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

Touring the neighbor's garden

Cow in the road sticking out its tongue
Dwarf meyer lemon"Hey, Junior, would you mind moving off the road?"  Maybe I wasn't being polite enough, because the calf just stuck out his tongue at me.

I was on my way over to my movie star neighbor's farm to stream monitor when I had my bovine encounter.  The folks who live in my neighbor's intentional community spend a lot of their time off the farm, so they let their neighbor run his beef cattle on their fields in exchange for working on their driveway.  This calf clearly wasn't used to having anyone in his turf, but he ambled Butternut squash and sweet potatoes curingaway when I inched my car up to his snout.

After freezing our feet in the Clinch River, we all headed inside to warm up and enthuse over my neighbor's stunning dwarf Meyer lemon tree.  The lemon has its own alcove (as well as a patio where it spends its summers) and, as you can see, the tree is completely laden with fruit.  Upstairs, ten baby lemon trees are growing up while 57 butternuts and a slew of sweet potatoes cure in the risen warmth.

Covering tomatoes to protect them from a frost

Green tomatoLater, we headed down to the garden to see a surprise trio of extremely late tomatoes.  My neighbor stuck the volunteer seedlings in the ground a month and a half ago and has been covering them with a tarp during frosty nights.  Despite getting a bit nipped on the edges, huge tomatoes are hanging in the middle of the vines.  My neighbor is bound and determined to pick a ripe tomato on Thanksgiving, and I'm keen on seeing how his experiment goes.

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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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