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

Roseto, Pennsylvania

Roseto, PennsylvaniaIn the 1950s, Dr. Wolfe stumbled upon a medical anomaly.  The small town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, was unbelievably healthy, with a death rate about 35% lower than it should have been.

Seventy years earlier, the town had transplanted nearly whole-cloth from a town of the same name in Italy.  The Roseto in America was peopled by immigrants who knew each other, so unsurprisingly the town continued to grow as a close-knit community.  After ruling out diet, genetics, and several other factors, Dr. Wolfe came to the conclusion that the Rosetians' longevity was due to that sense of community --- happiness really seemed to make them live longer.  (You can read the whole story in the Washington Post article.)

We struggle with building community as much as any other Americans, but I couldn't help wondering if our homesteading lifestyle might not have a similar effect on our health.  Over the last three years, as we've worked the kinks out of our relationship and figuring out how to work from home, I've got happier and happier and happier.  If you need an incentive to pursue a life of simplicity, that might just be it.

Don't forget to promote your chickens' longevity with a homemade chicken waterer.

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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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It seems we may have been of a like mind in the last 24 hours. I just wrote a post on community myself at .
Comment by Everett Sat Nov 21 22:41:26 2009
I noticed that --- weird synchronicity! I liked your post --- a very good reason to leave the city (although I still struggle to build community out here in the country.)
Comment by anna Sun Nov 22 13:55:40 2009

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