn. Yeah. You know, obviously before we get too, too, too far into it what part in Northeast are you. The coast of New Jersey. Oh, okay. Yeah. I'm from PA myself, so, okay. Yeah, it was right familiar just north of point. Pleasant is probably the biggest. Okay. Yeah. So so when I moved down here, it was, you know, reminiscent of the area mm-hmm but without some of the intenseness and people moving down from even. You know, New York and stuff like that. And a lot of the land was being bought up and some of the old spots were being built over and it was just like, oh, this is, this is disgusting. Yeah. I need, I need to get outta here. So ending up in Wilmington kind of made sense. Cause I do like the vibe, right. You know, like being semi viche, you know, I like the little bit of a slow down pace. Definitely. You know? So it really spoke to me. I like that. Because as per usual, one of us knows a little bit about the guests and the other knows nothing. I am the one who knows nothing. So I'm sure I could look this up. What's a homestead. Well, I mean like you seen the YouTube videos, there's definitely many stages and iterations of it. Mm-hmm but basically the general idea is to have a space where you can be self SU. In varying percentages, like, can I sustain my, you know, can I grow or produce half my meat and vegetables for the year? Can I, you know, and then usually from there, you just kind of keep working at getting less and less involved in, you know Having to go to stores, having to, you know, you kind of just keep making your own stuff or you find folks that do stuff better than you, that you have stuff that you can trade with barter with mm-hmm you know, stuff like that. You can sell your stuff to buy other stuff, you know, it's, you know, the basic kind of market system, but yeah, you're just trying to get to the point where you're comfortable and don't feel like you have to, you know, buy everything, spend a lot of money on things. It's kind of a simplification of things you. you, you can't homestead and have all the latest everything. Yes. Mm-hmm you know, you have to have expectations of, I gotta step back. I need to say, okay, this is, this is gonna be our new base level. Mm-hmm of things, you know, and you have to have you, cause all those things cost more money. Right? So the more shiny things you have, the more money you have to get and the, you have to work unless you are being self-reliant. So there's a balance in there, you know, I like obvious. Some tech and music stuff and instruments, but you know, you can't have everything you want all the time. Yeah, exactly. So where did the passion from farm to table come from for you and being more? Self-reliant well, it was, it's always seemed like a very noble art mm-hmm or profession. You know, and I, I give a lot of respect to those professions, the hands on. The, the people that build and maintain things and produce things that are tangible, you know, I think that's a really important thing. And it's, you know, usually they're generally good people. Mm-hmm, you know, those, those hundred people and, you know, I, I like to support, put my dollar vote towards somebody. Who's good. Mm-hmm you know, at the end of the day and not give it to someone who I don't think is, you know, that's that, that's how I, you know, You know, my, my, my dollars are spent ideally. And the, you know, the, the product was, you know, generally better fresher. I could, I could trace it back to the source mm-hmm right. You know? But you know, it all comes with, you have to be a little bit fluid on your expectations. Mm-hmm you know, you order this. Maybe had a heavy rain, so you can only get this many. Yeah. So you can't, you know, it goes back to the, you can't have everything you want all the time. Mm-hmm you have to be willing to be flexible with your menu, be, you know, that just stuff happens sometimes. Yeah. You know, and then you have to let your weight staff know, you gotta let your. You know, your, your clientele are gonna come there, understand that things are limited things. It's not a never ending, Bush that these are being produced from. So it's, yeah, it's definitely a, you have to hedge your expectations sometimes when dealing with these people and that's, I'm totally fine with that. Yeah. as far as I'm concerned right. Yeah. I mean, there's, there's trade offs. Mm-hmm so, I mean, I'm the same way too. So you said something. Relates to me very well. And what I, what I say as well is voting with your dollars mm-hmm and any time that you have an opportunity to give your hard earned money to one place or another, like knowing what the power is of that dollar, to give it to someone local, local, who put in their own like sweat and tears into that product, as opposed to a large conglomerate mm-hmm that's spraying all of their stuff all the time. Yeah. So. I'm glad you said that that's something that's really important to me too. Yeah, definitely. I think it, you know, in, in theory and ideally it causes more of