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

Training butternuts

Closeup of young butternut squash fruitsEven though I'm the primary cook around here, Mark does nearly all the grocery shopping.  I just hate shopping, so every two weeks, I hand Mark a list and send him to the big city.  He always comes home with everything on the list...plus this and that.  When I first started converting him to Walden Effect eating, the "this and that" were things like biscuits-in-a-can and lemon cookies.  Nowadays, I roll my eyes when he brings home...an out of season butternut.

Yes, we've become such fans of butternuts (especially butternut pie) that Mark's hard pressed to live without them over the summer.  I didn't know they would be such a hit, so I only put in two small beds last year, and we ran out of the delicious fruits in the middle of the winter.  This year, I expanded the planting to encompass three beds, and I fed the soil well.  Cucurbits love a good meal of manure, and before I knew it, the butternuts had zipped off their own beds, across the aisle, and were partying with the tomatoes.  Bad butternuts!

Cage around butternut squash As every parent knows, proper limits are essential in raising a healthy child...I mean, butternut.  And parents definitely have to work together to set those boundaries.  So Mark and I went out as a team to train our recalcitrant butternuts to toe the line.  Mark hammered in fence posts and I strung up pea trellis material to cage our butternuts in.  Now they can play as hard as they want and we won't have to worry about them skipping curfew.

Find time to party with the tomatoes --- become self-employed with Microbusiness Independence.


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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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This post is incredibly funny... I don't like it when my veggies play together, either! And I really hear you on the eye rolling about out of season veggies. I cringe when my family starts buying watermelon in the spring or they pick up red bell peppers in January. I'll admit that it was me craving and caving to cucumber & dill salad last March.
Comment by Eliza Thu Jul 1 11:51:16 2010
This post is incredibly funny... I don't like it when my veggies play together, either! And I really hear you on the eye rolling about out of season veggies. I cringe when my family starts buying watermelon in the spring or they pick up red bell peppers in January. I'll admit that it was me craving and caving to cucumber & dill salad last March.
Comment by Eliza Thu Jul 1 11:52:39 2010
:D
Anna, you crack me up! Bad butternuts!
Comment by W.E. Junkie Thu Jul 1 15:11:10 2010
Eliza and Walden Effect Junkie --- I'm glad I could make you smile. :-) And I'm also glad I'm not the only one who considers out of season produce "junk food." I'm aching for fresh tomatoes since last year's were so few and far between, but I still can barely choke down a storebought tomato.
Comment by anna Thu Jul 1 21:18:40 2010

I've look a bit at your site, brought here by a google image search for Butternuts -- the nut. But I saw your picture of the butternuts being caged in after trying to party too hard with the tomatoes. (of course I had to read the post to find out what the picture was all about)

I'm in my (mumble mumble) 's and am so intrigued and, I'll admit, jealous also. I may have to follow you, however probably be a silent reader. I have several health compromises and am not able to do the work I did when I was in my 20's and even early 30's, before the lupus started to sink his teeth into me. I still work to overcome the health compromises, and even be able to get back to the 'gardening' or even suburban homesteading that I so loved some years ago. Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you and your homestead. : )

Comment by KT Mon Apr 16 15:09:16 2012
KT --- Glad to provide some vicarious farming fun! Hopefully you'll feel well enough soon to dabble in a bit of gardening --- it's hard to stick to something small, but even a single tomato plant can make life much more tasty!
Comment by anna Mon Apr 16 16:22:48 2012





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