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


Working on the ford.The last attribute I want to talk about is pacing.  In the last five years, I've noticed that all city slickers (myself included) have a tendency to dive into physical labor with two feet and wear themselves out after ten minutes or an hour.  It's easy to pick out folks used to physical labor because they start slowly, take frequent breaks, and can keep going all day long.  In the process, those well-paced farmers get about ten times the amount of work done as the eager beaver city-slicker did.

Pacing is also important on the larger scale.  I have a bad tendency to want to start
Daddy relaxing in the hammockso many projects at once that we'd have to work fifteen hour days, seven days a week to get it all done.  It took Mark a long time to convince me that it's really okay to take weekends off.  When he did, I started to realize that I was more efficient during the week after my two days of relaxation.

A long term plan is also very useful in helping with pacing.  Make a list of all of the dreams you have for the land, guesstimate how much time each one will take to complete, then scatter them across the next decade.  After all, didn't you want to move back to the land to escape the rat race and enjoy the outdoors?  Once you move to the land, you'll have the rest of your life to achieve your goals, so treat homesteading like a marathon, not a sprint.  Stop and smell the flowers!

This post is part of our Homesteading Qualities lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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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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