a closed loop of money too. Yeah. Mm-hmm, spend here, pay here, buy here, you know, kind of keep it local, ideally obviously you can't, everything is not locally, but you know, when you can do right. You know, you know, when you can afford. Do what you can, you know, you don't have to go overboard every week, you know, no one expects, right. You know, just when you can help, help out. And when you see something that's obviously gonna be better for an extra 50 cents. It's okay. Yeah. exactly. Maybe eat, eat 20% less and it'll be the same price. Right. You know? So where did the name copper farm come from? It's copper sun, copper sun. Sorry. I should get that right. First time. Yeah. Cause copper would just be boring. Right? It's it basically comes from where I'm at now. There's a time of day where when the sun sets, it's pretty much perfect over the patch and it hits, you know, Magnolias and you know, you can see, and it's just whenever the sun hits a perfect angle, a certain time of day, it. Looks like copper. Oh yeah. And I've always had a, a thing for suns and sun shapes and sun art and, you know, so it just didn't wanna overcomplicate it. Mm-hmm so I was sitting there one day and I was just, I, like, I like metals, I like wood. I like raw materials, you know, coppers a, you know, say it's a kind of a healing metal it's know it's good for, you know, For a lot of things. So it, it, you know, it just seemed like it makes sense. It was very literal sitting there staring at a, a sun. And I was thinking, yeah, you know, let's copper, wait, Hey, there's copper sun done. Right. That's cool. Yeah. Next, next song. That was way easier. It took us weeks to figure out a name. Mm-hmm yeah. And then we got close and then we almost changed it again. Yep. we just stuck with it. We already had a. looks like the I don't know I was in, in bands in high school, and that was the best part of the, the band was trying to come up with a band name. Everybody had their list and you would narrow it down. And exactly, with your new naming and rebranding you're helping people better organize their, their land. To prep for home setting. Yeah. Just kind of help, you know, at whatever level they want. Mm-hmm I can be totally hands on and help with installation. I can just be there to help get the process started, get some ideas help out throughout the process for, you know, questions. If there's a particular part of the harm, homestead that they want help with. They like, they know not comfortable with chicken. Or stuff like that, I can just come in and help build something and help design and, and implement it and kind of be with them. You know, as far as communicating, if they have a question, if they have a concern, if you know, what does this, you know, this is happening. What about this? You know, and I, I can be there to kind of give my 2 cents or if I don't know the answer to a question, help find the answer or lead 'em to a different source that might have a better answer. Yeah, this is a little bit off topic. I'm gonna take Chris's role and ask a goofy question here real quick too. Oh yeah. So a few weeks ago we brought on TJ Dunn who owns quite a few goats and I understand you have a goat. Yep. That's awesome. A goat, a goat. does he have a name? Her name is penny, penny. And she's really cool. I'm hoping to have more, at some point I had another one who was older, who came with her when I bought her mm-hmm they kind of threw her in because she was old and they needed to free up some space. And so but yeah, they're, they're, they're cool animals. Yeah. They're interesting personalities, you know, that's what TJ was saying too. It's like, they all kind of have their own personalities as well. Yeah. And everything, which is kind of cool. I didn't realize that. Yeah. They're they have, they're very adjacent to dogs. As far as their interaction cuz I have a, a Carolina and retriever golden retriever mix that likes to run out there and she just likes to be out there doing whatever, you know, and she goes out there and plays with the, you know, the goat and she rears up and pretends like she's gonna headbutt home and you know, and then she, Give affection. When people come outside, she'll call for people. Oh yeah. You come over and give her some rubs on her, go eat. And her her head and stuff like that. So they're very, they have very nice characteristics of, very loyal. You know, kind of like a dog when they, they see you, they get excited or right. They come over to you and, you know, it's, it's, it's interesting. And they're, and they're fairly clean animals. compared to if you had the rank animals, right. Probably rabbits being probably the most easiest animal to deal with. Cuz they're just. Instant compost, you know, you can use their, their poop right away on your, you know, feed it this way. And then fertilizer comes out the other way. So, oh, other animals you have to other animals, you have to compost. I didn't realize that. Yeah. So, okay. And goats are good at eating a