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


Purple Trillium, Mist Flower, Hawthorne, and Wild Onion

As part of our recession-proof income diversification, I've been leading a group of ecotourists around the area this week.  I've had a blast, getting paid to wander around in the woods identifying flowers.  If I weren't such an introvert that I require an hour of decompression for each hour I spend in the company of people, I'd do this more often. :-)

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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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How's it going with them? I'm still sorting through all the pictures of my hike with them, but I hope to have something typed up soon. Thanks for recommending me! :-D
Comment by Brandy :: Young in the Mountains Thu May 14 07:24:20 2009

I don't much care for dealing with people all the time either, but I figure there will be plenty of "alone time" during the winter months with our plan. We hope to get up some cabin rentals on the property by the end of our first year there. From the market research I've done on rental properties within 15 minutes of the Blue Ridge Parkway we can probably keep them rented out an average of 6 months out of the year at around $110 - $120 a night. So let's say it costs us $10-$20 in electric and upkeep per night - that's close to $18,000 per year on one rental unit! Another angle to try would be getting commission from local tourism outfits (horse rides, river rafting, etc.) for acting as an agent / concierge and sending your visitors to them.

Just a thought. It's one more possible way to make a living on the homestead.



Comment by Everett Thu May 14 15:56:22 2009
It went great! I learned a lot, they learned a lot, we all went home tired. :-) It took us four hours to walk a mile today....
Comment by anna Thu May 14 19:08:12 2009
Everett, I think your business model is a great idea! I wholeheartedly believe that ecotourism in our area is about to take off.
Comment by anna Fri May 15 13:14:59 2009

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