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

Homesteading and Simple Living Comments

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Thanks for showing us. It was nice to see what you have been doing.
Comment by Kathleen Mon Apr 15 22:03:06 2019
i breed these goats on a small scale for selling the babies but mostly for the milk,the milk from this breed has the highest buttermilk content of all goat breeds which makes for better yogurt and cheeses and of course butter ,from my point of view they will charm you and become pets if you only have a few as they are very friendly so killing them for food can become hard ,as far as brush control the larger species are probably better than the smaller ones but they all do a great job ,as far as milking i built my own milking machine to do the job for me all i do is hook the cups on to the nipples and wait for the milk to slow then move onto the next one, cost me around $200 to build including a mobile cart to keep everything together for easy work the most expensive part was $120 dollars for a vacuum pump so conclusion is if you want goats to eat or brush control go with a larger breed if you want to milk and have cute spring babies go with a smaller breed and to get around the fencing problems put 3 strands of electric high tensile wire at the top of a 4 foot fence which is grounded and 2 strands down low inside they will learn to stay away from it real quick then that will save you $$$$$ in fence repair
Comment by jim Sat Mar 30 11:59:50 2019
i live in Ohio and i have hundreds of bees on saw dust .Cant go buy them they will make you run very good info .
Comment by Hope Thompson Tue Mar 26 10:49:37 2019

Hello, I just found your blog and noticed many entries are from several years ago. Are you still keeping it current? The reason for my email is to inquire as to how your persimmons from seed worked out? I have tried growing from seeds that happened to be in a store bought fruit. I got 4 to germinate and got to 4 leaves and then just stopped growing. The leaves lasted until November and eventually dried up and fell off. Maybe this was normal, I don't know. I brought them inside and put under a grow light for the winter. It's still just a stick and I'm wondering if it is just dead.

Is there a nursery or place to buy more seeds? I was actually trying to grow the round and flatter variety "Haku"? I can't recall the name just the shape.

I'm also located in the Pacific Northwest -- about 20 miles north of Seattle. Do you think any persimmon variety would survive in our climate?

I look foward to hearing from you soon.


Comment by Wendy Wed Mar 20 03:21:27 2019

It is nice to hear from you again. :-) Also it is good to hear you've sold your farm, both financially and as closure.

Like you, I've had my house broken into once so I sympathize. It made me feel unsafe for some time afterwards. On the other hand, stuff is just stuff. The best heirlooms are your memories, and those can't be stolen.

Up to now I've refrained from commenting on your blogging vacation, because I was ambivalent about it. I have enjoyed reading and commenting on your adventures. But I can imagine it can be stressful. As an introvert myself I'm not sure I'd give the whole world such a detailed peek into my life! So if you continue blogging or not, you have my respect and thanks either way.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Mar 17 12:41:22 2019
My chick got hatched today but it was stuck in the egg, I saw it late after some hours and when I went to check on it, it was still in it shell and ants trying to feed on the it while the rest were gone with the hen.......I helped it out of the shell but still unable to stand on it's own and I saw wounds on it's body.........The feathers are not like the rest of the chicks. Help me see to it
Comment by Michael Sun Mar 10 12:57:27 2019

Glad to see the update but sorry to hear someone else felt they had a right to your things. I guess it's part of moving back to "civilization". You need a big dog or two. That is as good a deterrent as the security system. Anyway, glad your doing well. Post when you can because it's always a welcome sight.

Comment by Ned Tue Mar 5 11:51:16 2019

Looks like all the Northern Arizona folks are all in the same boat. Some of the comments are from 2015. Have you had success with any of the techniques mentioned here? I’ve got 10 acres of flat land. I’ve got a honey crisp and a Granny Smith who are about 6 years old and an apple tree I grew from seed that’s 5 and producing fruit. It’s not bad either. I was also thinking that maybe growing full size trees and letting them get big might help since cold sinks. Maybe the height would help protect the blooms. It’s so frustrating. I will be trying some late blooming varieties but was hoping some of the previous posters would follow up on their success or failures. Thanks.