lot of things you don't want around too. Yeah. cut down stuff, eat 'em to 'em put 'em out there in a, in a patch and just let 'em. Clean it up a little bit for you and then yeah, come back in and finish off. Yeah, it's fun. That's neat. Mm-hmm, kind of helps get some stuff done too that you weren't really wanting to do anyway. And they get to eat. Yep. It's win-win yeah, it's perfect. so when are you get a goat? I don't think my HOA will allow me have a goat right now. Mm. So maybe when we buy the land to do the homestead that Jennifer wants, maybe at that point. Yeah. My parents will probably have goats before. well, that's good. At least you'll have go out there and say, Hey, you can get used to 'em and exactly. Yeah. Figure out, get, feel for it and, take care of it. But yeah, H HOAs are not the friend of steads. No, no, not typically. yeah. And I'm the worst, cuz like I've looked, I've seen homestead, like the name of it, but I didn't really know a hundred percent about what it was. Mm-hmm and then my wife, we moved into this neighborhood and they're like, You guys, here's what your side is. Here's some grass grow it. And that sent me down the trail of why am I growing grass? Can't I grow like mushrooms or Moss or something. That's gonna actually absorb the water in the location. I'm wife, like shut up. that's not what the HOA said. We don't wanna letter. Yeah. Yeah. I'm like maybe in the backyard. I still, I, I still don't have like half a patch of grass in my backyard. If you put a big enough fence up, they won't know the. Yes, but the HOA also says it has to be a certain height. just tall enough that they can see over it. Right? Yeah. I laughed. It's like, man. I'm trying to figure out what plants I can plant, like in my backyard and how to properly like, manage that space. Mm-hmm because our friends gave us some like blueberries, which I'm pretty sure we've killed already. Just cuz we don't know how to, like, they gave them to us. I'm like, I don't know how to properly do it. And you're supposed to have two different kinds or something. They gave us ginger mm-hmm which is just flourished. Yeah. Ginger I'm like great. I don't know how I haven't killed that yet in peppermint, regular mm-hmm I think we got regular mint and I think most of us cuz I don't like mosquitoes, so I'm trying to get stuff that'll like yeah, yeah. Keep bugs off mm-hmm but now have to figure out what the real edible plants will be. So actually with that being said, since I'm sure most people that are listening to this podcasts probably live in HOA. Cause it seems like all of Wilmington pretty much is like HOA owned at this point. What are a few good plants that you recommend or just different things that you can grow kind of in a backyard that anyone can start doing to begin their homestead? Probably the direction I would go is, would be containers and, or Something indoor. Okay. You get going depending on how adventurous you are. Yeah. There's a lot of cool coward designs planners. If you wanna get high tech that you can grow and it's all automatic and you just plug your stuff in there and it'll, you can grow salad herbs. Oh, wow. Berries out of 'em. And they're just a lot of, not a lot of mess, you know, and low input as far as having to deal with it, you know? but if it's probably, if it's in a HOA or something, that's gonna kind of be there for a while. Mm-hmm you're on the right direction with some sort of permaculture with blueberries or something, you know, something like that. That's gonna, you know, you can keep kind of within the confines of not being too wild and still get some cool stuff out of it. Yeah. You know, doing some raised beds with. Strawberries is always a good reward for your input and the space you have. Mm-hmm and if you want to do, if you're, you know, a big salad person or you just like greens, you know, you can grow a, a crazy amount of mixed greens and salad greens in a very small area. Oh, oh, okay. They kind of keep coming up. If you plan 'em real dense and you just. Pick 'em when they're small, you know, you seeing a salad when you're a salad makes you buy in a box. And they'll regenerate a couple, few times. Oh. So you can kind of get, I mean, they get little less, you know, veracity as they get cut, but but you can get, you know, you don't need that much, you know, when you think about how much salad you actually eat and how much you, it's only a couple ounces of salad. Yeah. And you put. Stuff on top. You wanna do, but you know, that those things kind of get high nutritional output from it from a little bit of space mm-hmm and if you want to do, you know, get even more nutrition, packed into your space, you know, doing kale and stuff like that, that obviously everybody knows about by now, but it's yeah, they're really easy to grow. You can get a cut 'em weather small and you get a very nutrient. square footage that you're putting back there. So that's kind of how I, that's how I approach any space is how can I get the most out of each square