The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Division of Labor

Division of labor in our householdSomewhere or other, I read that division of labor was one of the roots of human civilization.  When people began to specialize in certain chores required to keep the whole community alive, everyone got a little free time to paint cliff paintings or write in their blog.

I was a bit slower to come to terms with division of labor, but lately I'm startled to find myself falling into the typical gender roles in our relationship.  The honest truth is that while I can haul 50 pound bags of feed to the barn without much ado, when it comes to hefting the spud bar to dig deep holes I'll hack for hours at what Mark could do in minutes.  On the other hand, I sincerely enjoy the puzzle involved in keeping us nutrionally fed on a budget, planning the progression of roast turkey breast to pesto chicken salad sandwiches to fajitas.

While Mark was playing baseball with all the neighborhood kids, I was inhaling books in self-imposed isolation.  I was the kid who hated group projects and did most of the work for the whole group because I didn't trust anyone else to work up to my standards.  So it's no surprise that the teamwork in our relationship is primarily Mark's doing.  Some days I'm stunned by how smoothly our team runs --- Mark drives, I navigate, Mark saws wood, I load the golf cart and drive it home, Mark keeps the fire going all night, I sleep.  Oh, wait... :-)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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