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

archives for 07/2022

Jul 2022

Mark and I splurged on an electric wheelbarrow a year and a half ago and are very glad we did. We chose the Snapper XD because of its hefty battery, which meant the wheelbarrow was able to go up our steep hillside while loaded down with firewood. (Check out the video above to see it in action.)

Since then, I've also started using the electric wheelbarrow to haul mulch and compost into the garden, where it also shines. Only small flaw: the Snapper doesn't turn on a dime.

If you decide to follow our lead, a few thoughts on getting the best price:

First, you'll notice you don't get a battery or charger with the wheelbarrow. At the time of our purchase, it was cheaper to buy a Snapper weedeater/battery/charger bundle than to buy the latter two on their own. This may change over time!

Second, at the time we did our research, Home Depot had the cheapest price. However, Amazon sometimes has used models available even cheaper. Shop around!

And, finally, a warning to all you men out there. Electric is just so easy --- it always starts and it just runs. Your wife may steal your electric wheelbarrow just like I did with ours. There is a key you can remove if you really want to keep it for yourself.

Posted Mon Jul 4 11:17:48 2022 Tags:

Washing chanterelles

Heavy rains and warm weather means it's chanterelle season! I usually don't wash mushrooms, but these were too dirty to merely brush off. Luckily, half an hour in the food dehydrator took the water back out and they were delicious sauteed in butter and thyme.

Chanterelle sauce atop spiralized zucchinis

Warning: If you gorge on bucketloads of wild chanterelles, your skin will start to smell like peaches.

Posted Fri Jul 8 13:21:25 2022 Tags:

We made a short video that updates our experience using 2 recycled bathtubs as outdoor worm bins.

Spoiler alert! A cheap heating pad coupled with a thermocube ensures the worms can survive the Winter.

Posted Mon Jul 18 14:11:28 2022 Tags:

Bowl of produce

When we moved to Ohio, we went hardcore on our garden fencing. And the barrier has kept out the deer I was most concerned about.

Unfortunately, nothing else seems fazed.

It's taken years to figure out exactly who's eating our fruits and veggies. But a game camera recently confirmed what I'd already guessed.

Chipmunk stealing a tomato

Unripe strawberries and tomatoes strewn across the ground are a sign of fumble-fingered chipmunks. These little rodents can go through a planting remarkably fast.

Raccoon in the garden

Entire branches torn down in the raspberry patch and snow peas dragged off their trellises are a sign of raccoon damage. Yes, raccoons are quite happy to eat garden produce other than corn.

The solution? We aren't quite there yet. But at least we've nailed the problem down!

In other news:


My heart was warmed when I heard from a very unexpected trailersteader two weeks ago:

"Your book inspired my wife to have the courage to move out to our little farm and live in a trailer, the only way we could afford to live there upon my retirement from teaching high school history. How delightful to pick up your Trailersteading book and learn the author was one of my first AP history students back at Tennessee High in Bristol! I admired your intelligence then; now I admire what you have done with it. Sarah loved your book!"

--- Ken Senter

What a wonderful cycle since Mr. Senter's enthusiasm and intensity of focus on his subject matter was contagious twenty-odd years ago. It's wonderful to think that I managed to have an unexpected positive impact on his life just like the one he had on mine!

Soil course on Udemy

I'll end with a teaser of what Mark and I have been hard at work on this summer. My next post will hopefully be a link to the finished product, but you can hear about it first and get a free review copy if you sign up for our email list. Can't wait to share with you!

Posted Mon Jul 25 11:29:22 2022 Tags:

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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