foot? That's back here as far as, something I can eat something I can, you know, look at like a nice flower that makes me happy. Yeah. Or a place where I can just have some quiet. All three of those qualified for something that's being output by the garden. Mm-hmm so if it's not food, it can just be you know, a tea garden in containers. It can be an outdoor place where you, you know, you do your ginger and your tropical things. It can, can be an area where you sit and meditate or think for a little while, or have, you know, it's just your space. Mm-hmm, you know, that's just as important as putting food in your belly. Right. So yeah, it's, it's sometimes it's food. Sometimes it's not food. Sometimes the output's gonna be peace of mind or beautification. Yeah. Yeah. What's your favorite thing to produce right now, then? Hmm. Right now, pretty much the time of year. Why I just give in and say I'm done gardening for a little bit. fair because it is, there's just too much. It's just. This time of year at this point in the world is probably one of the top five hardest places to grow anything. Wow. It is anybody in town that grows anything and can sustain it. It you know, I applaud them, you know, and people should be paying twice as much for the protest this time of year, because it's brutal between, either too much rain. Mm-hmm, not enough rain, wind bugs. Right disease that love the humidity is just like, it's all out right now. So I usually, I use this time of year. I usually try to take a break, get things ready for the cold cooler weather. Mm-hmm give the, give the garden some time to, stale bed a little bit. Yeah. And kind of give it a and then I'll go into, I love growing the greens. I love growing strawberries when they come back around. Yeah. You know, That's neat. I mean, I love strawberries because I've always just been like, you know, I like something simple classic mm-hmm are strawberries. One of those, I don't know enough about vegetation, but are they a quick turnaround or are those something that you have to like nurture and nourish? If you're lucky you'll get some fruit the first year. But from, from what I planted, I'm sure there's other varieties that are may put out more in the first year, but for the most part, it seemed like the second year plants okay. Seem to really have really picked up steam and probably a third year will probably be going into the peak and then they'll start waning again. So it takes a second. But it it's, it's definitely worth. The weight, cuz there's few things better than going in the morning and popping out a strawberry and eating it or throwing it on your yogurt parfait or salad or whatever. It's just, yeah. It's like such a no brainer. Yeah. You sit there and look at, 'em go, man. This is good. and if I remember reading correctly did you store a, like a grocery store type of thing downtown? Let's see, they might, might be the either the bakery probably might be thinking about mm-hmm that? I think that's what I'm thinking of. Mm-hmm yeah. And so that, yeah, that was a million years ago. Oh yeah. Yeah. That, that was one that you were saying was 16 years ago. Yeah. That, that's actually pretty amazing that you were kind of on that level 16 years ago, because that's not something that was popular until relatively recently. So what got you on the front end of. It was just something that me and my partner at the time were really into. He is way more bread head than I am. Yeah. And he started all the sourdough from local grapes and fruits and stuff like that. Oh, wow. And It was something that we were, we both had the attitude, if we're gonna do, we're gonna do it. Right. Right. You know, we're not gonna, we want it to be different on purpose. We didn't want to use mixes and stuff. That was pre-bagged. And you just add water to and throw into a machine and cuz there's other folks in town that are doing that and that's, we couldn't compete with that. Yeah. So our thought was to, and I knew from. Me working in managing kitchens and stuff, a fair amount of ingredients that could be sourced local mm-hmm you know, so, all right, well, these are all the ingredients we need right here. Right. And down to the, to the flower and everything that was all North Carolina, organic product and the honeys. And we didn't use a lot of refined sugars. And. What we were trying to do, we couldn't do with inferior product. Yeah. You know, hand, hand shaping reds, letting 'em rise slowly. Mm-hmm giving our sourdough something to eat. You can't give 'em crappy flour. Your sourdough is not just kind of, it's just gonna Peter out and not be flavorful. Yeah. So we really wasn't, you know, we never had any other thought. We were just like, no, this is what we're doing. This is how we're gonna be different. Yeah. We were way too different probably. And. Probably could have used a machine or two in retrospect then uh, maybe not be such the purest but we did it how we wanted to. And at the end of the day, we, we made some really good damn bread. That