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

Low Cost Housing, Part 1

Our mules.Mark and I spent lunch on Saturday brainstorming our biggest mistakes made on the farm, hoping to come up with five "don't repeat our mistakes" for a lunchtime series.  Between my lack of memory and his optimistic bent, we were unable to list more than three big mistakes  though --- buying mules when neither of us has dealt with equines, planting fruit trees before we had the infrastructure to care for them, and...was there something else?

Then we wandered off into a discussion of the top five things we'd done right as early homesteaders.  Our trailer quickly leapt into the number one position.  I know that many folks consider living in a trailer a miserable failure, but for us it's been a stunning success.  And so this week's lunchtime lecture series is all about the trailer --- how we got it, why we got it, and why we love it.

This post is part of our Low Cost Housing lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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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'd also like to hear more about what "infrastructure" elements you were referring to in regard to your fruit trees. Do you mean irrigation? Pruning?
Comment by Everett Mon Apr 13 17:18:30 2009
Irrigation would have been nice, but by infrastructure I really meant a really tall fence. The deer ate those trees alive! It didn't help that I hadn't yet figured out that raised beds are essential in clay soil, so the trees also drowned during heavy rains. Suffice it to say that only one of the $100 worth of fruit trees I put in the first year has survived, and it's lingering.
Comment by anna Mon Apr 13 20:42:46 2009
Do you suppliment your meat with wild game from your land when they are in season? ie venison Also does your creek sustain fish?
Comment by Erich Mon Apr 13 22:14:29 2009
Venison and turkey are our best bets in the wild game department --- our creek mostly just has minnows. We got a gun last fall, but didn't get good enough at our target practice before hunting season ended. (In Virginia, the law says that you can hunt on your own property without a license, but still only in season.) We hope to try again this year!
Comment by anna Wed Apr 15 09:16:48 2009

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