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

Farm tour

Ruth Stout style garden, year 1Everett and Missy (from Living a Simple Life) were kind enough to invite us over to their new homestead for lunch on Saturday and I leapt at the offer.  There are few things I like better than a farm tour --- a great chance to walk around someone else's operation and get ideas.

The farm was beautifully manicured (way out of my weed-overgrown league), and I'm sure lots of you would love to see pastoral photos.  However, being who I am, I took a few pictures of the chickens and then a whole bunch of pictures of the garden.
Straw mulched garden
Everett and Missy made the wise choice to spend their first year on the farm focusing on infrastructure, but they didn't ignore the garden entirely.  Instead, they planted a few cucurbits down by the creek, hired a nearby farmer to plow up a field to plant a clover cover crop in a second area, and then spread thick straw mulch over a third area.

This third area, of course, was the one that caught my eye --- a patch of lawn being transformed into a budding Ruth Stout garden.  Mushrooms were already hard at work improving the soil, and worms had clearly been attracted to the moist, bare soil beneath the Buckeye chickensmulch.  The couple's free range Buckeye chickens loved scratching up the mulch to find critters...and depositing their own organic fertilizer in exchange.  I wouldn't be surprised if this plot turns into a bountiful and trouble-free garden next year.

Of course, we didn't escape the farm tour entirely unscathed.  Like they say, August is the only time you have to lock your car in Appalachia --- otherwise, you'll come back to discover it full of zucchinis.  Thanks for the produce, the delicious lunch, and the tour!

Everett and Missy's chickens are the only ones I've met who honestly don't need our homemade chicken waterer --- they prefer the fresh, flowing water in their personal creek.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

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.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.


Thank you both for coming out. I can't wait to get together again. This time I'll bring Mark's DVDs.

I think that mystery veggie might be a very early, unripe heirloom pumkin. I see one under there today that is almost totally orange. We'll see! They'll either ripen into something or rot on the vine, but I'm not picking any more until I know what they are.

Thanks again for the visit. I keep meaning to get a video up of me making a chicken waterer bucket, but we've been over that whole "Not enough time for Everett and his projects" thing already. ;-)

Comment by Everett Mon Aug 2 16:35:49 2010

We really had a great time --- thanks for having us!

An heirloom pumpkin makes so much sense --- I should have guessed that. Whatever it is, it's in the winter squash group, which means that it won't hurt it to leave it alone until the vines die back.

Don't worry too much about the video --- we'd love to have it, but are in no hurry. I hope I wasn't too single-minded about telling you to take time off. You know what they say --- there's noone so evangelical as a convert. :-)

Comment by anna Mon Aug 2 17:57:59 2010

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.