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

Embracing the current homestead

Selfie from above

This year has been my favorite one on the farm so far. Yes, I dropped the ball in certain areas and have also been babying a sprained ankle for the last two months. But we got enough done to feed ourselves and to stay happy and healthy, which is what really counts.

Meanwhile, Mark's class has been extremely inspirational, allowing me to thrive on his second-hand enthusiasm. And I've spent so many golden hours on my yoga mat watching the goats graze that I feel like I've lived more deeply than in years past.

At the end of her rope

One big epiphany I had this summer was --- there's no reason to always be at the end of my rope. Yes, a homestead will consume very ounce of your energy and time if you let it. But if you're in the adventure for the long haul, it's better to savor each new experience and eke it out to its fullest before expanding in yet another direction.

So I'm not actually yearning for any new perennials or animals this fall. I'm quite content to coast on my cover crop, goat, garden haze for quite a while longer before embarking on a new adventure. Here's hoping the happy glow of listening to the chomp, chomp, chomp of well-fed goats will last for many years to come.

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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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Well said!
Comment by Nita Sat Oct 31 10:02:20 2015
haha--I was gonna say the same thing--Well said Anna. Happy for your contentment and happiness. Good for you!
Comment by jennifer Sat Oct 31 13:25:43 2015
You are so right! We, too, are trying to learn that we don't always have to be at the end of our rope. With a ladder fall (his) and twisted back (mine), our bodies have pretty much forced us to this conclusion. After a particularly awesome (but grueling) harvest, we're intentionally cutting back on the garden next year so we can afford the time to take a vacation. And we're slowing down on our home rehab to let our bodies heal (and hopefully to give our pockets a chance to deepen). Looking forward to some R&R.
Comment by Carole Sat Oct 31 18:42:55 2015
Hmmmmm,and here I am trying to work out buying a bucket calf right before I have knee replacement surgery....
Comment by Deb Sat Oct 31 21:37:11 2015
That is my life's goal. To just be able to enjoy the present. : )
Comment by Rys Mon Nov 2 10:34:04 2015

Thanks to everyone for their positive comments!

Carole --- I'm cutting back the garden a bit too, but my goal is just to concentrate on the areas that have good sun and soil. I suspect we'll get nearly as many crops for a lot less work.

Deb --- Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm trying to break myself of doing. :-)

Comment by anna Mon Nov 2 12:29:58 2015
I don't know when it happened, but I just noticed that your banner changed to "Year 10." Sounds like you've stopped pedaling constantly uphill, and now you have some time to enjoy the flat part of the journey.
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Mon Nov 2 18:43:01 2015
Rhonda --- Thanks for noticing! To be honest, I didn't change the banner in the right month, which is early September. It's always a bit too busy at that time of year to celebrate our first day on the farm.... (And am I really bad wife that I want to celebrate our farmiversary but never celebrate our wedding anniversary? :-) )
Comment by anna Tue Nov 3 20:51:33 2015

Glorious post--you've made it! You guys are truly inspiring. You've accomplished an impressive amount in the last 9+ years, and I'm really happy for you that you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your 60-acre empire a bit.

...although I have to admit, I hope you'll stay curious enough to keep trying some new things!

Comment by Jake Wed Nov 4 01:30:20 2015

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