Comment by Einit Mussey Sun Mar 3 15:38:55 2019
Has anyone ever tried this and does it really work? I want to catch some turkeys near our home to re-locate them and was googling for ideas....
Comment by Debbie Wed Feb 27 15:14:10 2019
I live in beautiful Baldwin County, Alabama, about 30 miles form the Gulf of Mexico. Common citrus grows here with limited cold protection. The Owara type Satsuma is a favorite of many. Actually not all Owara trees are the same. The trees have some that are sweeter than others. Years ago, there were many very big orchards of satsuma, in our area, until a severe winter killed them. Most satsumas are grown on Trifoliet. This seems to give better endurance of our mild winter cold.As a Satsuma ages, it becomes more tolerant of cold. However, those mid to low teens will kill the trees. If the tree trunks are covered with more soil above the graft, during winter, the lower part of the tree will survive to grow Satsuma, again. Failure to bank the soil on very cold winters, will only leave the old thorny Trifoliet roots. Some yards have beautiful Satsuma trees with bushels of fruit; while others have only the sour oranges.
Comment by James Kirksey Mon Feb 25 21:33:37 2019
I have seen numerous bees foraging on pumpkin leaves heavily infested with powdery mildew - they appeared to be collecting the spores (or some other part of the fungus) from the surfaces of the leaves. There are not many flowers at the moment as we have had two months of warm/hot sunny weather (Australian Summer). This would support the idea that it's spores the bees are seeking in your sawdust. I can't find much in the literature on this, but it suggests the bees might inadvertently spread mildew from infected plants to healthy ones as they go about their business - a rare example of the honeybee cast as a villain.
Comment by Phil Mon Feb 18 02:11:42 2019
I am male turkey mated with my female chicken is that normal? Her eggs are fertilized and we have no males, except for the turkey...
Comment by Krystal Kasper Tue Feb 12 12:34:17 2019

Ah, another great post. I keep on finding my way to your blog quite often! I'm looking into low-energy in-house carbon sources for humanure. We don't produce enough sawdust, but there are loads of leaves, and potentially enough straw, both from grasses and from reeds.

Does anybody have experience with any? I can imagine that dry leaves could work, even without processing. But, according to Joseph Jenkins, straw doesn't, due to particle size. I'm looking into efficient ways of making "straw-dust"... any thoughts?

Comment by Dita Mon Feb 11 10:45:18 2019
meat animals dont nessassarily eat grains raised for humans. considering the cases they consume the remaining portion of the plants we raised to eat crops and fruits, those numbers you represented must have been something really different. the digestive organs of humans are not designated to live on the plants. what matters is the ineffective methods of raising animals not eating meat itself.
Comment by Anonymous Wed Feb 6 10:22:13 2019
Wow! This place looks amazing! Is it still available?
Comment by Beverly Tue Feb 5 08:40:41 2019

Nice to finally meet you today. This might have been the last post that I read. Well this one or the one with the wood chips....time flies.

You and Mark will have to come to our place for dinner after the thaw!


Comment by Ron Young Sat Feb 2 11:36:37 2019

What kind of zoning restrictions are there?

The stream that you have to cross:

  • is that on your property?

  • are there restrictions on driving across it?

  • are there restrictions that would prevent setting up a hydro powered generator (maybe like on a floating raft)?

Why are you selling?

Comment by searc99 Thu Jan 31 21:52:52 2019

What kind of zoning restrictions are there?

The stream that you have to cross:

  • is that on your property?

  • are there restrictions on driving across it?

  • are there restrictions that would prevent setting up a hydro powered generator (maybe like on a floating raft)?

Why are you selling?

Comment by searc99 Tue Jan 29 22:13:47 2019

How much are the taxes?

The parking area and the 1/2 mile trek you mention -- is that all on your property?

If not, whose property(ies) must you cross, and what kind of access (can't remember the right legal(?) term) do you have?

Comment by searc99 Tue Jan 29 21:44:16 2019

I learned and tiptoed through chicken keeping, goat keeping, garden growing etc thru you. I miss your posts but understand the reasons......I hope you are well but miss you........

Comment by Melissa Wilson Fri Jan 25 04:45:17 2019
He's gripping the chain firmly so the tooth doesn't shift, and he's drawing the file, not pushing it.
Comment by Douglas Francis Thu Jan 17 22:24:05 2019

Frustrating problem. At the front of the rocker just above the nozzle there should be a bumper stop. On my sprinklers the manufacturer supplied bumpers are plastic and eventually they disintegrate with exposure to UV light. I replace mine with a cut down small plug from my garden irrigation system. This plastic is UV stabilised. Use a file to adjust the size of the bump so your rocker arm functions correctly.

