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

Meetup growing pains


We piggy-backed on the nearest Tractor Supply Animal Swap for our most recent meetup in hopes that we'd get more random strangers dropping by.  And the location was successful in that I spread Egyptian onions to another half dozen homes and met some interesting people.  Unfortunately, I don't think any of those people are interested in our our meetup group.


Sarah, Mark, and I brainstormed over lunch afterwards and concluded that our meetups have had too high of a barrier to participation.  After all, even if I say that you can come to a swap with nothing to share, most folks would feel odd about showing up to take if they don't bring something to give.  So we're going to try more of a traditional meetup next time, with everyone converging on Sarah's place just to hang out and get to know each other.  (Date to be announced --- join our group if you'd like to hear more details as they come down the pike.)  Mark's also promised to come up with a more melodious name that still gets the point across.


Building like-minded community is tricky if you're extremely picky and antisocial, but we'll keep plugging away.  After all, B.J. is proof that interesting and interested people live right down the road --- our job is to find them.

Our chicken waterer is the perfect gift to go along with those Easter chicks.

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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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The master gardeners in the next door county had a similar problem and discovered that if you charged a small price the people would who had no plants to share would be more willing to participate. They priced 99% of their plants at give away prices and use the funds for group activites: promotion and activities at the local school (grow a flower in a cup for mother's day I believe). For whatever reasons people are fine with the idea of paying pittance v getting for free and it made a big difference in the local interest. Maybe it has to do with the self reliant ideals of not getting a handout or being a burden? Whatever the reasoning perhaps the idea would work for your group.
Comment by Stephanie in AR Sun Mar 31 12:20:04 2013
No advice, but good luck. Keep us posted on how it goes. I am looking to be more social after we move too. Will be nice to talk to people outside of a work setting.
Comment by Ashaldaron Sun Mar 31 16:38:41 2013
wish I lived close enough to meet up with you guys. Is there anyone in upstate NY interested in trying this?
Comment by Irma Mon Apr 1 22:24:55 2013
I joined! I work, like, all the time though. Literally six days a week, but I'm totally available MOST Saturdays.
Comment by Fri Jun 21 21:21:46 2013

profile counter myspace

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