was, you know, I I've no problems with what we did, you know, I'm proud of. Yeah. That's awesome. At least what we tried. Right. That's really cool. I'm sure it tasted significantly better than anything you can really buy in a grocery store too. Yeah. I mean, good. Fresh bread. There's I grew up one of my jobs early on, was working at a bakery up north. Oh yeah. So I got spoiled real early. five o'clock in the morning, fresh, you know, pastries and breads and everything like that. So it's, it's a special thing. When you find something special mm-hmm that's made well, and you're like, oh, this. this is a little bit different. I think the closest that I've found in Wilmington so far, have you heard of little loaf? Yeah. I've not been in yet. Yeah. So she's building a place off of, I think Wrightsville laugh, maybe. And um, basically what she's gonna do is so par it's gonna be a baker and the other, part's gonna be kind of an education facility to help people. Oh yeah. Learn how to make bread. What about this? Okay. Yeah. Which is pretty cool. So she had a popup that was right across the street from us here in the cargo district. And I was going over to my parents or making dinner for my wife and I. and I was like, oh, here's some like local bread. Let me pick this up. Mm-hmm I brought it over and not really thinking anything. Just like, kind of before, like voting with your dollars buying local. Yep. Brought it home. And it was amazing bread. Mm-hmm I haven't had like that locally sourced bread in a while. And my parents like kept raving about it for the next week and I was like, it really makes a big difference. Yeah, it does. It's crazy. Yeah. I love. One of the things I do like about food is, is the memories yeah. That it, you know, kind of conjures up and the smells and the mm-hmm you know, the sounds for me of being in different kitchens and, you know, it's, it's, it's a really cool way to tap into the past and kind of just bring up a memory of when you were a kid doing something with somebody and you're like, oh yeah, it takes me all the way back. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 20 to 30 years. That's yeah. That's an incredible thing. I think that's. and I know before we started recording too. You were talking about working with Ash. Yeah. Yeah. I just started working on a little project at his new place origins. Yeah. Have a, a side area off their eating, I guess, outdoor eating area. Mm-hmm and it's just kind of weird. It's like a void in the landscaping. It's just like a perfect little rectangle within the bushes next to the thing. And it's just kind of sitting there. So he was like, you know, wanting to make it look nice and be something that the chefs could go out from time to time and snip some herbs or whatever was. Yeah. Oh, that's cool. Just something that. Kind of extend the, you know, the, the, you know, the, the look of the restaurant a little bit out into that area and have something to, you know, a nice conversation piece, something that people can talk about, walk into and just, you know, you know, enjoy the, the added scene area that it'll bring. Oh, that's really neat. Yeah. that'd be really cool too, to kind of haven't experienced that location yet, but I look forward to going in there and that'd be cool to know if there was something that came straight out from right outside the forest. Yeah. Mm-hmm yeah. It's it's, it's a nice it's a layout. It's a good size place and it's right there off you next to Starbucks. So it's it's right there. I was almost drove past and I was like, oh, there it is. And then I it's it's gonna be fun. Yeah. I look forward to it. So wait, where is this new one? Off of Eastwood road by the new Starbucks. Do you not drive on Eastwood wood road to get to work? It's it is real new. It, it kind of just popped up like, yeah. I mean, I think it's only three or four weeks old. Yeah. It was like one day it was there and the next day I'm like, oh, it's there. Yep. Oh, building in that building. Yeah. Cause there's a stop light it's across from that church. Yes. Yep. Mm-hmm exactly. Okay. Sorry. I know places by going there, but I suck at. If you say, oh, Hey, it's on Wrights live. I'm like, yeah. Yeah. The same way where, like he mentioned rights a and I'm like, that is the longest road known, man. That really doesn't mean anything. Everyone's like, oh yeah, I live off Wrights. Lavado I'm like part. Yeah. I'm like, are you on this side of college road? Are you on that side of college road? Yeah. Where you 10 miles down the road. Yeah. Right, exactly. At least with like OER, I like know. Mostly, like, if you say you're on only, there's probably two stretches that you could be in. Mm. Yeah. But riots live that just always gets me another thing that I was reading about you too. So you worked with east down east. Yep. And what exactly did you do for them and what do they do? They are a a local food hub. So they take. It's stuff that folks grow and they work as a, you know, the hub of the hub and spoke where