Comment by Matt Tue Jan 15 02:03:13 2019
Perhaps it is not so much as hand feeding as the time of year. Early spring the Comfrey has a higher alkaloid. It is commonly believed that the first leaves of spring are higher in the dangerous alkaloids described above, so pick those leaves and dispose of them. Use your later pickings for the goats.
Comment by Debbie Dusza Wed Jan 2 11:59:19 2019
I am very interested in your property. i have off today and tomorrow I would like to come see it. I live about 5 hrs away.
Comment by gretchen whittman Tue Jan 1 09:50:34 2019
Happy winter solstice.
Comment by Kathleen olsen Mon Dec 24 23:31:53 2018
Sent you an email.
Comment by Robert Taylor Thu Dec 20 15:27:56 2018

I hope you both have a very happy holiday.


Comment by John Mon Dec 17 14:10:28 2018
I hope you have a good holiday season. Blessings for 2019. You are missed.
Comment by hilary Thu Dec 13 10:18:39 2018

I noticed a few comments about asking how to remove the agitator out of an old wringer washer. I've recently come in to possession of a Simplicity Wringer Washer and the agitator is in need of repair. Just wondering if anyone has been able to figure it out.

Comment by Britt Thu Dec 13 10:04:12 2018
I have been following you two on and off over the years but before you two go can you tell me what ever happened to Lucy. Perhaps everyone would like to know the story of her from beginning to end.
Comment by Zimmy Wed Dec 12 20:13:16 2018
Email me about your property please.
Comment by Rick Lee Mon Dec 10 14:43:23 2018
When we lived in central Florida one of my friends had a large cactus in her front yard. I made a fantastic (and gorgeous) jelly with prickly pear, apple and jalapeno. Just a little spicy. And a prickly pear margarita is one of my favorites.
Comment by Sue Tue Dec 4 15:25:14 2018
I keep forgetting to tell you how much I enjoyed that day. The weather was perfect for such a hike and the little picnic was fun.
Comment by bleueaugust Mon Dec 3 11:38:49 2018
You have a beautiful place!! If I could scrape 13K together, I would grab it in a heartbeat... just bad timing on my part. Sigh...
Comment by Jean L Finley Sat Dec 1 10:03:09 2018
I hope you don't stop posting on this blog! We really enjoy hearing about what you are doing. You are wonderfully interesting people.
Comment by Kirsten Tue Nov 27 23:23:40 2018
Is very difficult to process, and does not contribute nitrogen to the soil. It grows very quick in hot summer.
Comment by Mike Tue Nov 27 21:56:36 2018
prickly pear grows all over the desert southwest, too, and is a common part of cuisine around here. you can shred & pickle the pads (nopalitos) and they are often sold jarred in grocery stores, or shred & eat fresh in salad. to get the spines off, soak them, and then use tongs to slip the food from the skin. the fruit (tuna) is usually processed into jelly, syrup, or juice (agua fresca) before being eaten. the seeds are not edible, though i don't think that swallowing one would hurt you, but it'll break your teeth if you try to chew it. ;) i would reccomend soaking them to loosen the skin and then slipping the skins off with tongs, then juicing. from there, it makes a great margarita mixer. ;) or syrup! with a boatload of pectin, you can make jelly from it.
Comment by yarrow Tue Nov 27 19:03:05 2018
Well don't totally go away! I will sign up for the email alerts. :) And let us know when the old place sells!
Comment by Eric Mon Nov 26 18:58:39 2018
Have been following along for years after coming across your blog entries multiple times when researching various gardening subjects. Since we are in the same USDA zone, and you are way more organized than I, Iv even used your posts as a reminder when I am behind on annual planting. So Il just add my agreement to those who have said whatever you feel like writing, Il keep reading. Best of luck.
Comment by Nick Mon Nov 26 13:04:11 2018

Hi Anna,

Perhaps it could become an open place where anyone can share their growing tips? without the usual commercial harassment.


Comment by john Fri Nov 23 03:48:44 2018

Anna Hess's books
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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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