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

Farm traumas

Two chicks"It seems like you spend so much time worrying over the incubator, you would have been better off ordering chicks through the mail," my father said after I wrote about my chick-hatching rollercoaster.

In the short term, he was right.  Raising our own chicks isn't worth all the sleepless nights and emotional highs and lows.  On the other hand, by hatch three, the only reason I woke up in the night is because four chicks were hatching very loudly three feet away from my pillow at 2 am.

I like to peruse our blog archives and am always amused to read about how tough various tasks were the first few times we did them.  Killing chickens and extracting honey were initially traumatic, but now an evening of chicken-plucking is restful, and I didn't think twice about snagging a couple of quarts of honey from the hive last week.  Ditto with waiting for chicks to poke their way out of the shell or even deciding that a troubled chick needs to be helped or euthanized.  In the end, self-sufficiency and "job" satisfaction are worth being sent for a loop the first few times I try a new skill.

Our chicken waterer keeps the chicks' bedding dry and the flock healthy.

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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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I felt that way the first time i made soap, and now its second nature.
Comment by jennifer Hockenberry Tue Jun 14 10:39:51 2011
Oh I how I love the discovery! The trepidation of not knowing what to do....I love learning new things, failing, trying again. Even if it seems stressful and I'm stumbling through it, I love the process.
Comment by Fostermamas Tue Jun 14 11:31:35 2011

Jennifer --- I can totally understand how working with lye and trying to make the chemical process happen could be daunting. I haven't crossed that bridge yet.

Fostermamas --- I love it too, or I'd stop trying new things. But the first couple of times I try it, I tend to be very nervy. :-)

Comment by anna Tue Jun 14 12:05:43 2011
I think this willingness to feel the anxiety but still press on is the true mark of a pioneer and homesteader. I have a lot of "what the heck did I get myself into?" moments, but your blog makes me braver and willing to try more things.
Comment by Lisa Tue Jun 14 13:08:17 2011
Lisa --- I'm glad I can help even out the nervousness for others! That's the great thing about a blog --- hopefully the folks who read it can feel like they've had three hatches now and won't worry when they turn on their own incubator. :-)
Comment by anna Tue Jun 14 19:39:23 2011

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