they can bring it there and then they deliver it to local restaurants. Oh, okay. They deal with the, they deal with the ordering and, and some of the paperwork side, that's really hard for farmers to do. It's tough just growing the food and you have to go market it, right. Call people, get your pricing, you know, so they help with some of that. And and I. Was working with them for a little bit. My, my other, other part of my, I guess if it's a business, but the notfor profit side is, is to start some sort of learning farm, you know, just to kind of have an area in the city where mainly anybody, but mostly kids can kind of come mm-hmm yeah. And just be shown a new perspective on where things come from, how it's. What it takes to get that lettuce on your plate or cucumber, you know? And so I worked, I worked with uh, Sarah Daniels. Who's here in town who does a lot of stuff and she's great. And she helped write a grant and um, east down east took it over and got it going. Then there was a little bit of they, they had some change in management and some stuff happen. With, with us grants, if things aren't just so it doesn't, it doesn't last mm-hmm so things switch. And I, now I think the arboreum the extensions actually dealing with it. So we have a little bigger base and a little more folks over there that can help manage it and get in the right direction. So I, I wish him, you know, the, the best of luck and the idea of it is, is. Desperately needed at this point. Yeah. You know, so hopefully they can, they can make that work, make it a great jumping off spot for young farmers to start for younger farmers to learn and for adults to go there and maybe just be reeducated or reintroduced to things that they, you know, forgot about or didn't realize. Yeah. So, but I'll, I'll be doing kind of the same thing on a smaller scale, you know, with the homestead and making it so it's. Accessible for folks. And I really like the idea of not so much being a, a farm that produces crops on a steady basis, but there's definitely stuff that's gonna be growing. But I like the idea of like therapy, gardens and art gardens. Yeah. And just spaces where people can go just to kind of get lost. Mm-hmm you know, there doesn't have to be an itinerary. It doesn't have to be. This or that if you want to bring people and have an itinerary and learn something, that's cool. If you just wanna come and hang out and help, if you wanna say, Hey, the animals you want to, you know, it's, you know, just whatever it is it's gonna be. So that's, that's kind of the other offshoot of kind of what I'm trying to establish is just a learning space. Whether that's how to grow, how to have more peace of mind, you know, just have a different first step on things. Yeah. Do some. Yoga, whatever you wanna do. that's really cool. Yeah. I love that. Kind of perspective of it and there's really nothing around that. That's like that at least in this area. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's not around in many areas, which is probably the problem. There are, there are a few really good folks in some of the bigger cities doing some, some cool stuff. So it's the movement is moving mm-hmm but it's. It needs to move faster and stronger to combat years and years of ignorant propaganda, that's given the people. So it's, it's gonna take a, you know, a big shock for things to kind of move a different direction. Mm-hmm and over consumption and, you know, lack of nutrition and, you know, knowing where things come from mm-hmm you know, just kind of the basic things. I've kind of gone a skew over time. So when you said like the big shock, I think one of the big things for me and my family is my son is extremely allergic to a lot of things. Mm-hmm and so that's an understatement. Yeah. Oh, okay. And so what we found out, and so we already tried to live like relatively. Clean type of food life and whatnot, like the best we could. And yeah, sure. It is what it was at that point. But with him and everything that he was allergic to, we found out it's a lot of the process stuff. Mm-hmm so just naturally by Like him just breaking out and these allergic reactions, we've had to start getting closer and closer and closer to the main source of our food and understanding where it comes from and understanding what corporations are doing to the food and why, why it's giving our son these reactions and stuff. Mm-hmm and we're like, this is just the outward Thing that's happening to him. So like what I was thinking after it is like what's happening to the inside of me, if this is happening to the outside of him with these mm-hmm reactions. And when I started eating closer to what he was eating, which was more natural than anything lost weight yeah. Just started feeling better. Mm-hmm and it's just, it's amazing how the closer mean go figure, right? I mean, the closer you get to earth, the better that you're gonna. Yeah. Yeah, no, it there's. There's zero doubt that probably most of the overly hyper, you know, issues we