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

Walden Effect enters its 8th year


I'm very ashamed to say that I missed celebrating our farm's birthday this year --- sorry, farm!  This is much worse than forgetting my marriage anniversary because Mark and I have an understanding that we don't do anniversaries and don't give each other gifts on holidays.  The farm and I, on the other hand, have an agreement that she will feed me and make me happy and I will notice her at least once a year.

Farm from above

Our seventh year on the farm was rough in certain ways, but delightful in others.  The rough patches weren't really blog material, consisting primarily of Mark hurting his back last fall and not being able to sleep right for a couple of months, plus the heartbreak we felt when our community-building project went south this spring.  On the other hand, those problems were counteracted by the awesomeness of Kayla and by a huge influx of homegrown fruit (my favorite food group).

Lotus budLooking back at the post I made on the farm's last birthday, it's astonishing to see how much progress we've made in twelve short months.  (Well, nearly thirteen now.)  The composting toilet and front porch have vastly increased our standard of living, and Mark has enjoyed his ATV (even though I'm concerned by the amount of damage it's done in the driveway during a very wet year --- we'll have to attack that issue soon).  My first paperback hit bookstores and Mark invented a completely new chicken waterer.  And, of course, we kept adding new perennials to the garden, building soil, and increasing our pasture area.

And despite the angst I mentioned previously, our tranquility levels have remained pretty high, perhaps due the ponds I played with building this summer, but mostly due to Mark's even keel.  I am eternally thankful that my original dream of sharing my life with a piece of land didn't materialize as planned, instead turning into a threesome --- me, Mark, and the farm.

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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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Mark and Anna, Very happy 8th year anniversary. It's good that you reflect on how far you've come and continue to be excited about the road ahead. It dawned on me that we moved on our 4 1/2 acres in Sept. 2006, after spending a month working to clean up our 1600 sq. ft. home. How cool is that!! We feel very fortunate and blessed.

Like the new picture, by the way.:)

Comment by Karen Mon Sep 30 17:08:45 2013
Wishing you guys the happiest anniversary on the farm,and wishing the next year living life there even more blessings than any year previous! :D
Comment by Stephen in Eastern TN Tue Oct 1 13:49:17 2013
Congratulations on eight years of living the dream! You guys are a constant source of inspiration and I love reading your blog. I'm so grateful you put so much time into sharing all the things you are learning. Also, The new photo in the header looks nice. :-)
Comment by Jake Tue Oct 1 22:32:19 2013

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