have with health has something to do with, you know, the processing of things, right? Whether it's chemicals for pesticides and herbicides, whether it's the food, whether it's the soil, that's about dead at this point. Mm-hmm you know, it's it's, it's, it's crazy how that. The answer is just simply to stop messing with things, right? Yeah. Just don't do anything and it'll get better. Yeah. Let nature take its course, but people have to manipulate and mold things and make it bigger, faster, stronger. They have to have it. Now they have to have it for a dollar. They have to have it. Mm-hmm that's just not sustainable, not even close. That was something I learned about recently too, is about how the soil's essentially being destroyed because of some of these places. Planting the same exact things that are making it plant the same exact things. I didn't realize that there's seasons for a reason. Right. And that it needs to be turned over with the different crops and everything to allow the nutrients to be in there, to grow the most nutrient pack food. Yep. Yeah. I mean, yeah. There's. And anything that's not from a local or your backyard is not nutrient BA you know, full at all at all anymore. Yeah. It just looks pretty and lasts long on the counter or the shelves. So that's one of the positives to eating closer to. Where you live, right? Those things are gonna be more nutrient packed and dense. You don't have to eat as many to get the same, same benefits. And the soil thing is just, yeah, it's a mess. Mono cropping and industrial revolution was the downfall of everything that was good in farming. Yeah. You know And it's it's, it's so ingrained now that it's depressing. Cuz people don't can't even if a farmer wanted to not do that, they can't. Right? Yeah. Like, do you want to grow organic or lose your farm? Yeah, they, they can barely keep their farm growing, stuff way too fast, way too much all to, you know, it just, they can't even survive now. Mm-hmm so even getting 'em to the point of even considering they're like, no, I. If I wanted to, I cannot stop right now. Yeah. You know, there was I'm gonna completely butcher this story, but hopefully you can help, help kind of fill in the gaps. I like your honesty, right? Yeah. I mean, kinda be honest with people. It was something along the lines of, there was this farm, relatively local farm that they wanted to be called organic, but the U S D a has to have their hand and everything. So they said like, Hey, if you wanna be called organic. You would have to basically pave over all of the natural soil that's here and then bring in this, what we deem natural soil mm-hmm and plants on top of that. And I was like, how does that make any sense? It, it may, because there's, there was something there before that it would take so many years think that's be there. Yeah. Cause I think there's like a criteria. I can't remember exact amount of years, five years, 10 years. You have to have a record of not using synthetic ingredients on the land. Ah, so they might have been like, well, you can wait 10 years or you can do this, you know? Right. What farmer can. Yeah. At that point you're like, oh, well I guess I'll try somewhere else or not be organic, you know? But yeah, it it's a process getting certified. but it's not held up stringently. Mm mm-hmm. like there's stories of stuff from overseas coming in, where they start with one at one port, they have conventional labels on 'em. By the time they get to another port, they have organic. Oh wow. And they've gone up in price. So somewhere along the line, they got injected with organic goodness. Right. Or there someone crooked along the line and, and there's no way to check that there's the U S D a is nobody mm-hmm, really working for 'em that can check this stuff. Right. You know? So it it's a, that's why it's so stringent at the beginning. Say, no, this is probably the last time we're gonna see you for a little bit. And unless you really do something like poison somebody with something, you know, they're like, wait a minute. They say nothing. Yeah. So it's, they're, they're slowly but surely other organizations that are doing their own certifications, like RG till, and there's some other smaller, you know, people that have these organizations where they have checklists of stuff and they have stringent, but it's not as expensive. It's a little more user friendly where they understand that you just bought this place. Right? So let's, let's go. Instead of just being organic and old, organic, you can be converting into, you can be in a state of conversion, oh, converting organic farm, or presently using all these things that are organic, but because the person before was using it, we have to wait this long until that phases out, which is cool. Cause I mean, if someone's doing their best. Right to do it now. I can't, what do you do about 10 years ago? Right? So, so that's cool. And it's, it's, it's good that it's strict, but they have to keep, it up along the way. Mm-hmm like, even though, especially overseas stuff coming in that stuff, there's so much coming in that they just, you know, they do what they want, unless they have a, an audit that just happens. If, you know, flag something, you know, you're never gonna know yeah, exactly where things are coming. Which is scary. Yeah. That is It's crazy to think of just in general as a whole mm-hmm I just look down at the clock and we've already blown by 45 minutes. time work. I know. Right. So since we're kind of coming up on the close to the end of the time here, I gotta ask my famous last question. All right. Which is if you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be? Hmm. Probably be go ahead and get those pay for those little pieces of paper that people need to see to tell you that, you know what you're doing Uhhuh because even if you know what you're doing, people don't care and it's most, most people that way. And it's, you know, it probably would've been easier to do some things if. Had that piece of paper and it gives a little bit of confidence for folks. So I think redoing kind of my perspective on, you know, extended education probably would've been a little bit different just cuz fight the power. I didn't care. I, I knew what I was doing. I, I worked in restaurants for 10, 20, 30 years and blah, blah, blah. But you know, that's good enough for me. It's not good enough for everybody. what I'm really hoping with that being said is that we're starting to get away from that now. Mm-hmm, I'm hoping, it seems like that. And I hope it continues because even though I've collected a bunches of pieces of paper along the way, I don't think that's the end all be all by any means. And there's plenty of people that know significantly more than I do that have a whole lot less education than I do. And there's no reason for them to be mm-hmm Disqualified for that. Yep. So hopefully for the future generation, that's, that's not, that's not a thing, but but I completely understand because when I was going through high school, mm-hmm that was really the only option we were given. Mm-hmm it was like, Hey, this is what you need. Like, if you're gonna be successful, this is what you need. Yep. So I understand, I was you know, we take those tests and they tell you what you're supposed to be. Mm-hmm you know, and I've already been working in restaurants with. Couple years, you know, right. Under the books and stuff like that. And they were like, you're gonna be an accountant. I was like, I barely like school. Why would I want to go into accounting and sit? It's like, you know, I've been, and, and I've lived in New Jersey, so yeah. There's culinary school. 45 minute train ride north. Yep. So I was like, man, I wish they would've put two and two together back then. And, you know, gone that route. Definitely. Cause it really wasn't a thing. When I started, it was kind of like a fringe. Thing where people went to culinary school. Right. Stuff like that. So, so yeah, it's, it's definitely something I, I tell my, my son often to like work hard now. Mm-hmm yeah. Cause somewhere down the line, you're not gonna want to, or can't. Yep. you know, I get that your energy will run out, so hit it hard now, so he can relax later on. There you go. Yeah. I like it. I like it. Well, I just wanna say thank you for coming on. Yes, sir. I was actually very educat. That's why I was so quiet this time. Cause I'm like listening and like taking in information. Yeah. You can see your wheels turning over there. I felt like I, I learned quite a bit. I gained a lot of wisdom from you, definitely. Well, I appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks for having me here. And if tell me more questions or you're trying to do something and just reach out. Yeah. Yeah. I love just jabbering about this kind of stuff and trying to figure out and trouble shooting and you know, just learning people's stories and what they want to do with their space. This time went by too fast. So we're gonna have to bring you back on and okay. Pick your brain some more too. So have a part two coming up here soon. Hopefully. Well, awesome. I appreciate it guys. Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate it. So currently, where can people like reach out to you? Cause you said copper sun. Is it your new thing that you're going towards? Yeah. I think the Instagram, I change it. It's, it's kind of a person. Page right now used to be the farm page, but it copper sun homestead. Okay. And that's a good jumping off point. And I can send, I think I have a website name. I can, I can send you off if you need to. Yeah. Take a look at it and we'll put it in the show notes. Yeah. But yeah, start there. And I think on Facebook, it's copper sun micro farm still and yeah, one, one of those ways you can get a hold in touch with me. Perfect. That sounds great. Well, Thank you guys for listening. Yet again, we had a blast learned a little bit. Hope you did too. Thank you for coming on one more time and cheers. Yeah. Appreciate your cheer. Cheers.